Bowing to peer pressure (everybody’s doing it), we bring you our first 12 of 12: 12 pictures from our life on the 12th of the month. Click Neil to show/hide the day’s photos.
1. Squeegeeing the bathroom floor after my (Joel) morning shower (10:15am). In Chinese bathrooms the sink/shower/toilet all share the same floor and there’s no shower curtain, so when you shower water gets more places. We introduced a shower curtain and squeegee in an attempt to not get wet footprints all over the apartment, since we haven’t learned how to take showers properly yet (welcome to cross-cultural living! =). Fire Chicken (火雞 – named for the weekend she was rescued from the street) “helps,” every morning.
2. Waking up my bride (10:25am). Chòu-chòu (臭臭 – we got her the week we first tried stinky dofu) likes to help.
5. The 3 minute walk to work, literally down the street (12:10pm). Look at the people: older guy out for a stroll with a mask on, moms on scooters and bikes picking up their kids from school . 20 minutes earlier all the area left of the yellow box was packed solid with moms on scooters picking up the kids pouring out of the local public school.
6. Kiki (a Level 3 student) and Yang Mama (our surrogate mother in Taiwan, our boss’ actual mother) greet us at the door of Pacific English Institute, where we teach ages 6-16 and help develop curriculum.
7. Lunch at PEI with Neil and Kiki, who arrive earlier than the others every day (12:30pm). Today it’s 便當 aka “Taiwanese lunchbox” – fastfood Taiwan style. These things can vary, but today’s is classic: fried pork, fried dofu cube, boiled egg, cabbage and greens on rice. Neil’s having a good time. I bet hundreds of thousands of these are consumed every lunchtime in Taiwan.
8. Sharing some rum-soaked homemade fruitcake from Canada (baked and sent over by my mom) with our friends/co-workers at PEI (2:30pm?). It got mixed reviews: some liked it, one’s first words were, “肉桂!” (cinnamon). Traditionally, Taiwanese don’t like cinnamon. I think Yang Mama liked it though.
Edited to add: Here’s the growing list of others who did 12 of 12 today.