About Me

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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weekend Fellowship: Saturday in Yuanlin

This weekend I was blessed being with old and recently new friends. I knew this weekend I was going to meet up with Eric my old roommate from my Taipei days. I could have gone up to Taichung and met up with him and his old friend Andy, but I really wanted to meet his family, which were in Yuanlin.

About 9 years ago we both were squatting in an abandoned, condemned apartment building in Chuwei, just around the corner from the Kid Castle I used to work at. I sure saved some money living there. We had cable TV, internet, water, electricity. The things you do when you're young I guess. At the time he was just ending  a relationship with a woman  from Sweden and dating some Taiwanese women, one whom became one of my best friends (Alisse). He is from Santa Monica and has been to Thailand a  crazy number of times, plus India and so many other places, used to have a guru, etc. When we lived together he was always in purple Thai fisherman's pants and always was talking about karma, God and his relationships. And now after all these years we both are parents. He is married to a wonderful Taiwanese American woman named Diane and they are blessed with little Shanti, who has the cutest little voice I have ever heard. Poor doll was covered in mosquito bites and Eric was worried that it was something else.
Holding two angels

It was great seeing him waiting at the train station. Eric still looked the same just a little silver around his ears, but none the worse, now he is looking distinguished. Eric is the creator of the Happy Cow website that is an international guide to vegan and vegetarian restaurants. He was working on it back in the day and now he has people working under him and has been offered tons of money to sell his site. (He turned down the offers because he didn't believe their principles were as similar as his.)

It was a rainy day and we were kind of stuck indoors. Diane's mom had lunch prepared, which was hot and delicious. Brown fried rice, veggies, mushroom and chicken soup, fried fish and a homemade anchovy chili paste which she gave me 2 jars of. For dessert we had fresh fruit and lots of Oolong tea. We tried staying inside as long as we could. Zen was climbing the walls and it was past the girls nap times, we were all a little antsy. We decided to take a walk find a foot massage and McD's for the girls to play in the indoor playground, etc. As soon as we left the building, Shanti fell asleep so Diane took her back and Eric and I took Zen to the McD's to play as the park was out of the question in this weather. Eric commented ",you sold out!" and I did, now me a vegetarian of 17 years eating meat. "But my thyroid" I explained, my Doc told me...yadayada he didn't buy it, yet the both of us can't eat soy anymore. "Have you heard about spirulina?" he asks. Of course, I'm from Denver and it's still not enough to convince me to go back to vegetarianism, 'tho I miss being a food snob sometimes.
Zen and Shanti watching cartoons

We went walking around looking for  a massage. Diane caught up with us and we took a taxi around the corner to a row of massage houses. We ended up with a 600NT foot massage, 20 minutes foot saok with a mediocre neck massage followed by a  foot massage. Eric being a massage therapist, was unimpressed by his neck massage, but we both were in slight pain and discomfort at certain pressure points in our feet. Our two men giving us our foot massage assumed we were a couple and Diane told them in Chinese " No he is with me, she is his old friend from Tainan." And she left early and walked back to her mom's as they had their mom's cell phone and couldnt call her to tell them they would be late, and when she left she paid for my foot massage which increased my relief.
Eric and me getting a nice foot massage.

We walked back to the train station Zen throwing a fit that I wouldn't hold her, 'tho it was not much of a walk and I was tired and said, "fine, you stay here I'm walking to the station", which was mean and I regretted it later. After I bought our return ticket, Eric raced to the vegetarian place and bought us a lunch box and raced back to us on our platform minutes before our train came. Hugs good-bye and wow, it was good to see him again. If I make it to LA in March we will hang out again.

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