Thursday, September 24, 2009

"You have to die once in a while".

Ashley got a job.

For the last few days we have all been sending out emails. There is a message board called Ashley and Megan followed up places with a phone calls. One place called Megan to request an interview. She said she was interested. The woman on the other end of the phone gave her directions "take a train to Taoyuan" (this is another town 30 minutes, outside of Taipei, very industrial) "then get into a cab and give the phone to the driver". er... Rather than go to this interview she and I looked for a park.

Yesterday I got a phone call from Ingrid. I spoke to her briefly and she said she would call me for an interview. Then Ashley called Ingrid and got an interview for the following day (yesterday) from Ingrid. I accompanied her to to the appointment. We had to take a metro train and then "Get off at the department, walk 50 meters to the department, get on a bus, it free, go to the other department. Across the street". When one is unable to read what is on street signs or bus signs and neither does one know which direction to walk finding the free bus to "the department" is difficult. 'what departmetn' ooohhh. department store. SOGO. Turns out that little phrase book I bought has a phrase in it "where is the bus to the Sogo Department store, please". It is a magic phrase book.
Anyways. Ashley had the interview. She was called later that evening and asked to work the following day. Today she taught classes of kindergartners what a lighthouse was, what a water fall was, and how to sing Jingle Bells.
Megan and I being unemployed dilitants wandered the streets. Sat on a park bench. Fretted and talked nonsense. We walked many miles to out of the way English schools and secured business cards and promises of consideration.
I learned a great trick from the street sweeper women with the orange hats: some of them tie CDs to the backs of the bicycle baskets to serve as reflectors. Very smart.
I learned that the homeless people who sort through the garbage are able to take their recycles to a facility, where they are given a receipt and that is good for an evening's accomadation.
I saw beggars laying facedown in the street butting their head against the pavement.
I saw that many public bathrooms have an emergency help button installed in the stalls and I think that is strange.
I went to the Botanical gardens where plants are arranged by idiom and folklore, I walked down a street that was all dentists officies, a street that was all photo shops, a street that was all coffee sellers, a street that was all paper shops, a street that was all tailored men's pants, and a street that was all tea.
I visited the Holy Family Catholic church, walked around the mosque and the 7th day adventist, walked by store front temples and incense sellers, walked by old temples and fruit sellers and fancy gyms, and so much good food and a cafe called Helen's Coffee.
I learned that Taipei is big but not so big as I thought. Tonight we go to another night market.
Apparently, eating is discouraged at the Shilin Nightmarket where we went the other night. There is no running water there ever.
I am still alive.
I met a man last night at the hostel. He had to leave the Philipines for a night because of his visa. He is back there today I am sure. He loves the "slaughterhouse" that is Manilla. Encouraged me to go in fact, because he said with his thick Czec accent "you have to die once in a while".

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