Friday, April 04, 2008

March Blew Away

OK, I've put off updating my blog for far too long! Let's see if I can actually remember what the month of March was like.

First big news is that I got not one, but two scholarships! The school gave me the monthly one (for 4 months only) that they give to students with high grades. That's NT$12,000 x 4 = NT$48,000 (approx. US$1576). I've already gotten the money for that one. The second one is offered by the government to American students only, and it's a refund of tuition after completing a semester and attending class like I'm supposed to. I'll get at least NT$16,000 (approx. US$525) for that, but I may get it twice (I hope!).

Second is that I'm tickled to have made NT$3228 (US$106) during my first month of business with the landlord. It's easy work, and so far in April I've already made almost half that, so by the end of the month I'm expecting at least NT$5000.

Carol visited from March 16 through March 25, and we had a lot of fun. First we met up in Hong Kong March 13 and attended two Wu Bai & China Blue concerts on the 14th and 15th (I don't need to write about the shows, they were the same as the ones in Taiwan, basically). That was a blast, despite some after-concert stuff that still has me a bit angry with certain people and still in need of some confrontation with one to air it all out. We spent a little time hanging out with Terry and Cheryl, who took us to Sai Kung for the afternoon, and then just shopped around a bit at the jade market and the handicrafts store. It's not easy finding vegetarian food in Hong Kong, so Carol was delighted to find such an abundance and variety here in Taiwan. She said it's a vegetarian's paradise! I took her to Jiu Fen and to Ying Ge, and she graciously paid my way up into the observation deck at Taipei 101 so I finally got to see the city from way up high. We went up just as it was getting dark, and it was fun watching the city lights slowly come on all over.

On February 29 we went to see ABS play, and at dinner before the show I was eating some simple penne pasta with pesto sauce, bit down on a miniscule hard something or other, and broke a piece off my already cracked molar. That was fun. I haven't been to the dentist yet, because the tooth doesn't hurt, and I'm chewing on the opposite side for now. But, I have to go, can't ignore it forever. At the show that night, Nat and Charlene gave me a birthday cake (oh yeah, I had a birthday on March 4, nothing much to say, got older and feel it), which was unexpected. Dino got one, too, but I don't think he appreciated it as much as he liked the bottle of alcohol someone else gave him. I didn't want to spend money on a cab home, so I asked Xiao Zhu if I could catch a ride home with him and his wife, since they live in Danshui, and he said sure, but I'd have to wait a long time. So, Charlene and I ended up going with the guys to some other tiny little bar so they could continue drinking (since Du Du was driving, she abstained, thank goodness), and once Xiao Zhu had his fill, we took off, me in the back seat with Da Mao, who also lives in Danshui. By the way, his little daughter is simply adorable! His phone was full of photos that he proudly showed us. I got home around 4:00 a.m. and only slept for about four hours. I'm too old for this!

On my actual birthday I went out for pizza with Shannon, to the all-you-can-eat place. We stuffed ourselves, and it was great. Other than that, it was a pretty average day.

March 22 was election day in Taiwan, and the KMT party won. Phooey. I hope it's not the death knell for democracy here, we'll have to see what happens. I don't trust the new prez, Ma Ying Jiu, one tiny bit. He takes office in May.

I'm on a semester break this week, and damned if the weather hasn't been sucky since day one! Why is it that every time I have a vacation, it's rainy and cold? I hate being stuck inside. And the weather report says that it will clear up on Sunday and be stinking hot. So far today doesn't look so bad, so maybe I'll get out for a walk. I took a walk on Wednesday and ended up buying a new computer desk, so maybe staying home isn't such a bad idea. :) Yesterday my landlord and his wife took me to Costco, where I loaded up on cat litter (3 30-pound containers) and cheese (5-pound block of cheddar, 2-pound block of pepper jack - it freezes well!). Couldn't resist a box of Act II microwave popcorn, but I managed to NOT buy all sorts of other tempting treats.

I'll be making a trip back to the US in May, as I have to take my transcripts and diploma to TECO in San Fran to get them stamped. Leaving Taiwan will probably mean that I once again will have no visa, but I can just do the monthly trip to HK until I get my acceptance letter from the university and then apply for a new one.

Well, heck, I can't think of anything else right now, and the tummy is saying it's time for food, so I'm outta here.


scenic said...

Congratulations on the scholarships! :D

Hey Wubai & China Blue put up a great performance tonight... I'm missing them already... if i can make it for their next concert in Taiwan, i'll definitely go again! (yes, i'm missing Taiwan too! & you too of course! XD)

Romita said...

Way to go, Marla! Two scholarships!

I am also disappointed/concerned about the Ma Ying Jiu win.

Glad you had a good time with Carol and in Hong Kong. Wu Bai & China Blue never seem to disappoint. One day, I hope to make my way back over to attend one of those awesome concerts.

scenic said...

Latest news!
X-Japan might be performing in Taiwan in Aug!!!