Monday, August 4, 2008

Here at last!

Arrived at last! Getting our boarding passes in San Francisco turned out to be no problem at all, thank the Lord. And, relative to the rest of our traveling, the flight out to Taipei was blissfully uneventful. We made up our minds to stay up the first half of the flight and sleep the second half even though it left at 1:30 A.M. to help get us on track to Taiwan time. Unfortunately, that resolution lasted all of about an hour and a half, then we were both out like lights. But, we have done well so far today with jet lag despite our falling victim to the plane’s soothing hum. It was a cool flight because the pinkish orange sky of the sunrise chased us all thirteen hours until it finally caught us with the dawn in Taipei. Breezing through customs, we dreaded to see what may or may not be awaiting us at baggage claim. However, much to our amazement, all four of our suitcases quickly cascaded down the belt and into our welcoming arms.
As we left the secured area, our principal, Mrs. Chow, found us and led us to her van where we loaded up and headed to our new home. She first gave us a guided tour of our neighborhood in the van so that we could get our bearings. As it turns out, there are about as many 7-11’s here as there are Starbucks in Seattle so no matter what, we will never find ourselves slurpee-less. We went inside the school which is a nine-story building. Chris and I will be sharing one classroom and one office with another couple and that space is up on the ninth floor and has a spectacular view.
From the school we went to our new home. Our apartment complex is huge, made up of about 25 buildings and each building is about ten stories high with at least four units per floor. You do the math. We laughed when Mrs. Chow told us that these apartments are actually government housing but each unit goes for about $250,000 (USD). So, we are living in the projects! We were pleasantly surprised to find that our new place has not two but three bedrooms! We also have a little balcony with a papaya tree and a back porch with a washer and dryer! Chris was probably most excited about the nice T.V. with Chinese ESPN.

Having dropped off our bags, Mrs. Chow helped us with the next order of business, buying groceries. She had to leave for church so she dropped us off at the local grocery store and gave us an advance on our fist paycheck to help us out. Among the dried squid, asparagus juice and seaweed flavored chips, we were pleased to find Pringles, Oreos and other familiar delicacies. We stocked up on as much as we wanted to carry back and headed home. We spent the morning settling in and unpacking.
After lunch we decided to venture out again and make sure we could find our way back to school for tomorrow morning. Our walk is a very pleasant one that takes us through a big park full of trees and people practicing Tai Chi. We have discovered that people do enjoy staring at us and that even the nicest of smiles doesn’t tend to soften their gaze. We don’t take it personally, though. Who wouldn’t want to stare at such an attractive couple? Just kidding. When we got back to the apartment, we got a call from one of the other teachers to see if we wanted to do dinner. We are meeting them at 6:30 for sushi. Hopefully we can stay up until then!


Abbey said...

How exciting! Thx for posting pics! I love seeing everything there.
I had no idea you guys started school that quickly. Wow... You had better catch sleep somehow, huh?
You're a great writer, girl. Keep it coming!
Oh & I laughed out loud imagining you staying awake for half of that flight! All I could see in my head was you falling asleep mid sentence after Peru!
Hee hee...

Abbey said...

Oh girl, (in response to your comment on my blog)...
We didn't get out of the driveway before the tears started to fall. The kids slept & we just cried all the way home. It was sadness. We were so sad to see y'all go.
We gave Tica some extra good lovins when we got home...
Next summer will feel like a par-tay!!! :)

Alice Robbins said...

Ashley!!! I had NO idea you were moving to where????? :) Let's catch up!