Well, it's been a pretty busy stretch here, nose to the grindstone and all. Consequently, we were all really happy to have October break come. Taiwan has a big holiday on 10/10 (October 10) because it marks the date of Taiwan's independence. So Taiwanese people get the day off, and we get the WEEK OFF!!! We started by heading off to Taichung for 2 days of pro-d with all 3 campuses. It was great to see old friends from PFO (that thing we did in New York) and also get together with the other science teachers I work with. It's a beautiful campus, with a pool and palm trees. Taichung is a nice city and we enjoyed a great night market and Janice got to go on an amazing bike ride on a bike path by the river.
We came home for a week of relaxing but also getting caught up on things around the home that had been neglected and things at school that had never been finished (like organizing my science room). We took a trip to the Dream Mall (which was not much of a dream in my opinion). We really wanted to see the harbour and the Love River but the weather at the beginning of the week was poor (which doesn't happen often here). That said, there was also 2 impending typhoons which were supposed to arrive at the end of the week. Soon enough, however, both typhoons veered away and the end of the week was looking better. We made a trip to Ikea and bought a few things we were still missing, including a wild couch (see photo). Janice and I had an amazing date on the Love River (how could it not be amazing). It's beautifully lit up so we walked along it and had a nice steak dinner and a glass of wine. Gotta do that more.
One funny adventure was the Amazing Bank Race. We had been trying for awhile to exchange Isaac's Canadian money but ran into roadblocks at the bank (they didn't seem to want our money). I had seen a foreign exchange bank near our church downtown so I thought we'd hit it on a weekday. We went on the way to the Dream Mall. I ran in and after getting my temperature checked at the door, was told that they wouldn't do it there. I asked where and they gave me directions (???) to one that would. This was where the Amazing Bank race idea came. We began driving all over Kaohsiung. Each bank we went to said "Foreign Exchange - Second Floor." I'd go to the second floor only to be told they don't take Canadian money and be given directions to another bank. Finally, many banks later, we got our money exchanged and headed for the mall.
Two of the week's highlights were the daytrip to Cijin Island and the daytrip to the Aboriginal Village Cultural Centre. I'll write about these two days in the next post, coming soon.