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, June 21, 2016

Taming the Dragon with Rainbows and Ripe Rice

Happy solstice and strawberry moon! Summer by western tradition is officially here, but in Taiwan the Yang element is celebrated with Dragon Boat Festival.

Binh and us at Balagov's
Our recent four day Dragon Boat Holiday was boring, prosaic and perfectly calming. Usually, in my restless, wander lust I would have planned a trip (abroad) months ago, having checked the holiday weekends in January. This time, I have been so content with Yilan and also so exhausted from the end of the semester madness, both Z and I were relieved to just kick up our heels here at home. In fact, old friends came to us for a visit. The weather was just ideal; radiant, sultry mornings cooling off with a brief drizzle or thunder shower. Ironically, the west coast was covered with rain.

We will be doing enough traveling this summer, so catching up on housework, kombucha brewing, and lots of yoga, seemed wildly decadent and grounding. After living enough years in Taiwan to see various dragon boat races, and last December participating in one (on an episode of Janet's), we both had zero desire to do anything remotely related to the actual holiday.

 Z's homeroom teacher did organize his class (which is the entire 4th grade) to make zongzi, the traditional food. Z was stoked, she loves to help in the kitchen. Stuffing banana leaves with sticky rice, peanuts, mushrooms and meat instead of math class is always more fun. Other than that we rested.


Driving anywhere in Yilan congested with holiday weekend warriors, is hardly my idea of R and R. What we did do was eat twice this same weekend at Balgov's. Its where I dine with friends who come into town and have never eaten here before. I met Binh my coworker from Tainan (and also from Denver) and another friend from my Tainan beach days, the Croatian charmer Goran with his girlfriend. More frequent than eating wholesome Ukranian food, I took Z and her friend from upstairs to the University track everyday to play.

Going back to work on Monday seemed a bit of a shock to the system. Dragon Boat being the Chinese start of summer, has already passed, so now the countdown to my summer holidays has begun in earnest.

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