Back in the days when I blog-stalked the "old" teachers of Berhan, I could never understand why it was that they were still posting about their time in Taiwan a month (or more!) after they had gotten home. Umm.. Sorry guys. I understand now that I am one of you (that is so sad to think about, being an "old" teacher).
First, I woke up Early (actually, not really. I think I woke up at the same time as usual, I just GOT UP instead of laying there longer). After helping the secretaries move some things out of the storage room, it was time to go.
Saying good-bye to the beautiful Kailey
Dad was downstairs at the gate waiting for me. (It took me a while to make it down the stairs because I had my arms full of luggage.) We headed off to the train station to meet up with Fenny who took us to breakfast at this cute little breakfast restaurant that had delicious food. (Sorry, only took one picture and I think Dad would hunt me down and do something dreadful if I posted it online.) We decided we would meet up again when I came back through Feng Yuan to pick up my passport, so luckily it was not my last time seeing Fenny in Taiwan.
After breakfast, we all made our way back to the train station. In Taichung, Fenny helped us to get our tickets to the HSR and also helped us to use a computer at the train station so we could tell our friends in Kaohsiung about what time we would be arriving.
On the train to the HSR, I got talking to this nice Taiwanese man named Dennis. He said he would help us know when to get off the train. He was actually on his way to a wedding in Chunghua and his stop was relatively close to ours. Dennis's English was very good, and we had a nice discussion. He told me about Buddhism and actually knew a fair amount about the "Mormon" church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Well, there was a little bit of confusion and we missed our stop (and Dennis missed his too, oops!), but with his help, we were able to get turned around and found the HSR. This was my first time riding on the high-speed train. It was actually a really short train ride. When we got off in Kaohsiung, we were lucky enough that Alisa (friend) hadn't checked her email until later, and Allen (her husband) and just arrived at the train station. We found each other pretty quickly and were soon on our way to Gary's (Alisa's dad) apartment.
After a little lunch (peking duck pizza from Costco), Allen took Dad and I to the Lotus Lake which is also where the Dragon and Tiger pagodas are located. There is a temple across the street from that place, so actually we stopped off at the temple first so that Dad could see what the temples in Taiwan are like.
Then off to the pagodas and various sights around the lake.
Inside the pagodas there were some pretty intricate murals. I think they were telling some sort of story, but I don't know what it was...
But I'm guessing this lady is dying.
After the ward Christmas party that night (Gary was hosting it at his house), Allen and Alisa took Dad and I out to one of the night markets. It was really a pretty small market, but I found some cool things there to bring home.
Christmas day there was only Sacrament meeting for church, but we went with Alisa and her family. Everything was in Chinese, however Allen served his mission in Hong Kong, Mandarin speaking, so he was able to translate most of the meeting for the three of us (Alisa being included) lacking in Mandarin speaking skills. After a light lunch back at the apartment, Dad and I went out across the street to the Love River and just took a nice walk.
When we got back to the apartment, we found out that Santa had come while we were out! The Obas were very kind to get us Christmas presents.
I feel like this post is long enough, so I'm going to leave off for a week... Or two. Or three (hopefully not that long).