Friday, January 15, 2010

Taipei and 3/5 through Winter Intensives

It's been a while since I've written anything, as the Intensive Term has been just that - intense. I have two one-hour classes every morning except Fridays. Beside the early mornings (and the havoc the strange schedule has had on my sleeping and normal life), I've actually really been enjoying most of my classes. The first is a listening class, where I have them listen to dialogues and answer questions and then talk to the vocabulary. Then it's my absolute favorite super-advanced class, where we do short readings. It's awesome to be able to talk about interesting history and cultural events with kids that actually understand what I'm saying.

Korea has been incredibly cold - one of the coldest winters in seventy years. And it's even worse early in the morning, walking to and from work so much. The snow is still mostly here as well. Korea is interesting in the way that they don't really clear the sidewalks or most of the roads after it snows. Oh Korea.

New Years in Taipei was very fun. It was in the 60s the whole time. Though it was a bit rainy most of the time there, we still got to see what we wanted to. We went up the 101 and saw temples the first day.

The next day we went up to Beitou and ended up in a hotel/spa for the hot springs. We saw a few memorials, and went to a couple of night markets, including the biggest one of all. It was interesting to try all sorts of food we were only semi-sure about.

The Beitou hot springs

Shilin night market

Tomorrow there's a mandatory meeting for all foreign teachers, so it's another early morning for me. Supposedly it's at least four hours long, and there's nothing interesting included in the lectures.

Next up is Lunar New Year, in mid-February. So far there are plans to go to Busan, which is the second largest city in Korea. It's down on the southern coast and it's a port city. It will still be a bit chilly, but it should be interesting.

I hope everyone is keeping warm!

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