搭了公車! I took the bus today!

It’s the dieciocho to 228 Memorial Peace Park, the quince to Shida.

I got up at 7 and was down at the breakfast shop by 7:30.  I got the same as I always; the pork and egg “hamburger.”  In New York we might call that an egg sandwich with a pork patty, on a sesame seed bun.  Tomorrow I’ll try a different “hamburger. I always get a cup of iced black coffee, and together it comes out to 60塊  ($2 bones US).

The egg sandwich section of 吉美早餐 “Lucky Beautiful Breakfast Stand.”

So I got on th’e dieciocho at Linguang Station, which is the terminus; to you and me, that means I had my choice of seats on the bus.  It was bright and sunny this morning, and hot, so I sat comfortably in the chilled back seat and watched the colors go by.  25 minutes later I was at NTU Hospital, my stop.  I walked forward and pressed my wallet lightly against the card reader, which beeped and deducted 15塊 from my account.  In American currency, that’s a whole nickel.

View from the back of the dieciocho

I walked a block to the cafe where I meet my teacher everyday; the Helen Coffee, which  is not as sunshiney as Naissance at TABF (which Aussie L and I have taken to calling “Benny’s Café”) but there’s a/c, the coffee’s good, there’s free wifi, and it’s in a good spot for both of us.  The first day we went there, actually, they were playing some old bossa nova from the 1960s:  Astrud Gilberto singing Chega de saudade and Ma cherie amour.

Today, however, I got there early during an ugly spot in the rotation where they were playing Kenny G’s Duotones.  Now I know Kenny G is a homeboy and all, and I hear he’s an ok guy, but that music makes me want to rip my own face off with despair.

Class was good; the more I yap, the more manageable the vocab list turns out to be (i.e., short).

I had lunch at a Japanese ramen place in the neighborhood, I got some karaage curry, which was delicious.

karaage curry

After lunch I took a train to another stop and looked around for another coffee shop with wireless.  I wandered through a market and saw some dragon fruit and some more ampalaya…

火龍果 fire dragon fruit, pink inside

Later I found a service center, which I thought was ass.

Mom! That service center is ass.

Finally, there are no external iron fire escapes on this island.  If there is a fire in your building in Taiwan, you are expected to escape by deploying an emergency sling like some kind of jungle man in New Zealand.  You’ll find these slings next to windows.  To be clear, I find the idea of these absolutely terrifying.

Escape sling. Note that equipment is mounted to floor next to window. Deployment instructions are laminated and posted on the wall. There’s some kind of emergency kit on the floor next to it.

  1. 當季 dàngjì: in-season (fruit, vegetables), peak season
  2. 血糖 xuètáng: blood sugar
  3. 隨興 suíxìng: easy going
  4. 搭公車 dāgōngchē: to take the bus (Taiwan)
  5. 搭捷運 dā jiéyùn: to take mass transit (Taiwan)
  6. 家鄉 jiāxiāng: hometown
  7. 糟糕 zāogāo: terrible; too bad; how terrible; what bad luck; what a mess
  8. 邊界 biānjiè: boundary; border
  9. 母語 mǔyǔ: native/mother tongue
  10. 效果 xiàoguǒ: effect; result
  11. 官方 guānfāng: official; (by the) government
  12. 改 gǎi: to change; alter; to transform
  13. 改變 gǎibiàn: to change; alter; to transform
  14. 變化 biànhuà: change
  15. 被 bèi: by (indicates passive voice sentences); a quilt/blanket
  16. 把妹 bǎmèi: to chase girls; to pick up girls
  17. 歪 wāi: askew; crooked; devious; recline to take a rest (colloquial)
  18. 甚至 shènzhì: even (to the point of); so much so that
  19. 付費 fùfèi: to pay; cover the costs
  20. 難 nán, nàn: difficult / trouble; to blame

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