A day in the life… (12 of 12 Jan ’07)

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.


3. Hanging up laundry that I forgot about and left in the washer for two days (10:30). Jessica does the dishes and cooks dinner on our days off, I do the laundry and take care of the cats.


4. Breakfast, our one Western meal every day: oatmeal with cranberries and cinnamon, fruit, and green tea (11am). Also check e-mail. Cats broke the teapot lid.


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.


9. Teaching (6:15pm) – what we do at work when we’re not typing lesson plans, grading, or tutoring. Jessica had some of our youngest students today. They always love storytime with her.


10. Seeing the kids off (6:45pm). I’m pretty sure her dad doesn’t let her drive yet.


11. Dinner at work (7pm). Tonight it’s 鍋貼 (fried dumplings). Got two older kids coming for tutoring any minute.


12. Stopping to chat with Lao Zhao on the way home from work (9:20pm). He’s a blast to talk to, and he also teaches us how to play mahjong. His wife, who’s really sweet, is in the foreground.


BONUS. Relaxing at home on the couch (10pm), not doing any grad school work, with some hot eggnog and Christmas baking sent over from Canada (yay mom! =).


 Edited to add: Here’s the growing list of others who did 12 of 12 today.

9 thoughts on “A day in the life… (12 of 12 Jan ’07)”

  1. How cool! I’ve tried explaining the appeal of 12 of 12 to friends, who might think they don’t do anything interesting, etc. They’d think it odd to say take a photo of a cup of morning coffee or of the bus they get to work. But the beautyis that everyone has different things. What is run of the mill to you, say the Thai lunchbox, or breakfast, is new and interesting to everyone else, like me. Seeing the photo of the walk to work – that shows me and everyone what it’s like living in Taiwan.

    Isn’t 12 of 12 cool, and so global? It was mostly UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Denmark and an Australian I think last year, and now we have Taiwan too!

    I might start reading this Blog on a regular basis, if that’s OK – I love languages and nearly signed up for a TEFL or CELTA course, and did briefly look at teaching English in Taiwan, though I forget the name of the programme. So I can live vicariously through both of you!

    Helen, fellow 12 of 12er (UK)

  2. Fantastic 12 of 12! Wow! Just lovely photos. And is that you two holding hands in the “walking to work” photo? So very sweet.

    LOVE that your kitties behave like mine: helping with showers, standing on hips when it’s time to wake up, etc. Hee!

    Welcome to 12 of 12! Eager to see your next installment.


  3. Welcome to 12 of 12! :D
    Like Helen said, it’s SO awesome to see 12 of 12 growing! Now we have you guys in Taiwan!
    I really enjoyed your photos, thank you so much for sharing. :) Already looking forward to next month!!

  4. Welcome to 12 of 12!! How COOL to see life in Taiwan – the one thing I love about 12 of 12 is to see even though we live differently, much of our lives are the same in many ways.

    Those dumplings made me hungry! YUM!

    Let’s hear it for kitties!

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