Sunday, September 07, 2008

An Even Briefer Appearance

Best news:  I successfully got my ARC!  Yup, I now hold that coveted little card that will allow me to stay here in Taiwan for the next year without the hassle of extensions, applying for new visas, dealing with the HK visa office, etc.  And I can finally apply for the National Health Insurance, which means I'll be able to afford the MRI on my knee and the possible surgery I'll need to get it back in shape, as well as the much-needed dental work that I've been putting off.  Yippee!

Not so good news:  When I attended the orientation on Thursday, I barely understood anything they talked about.  This does not bode well for my ability to understand an instructor in class.  And you should have seen me trying to fill out the 100+ questions personality test in Chinese!  Actually, I was surprised I understood as much as I did, but I'm thankful we didn't have to put our names on those things, because I may have given some pretty weird answers. :)

Another thing about that orientation.....they didn't tell me they were going to try to kill me. At 8:00 a.m. they made all the students line up on the playing field, in the hot sun.  There I am with a bunch of 18-year-olds, feeling quite out of place.  I knew the orientation would be held in the gym, which was a short walk away, so I was a bit surprised when they marched us all in the opposite direction.  Up some stairs.  Down a long road, around a turn, then back up the way we'd come.  Up a very, very, very long flight of very, very, very steep stone stairs.  And all the while the campus police were telling us to hurry up, making the students jog.  Not me, I can't jog.  I told one of the "herders" that my knee was injured and that I was going as fast as I could.  When we reached the gym, they wanted us to climb the stairs to the 7th floor!  Screw that, I said, and took the elevator.  Mama don't play that tune, is how I think my dear friend Romita would put it. This is apparently a school tradition, making the students experience a bit of exercise and see how it was back in the old days when the students used to walk to school instead of taking mass transit or riding scooters.  Yeah, wonderful idea for today's lazy teens, but bad idea for poor old me.

Tomorrow is the first day of school, very thankful it's only the two classes.  I'll make use of my four-hour break in the afternoon between those classes to finish up some registration stuff at school and to open a new bank account.  There doesn't seem to be a branch of my current bank anywhere near my house or the school, so I'm switching.

Thanks to everyone who sent me good wishes - please keep them coming!

4 comments:

Mekee said...

All the best for school once again! :) *hugs*

Romita said...

LOL! You really know how to put a smile on my face. I cannot tell you how proud I am of you. You just fucking ass rock. I can't stop smiling after reading your post. Now, I can go to bed happy. I wish you all the best! Make it happen and life the life! Peace!

scenic said...

Hey, congrats on the ARC!
It sounds like FUN in the university... looking forward to your updates! :D

Steven said...

That's great that you finally got that card! Good luck with your classes, sounds like it should be interesting with instruction in advanced Chinese! ;P