**We have not had strong enough internet on our travels in the Philippines to post this blog entry. I wrote it on the plane on Tuesday the 24th of January.
Thursday marks 6 months of living in Taiwan date. To be honest right now we are not in Taiwan, somewhere over the ocean currently, and technically we were at home for a week, but who’s being technical?
There are new normals, but still much to learn. So far, life in Taiwan is enjoyable. We are at a point where our apartment is comfortable and we are starting to know our way around. Teaching is a very consistent job no matter where you are. Just today on the plane we were talking about how even Mandarin is starting to sound normal… Not that we understand it any better, but my default greetings are now in Mandarin. We are en route to the Philippines and I was thanking the flight attendants in Mandarin instead of English or Tagalog. It is interesting how quickly we adapt to our surrounding.
Yesterday, we had friends over who are headed back to the States. They have been in Taiwan for over 6 years and they were asking us if we miss home. In thinking about it I haven’t felt homesick. Let me qualify that… Of course we miss family and friends, but there has not been that moment of needing to go home or strong dislike of life here. That hasn’t been the same for some of my co-workers. It is interesting to listen to what people are unhappy about. I mean we are living in a different country of course it is going to be different!!! Isn’t that what we all signed up for? Either that or D & I are just more flexible. That being said family don’t misinterpret this we love and miss you very much😘
In always wanting to travel the world, I never imagined that my job would so easily facilitate that dream. One of my co-workers told us that Taiwan is his 10th country that he has lived in. I also relish the fact that I work in a public school. I think there is something interesting to adapting to customs and cultures of school in a different country. Not having the breaks that I was used to, but other breaks like Chinese New Year vacation, which is almost a month-long end of semester break, is fun and facilitates an extended period of time for travel.
In thinking about the new normals, I think it is interesting to discuss what I would miss if I had to leave. In making this list in my head it is actually quite long, but I will briefly mention three. First, I know many locals have said that this winter is warmer than normal, but I am a fan of the mild and warm winter. Maybe it is due to all my years spent learning the art of PNW layering, but I love leaving the house knowing that I do not need a jacket. Let’s be clear, it is winter right now and I do bring a coat, but not everyday is it necessary. Don’t worry parents you have taught us well😘.
Second, I have developed a new love of bubble tea. Tea is everywhere. If you think that in Seattle we are picky with our coffee, in Taiwan they take tea to a new level. How much ice, sugar, and dozens of variations of black, green, red, and fruit tea combinations with bubbles, without, actual fruit pieces, milk, and it goes on and on… We get tea out almost daily. I remember getting bubble tea for the first time in college and me and the bubbles were not friends, but now my palate is refined in the arts of bubbles. Definitely during Saturday service a bubble tea break is always in order while strolling along the river park. A side note of irony, Starbucks I visit frequently as well, mainly it is a place where I can get a guaranteed soy latte if I want. A country with tons of soy, but few in the form of a latte!☕
Lastly, Cost of living. Utilities, cable, and cell phones all together probably add up to what we paid T-Mobile for one month… And I can pay these bills at any convenience store, which I blogged about in its own post. Enough said there. I have not yet been to the dentist, but I have heard that the cost of a cleaning is less than an US dollar! Crazy! I am sure I will blog about it once we go and experience it for ourselves.
We both really enjoy how much we seem to learn about the world, different cultures, and each other while living abroad. Only time will tell what we will decide to do next.