Greetings from the island of Taiwan!
We are officially moved and working on being settled. We were greeted at the airport by our boss and wife, Tim and Bonnie, along with a few of the teachers that were already in the city. Tim and Bonnie were great, they stayed in the Taipei for two days to help us out. They watched kids so we could sleep, unpacked the kitchen boxes and put the kitchen together, took us shopping, whatever needed to be done. I don't think that we could have survived the first two weeks without them. We got so much done those first two days.
This first month was spent exploring the area. We found where to buy groceries, the market, a small playground, the route to take to go to the school, subway stations, and began scouting for pre-Ks for Marcus. We also discovered places to eat...oh, my the choices that we have. We could eat out every night and have dishes from different countries for a week, I believe. We have Greek, German, Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and McD's and KFC all within 5 min. walk. It is really unreal and hard on the waist line. The other bad discovery was Dominoes...you buy a large and if you pick it up you get a second large free. Way to tempting for this pizza lover (md that is). But, after a week or so of take-ins we finally got food in the fridge and began cooking our own meals. Now for a diet to begin. Ha! Ha!
We also had a few interesting experiences as well. The first being md's first earthquake. It was on our second day at a supermarket. I really thought that I was having a dizzy spell and going to faint. But, then Uwe looked up and saw the signs moving and told me it was an earthquake, not my tiredness making me sway. I was relieved. The other event was the renovations of our kitchen. What started out as replacing some wheels for a few drawers turned into a renovation project that lasted 2 weeks. Yes, after my kitchen was completely put together I had to re-box the dishes and things and move them out. The cabinets were so old that they could no longer find replacement wheels, so it was cheaper to put in new cabinets. Then, new bottom cabinets should match the hanging ones, so they had to be replaced as well. But, to hang cabinets the tiles must be attached well and they were not in some places, so this led to re-tiling a wall in the kitchen. As you can see a domino effect began with just my boss commenting to the handy man that the drawers needed replacing! I'm very thankful, but for 10 days or so, I wasn't able to use the kitchen much. The dust from knocking off the tile chased me the three kids out of the house one day. The day they put the cabinets in chased us to the back room for the entire day. All of this was fine, just would have been nice to have known in advance. I guess we were notified a few hours before they arrived, which in this culture is normal. Somethings are the same here as in mainland....But, my kitchen looks great now and I love it!
While this was all going on the kids and I passed a flu virus around. I was sick with a high fever for about 2-3 days. Uwe stayed home so I could rest. I also had a sinus infection that was causing me to feel like there were 3-4 earthquakes a day. It was strange. I was glad to have my equalibrium balanced out again.
Uwe spent the month getting to know the school and teachers better as well as his normal principal duties. The school has about 220 students. It is different yet the same. It is a good school and he is enjoying getting to know the new place.
Matthea turned 3 this month as well. We invited some little girls over and had a small dog-themed party. We played games like fetch and imitated dog tricks. They all brought over their stuffed dog or animal and we had a little parade or show, in which all got a blue ribbon. Matthea enjoyed it all. In fact, the birthday song is now probably her favorite one now. One of her gifts that we are all enjoying is a tank with fish in it. The greatest thing is that this tank also has shrimp and snails in it as well. It is quite the tank and fun to sit and watch.
So, renovations, sickness, and birthdays can sum up our first month in Taipei. Life doesn't slow down, does it? Hope you are having times of rest and peace as we do have those times too. =)
md for the fam