Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Hallo everyone! I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas, and of course a very Happy New Year. As happy as I am here, I do miss my friends back in the US, and I'm sorry I can't share the holiday cheer with you in person.

I'm also sorry I haven't been writing much lately, but there just hasn't been anything to tell. I've been going to school every day, doing lots of studying and homework, doing language exchange two days a week, and spending some time with my friend Kayun, who will be leaving in January to go back to Korea. I'm going to miss her a lot, so I'm taking advantage of what little time she has left here in Taiwan. My three-day-a-week student, Kitty, is in China this month, so I'm only teaching Funck on Wednesday evenings, not making any money at all :( Boo hoo. I don't want to find new students, though, because I need my own time to study. Jennifer, the three-hours-on-Sunday student, should start up again in January, and Kitty will (hopefully) be done with her family's business stuff in China and be back in January, too.

Tomorrow I'm having a Christmas party, starting at 2:00 p.m. and going on until we get tired of partying. I really don't know how many people will show up, maybe only a few, but I made tiramisu for the first time ever, and I have a Kahlua cake, too. I discovered that it's danged expensive to make tiramisu in Taiwan. The savoiardi cost me $6US, the mascarpone cost $9, and the amaretto (should probably have gotten cognac, but I'll drink amaretto as a drink and I won't drink brandy, so cognac it is) was $16. Of course, that bottle should make quite a few batches of tiramisu :) I hope it tastes good, because I didn't spend the $18 for real Italian espresso like the recipe said I should use. I just used plain old Barista Seattle Espresso blend. The recipe was cute, it actually says: Make the espresso and poor it into shallow flat-bottomed bowl. Add one shot of cognac, one teaspoon cocoa, and allow to cool to room temperature. If at this point you've decided to use coffee instead of espresso, take the coffee you've made and drink it. Then make espresso.

I just made some spaghetti sauce, too, not real sauce, just using Classico jarred stuff (it's really not too bad) and adding ground beef, onions, loads of garlic, mushrooms, green pepper, and red wine. However.....I have a feeling that bottle of red wine made the change to something resembling vinegar over the last 10 months that it's been in my fridge. The sauce smells a little strange, and it doesn't taste quite right. Oops, guess next time I'd better taste the wine before dumping it in. It's edible, though, just not super great, bit of a tart tang to it. Good thing I was only making it for me and not to serve at the party!

Let's see, anything else? Well, DZ has gotten a bit chubby since her operation. I guess it's partially being spayed and partially bulking up for winter. Not that we actually have winter.....the temperature has been quite nice, around 68-75 during the day, but a bit chilly at night. It's still not as cold as last year was, and some days I don't even wear my jacket in the afternoons. The Taiwan folks are all bundled up in ski jackets, and I'm in shirtsleeves. They must think I'm nuts. But I have a nice big layer of fat to keep me warm, and they don't.

The Taiwan postal service is pretty good. My dad sent a Christmas card, and he didn't write my actual street on the envelope, but they found me anyway. Probably not that many foreigners living in Zhuwei, they could figure out the street from the alley and lane numbers.

Last week I had a notice in my box that I had a parcel at the post office. I was all excited, thinking "Christmas present!" so I headed to Danshui Sunday morning to pick it up (yeah, they're open on Sunday, can you believe it?). The weather was beautiful, so I walked along the river to the post office. Sadly, it was not a Christmas present. It was a free gift from Hinet for upgrading my ADSL service. Unfortunately, it was a handy little device to help one learn English. Not exactly what I need. I think I'll give it to one of my friends - regift!

Yesterday I needed to apply for the next semester of school in order to get my visa extension. My visa is only good until January 2, so I have to go to the police station next week for sure. The school told me I had to wait until 12/21 to apply, so in the morning I picked up the forms. The assistants at this school aren't nearly as friendly and helpful as the gals at CLD were. The one who gave me the forms yesterday never smiles at all, always looks like she's sucking on a lemon. I told her I'd bring the forms back in the afternoon, so Ye Ying and I stopped at the counter after lunch, before our language exchange. That little bitch looked at my form and said, "The teacher needs to fill out this part." Well, you twit, why the hell didn't you tell me that this morning??? It was too late to catch my teacher, she was teaching another class, so I had to wait for this morning. Now I have to wait until Wednesday to get the confirmation letter from the school. That's just cutting it too close for me, and there had better not be any problems, or I'm gonna strangle that twerp.

I guess I've rambled enough now. Again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


scenic said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! ^O^

aetherwellen said...

I hope you had a lovely giftmas and will have an excellent new year!

How did the party and visa extension go?