Thursday, August 21, 2008

Adventures Out and About

We have (clearly) found a coffee shop with wifi, purchased some funny little squares of what could, with some ingenuity, be toilet paper, procured a towel and Taiwan money, and we wandered around hot and cranky yesterday until we found food - first a sandwich (pre-monies, with a xìnyòngkǎ) and then some very tasty soup in a hole-in-the-wall just around the corner from our apartment.  Post-soup we came home and passed out for four hours before heading out with our two apartment-mates to find a bar and some Taiwan Pijiu.  

The bar was small, and I knew the minute we walked in that it was not frequented by wàiguórén.  We were taken to the largest table and seated and fawned over.  There was a gentleman who sat with us and made much of us, talking in English when he could.  Another wore paint on his face to imitate the aboriginal culture of Taiwan - I'm not sure what, Haka, perhaps - and another wore a dress and a wig and false anatomy.  They danced and sang, as did the other patrons, and even we got up and sang karaoke at one point.  The patrons and staff sat with us by turns - it was a little hard to tell who was which - and food kept appearing on the table.  Greens ("not typical Taiwan food," we were assured, but "like the food of your Native Americans." Kudos to those who warned about this.) and fish and an omelet thing.  The English-speaking man repeatedly offered to hook us up with "muscle men," the cue for Painted Face to start flexing and pouting at us.  We declined.  At the end of the evening, while I was trying to settle our bill, the lady of the establishment proclaimed her love for me and presented each of us with a bouquet of 9 roses.  We walked back to our apartment waving our tourist banners and trying to process.  Katy found a pitcher in the cabinet in the kitchen, and we stuck 3 of the bouquets in it and set it out on the living room table.

Today we met with a lovely lady from Kojen, who will be meeting us again shortly to take us to the hospital so that we can have our exams for our work permits.  We had lunch at a small buffet with a bunch of vegetarian food that I mostly did not recognize, but all of it was pretty tasty.

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