Have you been lamenting the lack of pictures lately? Me, too, only mostly because my point-and-shoot has suddenly decided it does not want to zoom, ever, and turns itself off when I try to force it to do what I want (I suspect this has something to do with dropping it off a mountain last summer, and then the fall from the counter to the wood floor in May). It makes my heart sad, because, even though I brought my other camera, too, the point-and-shoot is soooo much more convenient to tote around with me. (Not to mention that it's not that old of a camera.)
Well, tonight I decided I'd bring out ol' Blu (not my camera's real name; this camera doesn't actually have a name. Hmm...) and lug it around.
First stop today was the "teachers' store" that is around the corner from us. As teachers, we get a discount there. They have all sorts of office supplies and a bunch of random toys and games. It's a fun sort of place. This cracked me up, though. It's a knock-off Barbie doll, but look closely at the box (I have added two little red arrows to guide your eyes):
Did you catch it? There's totally a picture of a real Mattel Barbie doll on the boxes. I have seen these in three different stores now. I think it's hilarious!
Fun story. Jessica was trying to purchase some envelopes. She had a packet of airmail envelopes, and then another packet of envelopes that were white with Chinese writing and some pictures on them (of like plants and a string or something; I wasn't paying that close of attention, but they were pretty). She got up to the register, and the lady picked up the white envelopes and started saying "No good! Taiwan, no good! No good in Taiwan!" There was also a man working there and he pointed to the envelopes and put his hands up to his head like he was sleeping and started to snore. So I'm thinking, "They're for sleeping people?" "No send in Taiwan! No good to send!" they kept telling us. They were also telling us they were for putting money inside, but we couldn't understand why it was such a big deal. Then one of the workers goes, "For this!" and she took her pointer finger and started moving it up and down (kind of like how we beckon for people to come to us in the States, but here it means death). I put two-and-two together (finally) and said something like, "Ohh! Paper money! They're for dead people! It's what you put the paper money in to burn!" I am still not real sure why they wouldn't let Jessica buy them; I guess they were afraid she'd try giving it to someone still alive, which I can see would be very taboo over here.
So, after the Teacher Store, we rode our bikes back home (there were 6 of us that went) so that those that made purchases could drop them off before we went on to our next adventure. As we were passing one of the garages that are near the school, there was a man outside that shouted "Hello!" to us. I said "Hi" back and waved, and then he said, "Hi! Hello! Beauties!" That never gets old.
While we were waiting for everyone else to get back downstairs, Christina and I "played" with the turtles that the school keeps outside by the back door.
Aren't they adorable? We are going to name them, but we're thinking about what names to give them. We also have to decide if they are boy turtles or girl turtles.
Also, a picture of the playground and other buildings that you can see from the "back yard" of the school:
This much open land in back of a building is really rare hear. Space is a coveted thing.
Once the other girls came back downstairs, we were off to Night Market! This time we just walked (it is the local night market, not the same one we went to last week in Taichung). The rest of the pictures on this post are of our walk to Market and a few of them are from Night Market.
You don't find a lot of plants in Feng Yuan or the other cities in Taiwan because there is not a lot of undeveloped land in these cities of concrete. People like to keep potted plants by their doors, though, to green up the place (I guess, there might be some other reason, though).
Walking down the street
This is at Hahu Bakery again, but I wanted to show you the red pineapples. Do you see it hanging from awning? They have taken most of them down now, but there was still this one hanging up. These red pineapples signify that it is a new business. I suspect they are for good luck.
I was telling Mom and Dad about these trucks this morning on Skype when they could hear one driving by. These things just drive around the city all day. They have loudspeakers attached to them and play advertisements non-stop. Taiwan is not a quiet place to live!
Finally at Night Market. Jessica has this thing for Sponge Bob lately. She says his face makes her laugh.
At Feng Yuan's Night Market, there are lots of little arcade-type games, some children's rides, a bouncy house, toys, clothing... there is just such a wide variety of things that they have available for purchase. Also, there is food. We got our first whiff of stinky tofu tonight, and let me tell you. It deserves that name! I can't even begin to describe the stench, but it was So Bad. I don't think I will ever be able to forget that smell! Christina said it just about made her vomit. She had to go catch her breath before she could walk past those food stalls again and get to the other side (maybe that's why the chicken crossed the road –to get away from the stinky tofu)! We then walked past this stall that was selling squid on a stick. The man was very, very nice. He posed for a picture (Christina took it), and then grilled this little guy up for Christina to eat. There was another lady there that spoke English. She helped us tell the man that Christina didn't want it spicy, told us the price, and also talked to us a little bit. She said eating makes memories, and as she was leaving she said "Make many happy memories in Taiwan!"
Eating the tentacles.
Veronica decided she wanted to try it.
Her face says it all.
I can't believe how many people said hello to us (in English!) while we were walking around! Where were all these English speakers last week? (Granted, "Hello" and "Bubbye" might be the only English they know, but still.)
Also, yes. I still have a bruise and a lump on my knee. I am getting so many comments on it now, though! Last Sunday I was able to dress to match my bruise, but I am not so sure if that is possible this week. There are just so many colors to it! Give it another week and a half, and maybe by then it will be back to normal.
Isn't it beautiful?
Also, I don't really want to talk about teaching right now. We'll just leave it at this: there's only one way to go from here, and that's up!