After three years, we are back in Taiwan! Kinley did reasonably well on the flight (it’s misery regardless of your age), but she is having a difficult time adjusting to the new 15 hour time change. I was DEAD TIRED the night we arrived (only having had 4 hours of sleep in the previous 2 days), so I was planning on hitting the hay for the best sleep of my life. Kinley had different plans and decided to play with her toys until 4:30 am.
I believe this is a fairly accurate portrayal of how I looked.
Since Kinley’s delicate schedule has been uprooted, she has become a pile of emotional wreckage and tears. This is very unlike her, so I think this move has ruined her happy demeanor.
We are staying with Chris’ boss, Ross, and his wife Carrie. Their beautiful house in Yang Ming Shan overlooks Taipei. On the down side, we are more removed from the city so I’m learning to juggle a baby, groceries, and public transportation.
Chris and I are living in the basement and we have had a few unexpected roommates since we moved in.
Our first morning in Formosa, 2 inch spider scurried across the floor. Chris grabbed the designated spider-killing flip flop and smashed it. Now, 2″ in not a small spider by my standards, but it is small by Taiwanese standards. Literally a minute after we killed the “little guy”, Chris opened a cupboard in our room and unleashed a behemoth (or in Chris’ words, “a big a** spider”). Both are understatements. “The Beast,” as I shall call him, is roughly the size of a coaster and is still rooming with us. We were too scared to smash him on sight (it would have taken more than a flip flop to kill that monster) so now he is hiding somewhere among our things. Probably in my clothes. Or my bed.
The trauma of having a giant spider living in my room is upsetting my psychological stability. I’m constantly scanning the walls, checking my bed before I get in, and shaking out my clothes before I put them on. Not only is it emotionally exhausting, but the stress is turning me into a very jumpy person which further upsets my sensitive baby.
As for Chris’ internship—he loves it! Like absolutely, positively loves it. The company he is working for deals with manufacturing and exporting. Currently Chris is designing the front end of a new website and software which he finds interesting and educational (unlike his last internship in China where he would sit in on meetings just to make the company look international).
Chris had work off on Wednesday so he could help me get my bearings. All of the bus and street signage is in Chinese characters. Since I don’t have a cell phone or GPS I get around based off memory. With the day to ourselves, we put Kinley in the stroller and introduced her to all of our favorite restaurants.
Chris loves Taiwanese breakfast, which he expected to be equally good in China. Since it wasn’t, he had to suffer with the disappointment for nine months, so our first errand with Taipei under foot was to order dan bing (basically a savory crepe filled with ham and cheese).
Once all was well in Chris’ world, we satisfied my craving with beef noodle soup for lunch at our favorite restaurant. I’m going to sell you on this for a second: picture beef broth with stewed tomatoes, pieces of beef, and thick, chewy hand-cut noodles. I was hot and sticky from walking miles in the sun and humidity, but I would eat a bowl of steaming niu rou mian in any weather. Kinley even loved it!
When we lived here before, a news crew interviewed Chris while we were eating lunch at the same restaurant. (There’s not a lot of crime for the news stations to cover, so they usually feature local restaurants and Youtube clips of cute animals.) Because they remembered us, the owner wants to use Kinley in an advertisement for his restaurant. I’m glad to see that we’re still maintaing our fame. 🙂
Following lunch we got a mountain of shaved ice topped with mangoes, cream, and mango sorbet. Kinley had a major meltdown halfway through dessert so we had to abandon our mango bing. I would consider it a true sign of a parent’s love for their child.
Speaking of Kinley, the little pipsqueak has won over everyone’s heart (just as we expected). She’s quite a novelty with her blue eyes and light hair. Although she may be 3,000 miles away from her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and playmates, Kinley has plenty of sweet hearted Taiwanese strangers who are eager to fill the role.