Monday, September 29, 2008

Suit up in our rain gear...time for a run

This past weekend Taiwan had their fourth typhoon of the year to hit (Super Typhoon Jangmi)This typhoon was being called the strongest one of the year. Allie and I did get to enjoy some free time with some nice weather on Saturday it was a beautiful day, see when typhoons come the day before it is a lot cooler and really clear. So we walked around the city enjoying a nice dinner at an outside restaurant, and a nice glass of wine. Sunday morning we woke up really early to meet some friends for a run. Since we need to get some long runs in we had to beat the typhoon, so 5 am we were up and riding the scooter. The wind was whipping around and we were decked out in our rain gear scooting to the run start. We ran a 30 k or for our American measurements little over 18 miles. It was raining just enough to keep us cool, it was on a nice bike trail and was really enjoyable(besides running for three hours). We rain out 15 k and back. Later that afternoon the typhoon really hit, and hit harder than the other ones. The wind was really strong, it blew a lot of trees down and made a mess of the city. We even had part of our roof ripped off. There is a inner skylight blocked off by windows so luckily the rain isn't really coming into our apartment. The good thing about the typhoon being so strong is that it was gone by the next morning. We still didn't have classes on Monday because of the typhoon so we took the scooter out in the rain and took some pictures of the city. We didn't adventure too far. Some of the things we saw, were signs flying down the road, lines of scooters knocked over because of the wind, trees and powerlines down, flooding in the streets. One lady was waiting at a stop light on her scooter with a child on her back and then a gust of wond came and knocked her off her scooter. Very crazy. The rain has stuck around and it has been one of those rainy days where we just sit inside. Except for us we really get cabin fever, so we have cleaned our apartment and went through all of our receipts to see if we have won anything. There is a lottery in Taiwan, that uses receipt numbers for winning numbers. So we saved our receipts and looked through about a hundred or so to check their numbers, we have never won anything but this time we won about 400 Taiwan dollars..... or 12 US dollars. Not that exciting when you think of it that way, but that is a good dinner for two here. I hope you enjoy the pictures of the typhoon.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Trip to Taipei

This past weekend we finally got out of Taichung, it has felt like it has been awhile. We went up to Taipei to visit our friend Daniel, and to do something new. We got up there Saturday just in time for dinner, which we went to a hole in the wall restuarant that made really good Mexican food. This was an amazing thing to find all the way in Taiwan. Taiwan's version of Mexican food that we have came across before consistes of Doritos with cheese melted on top with a microwave. So the night started off with some great food and ended with a relaxing drinks at a sofa bar called "Sofa". Sunday brought some more exciting events. We headed north to the coastal town right outside of Taipei., Danshui. This is a retreat of most city dwelers looking for a carnival atmosphere. We were just looking for some icecream because of the heat was just melting us. Allie and Daniel found some green tea and strawberry icecream that was almost the same hight as Taipei 101. After a long day of walking and eating Allie and I left Daniel for our long trip back to Taichung. We almost made it a block until we were stopped by a strange parade. It was led by a man lighting paper in the middle of the street and swerling a large stick around almost knocking people off their scooters.

We are trying to run everyday and get ready for our marathon in November. We have alittle more than a month left. Running in Taichung is harder than we thought since it gets about 90 by 9:00 am, and the traffic is bussier than normal earlier than that. Plus Taichung's air quality is the worst in Taiwan, but if we can train and run in this than Hualien should be no problem.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Category 4 Typhoon

Well this past weekend was supposed to be our half marathon, unfortunately Taiwan was hit by a major typhhon later Friday night which resulted in school being cancelled on Saturday and our race cancelled on Sunday.... which we were really bummed about. BUT we still made the most of our weekend. We didn't let torrential rains and hurricane force winds stop us from going to the hash run on Saturday afternoon. As Jay and I are both standing at a fellow hashers house on top of a mountain overlooking Taichung I was thinking to myself this is a little insane, as the trees were whipping around, branches flying off and the rain stinging our bodies. Yet we set off for our run and it was awesome. We really enjoyed ourselved and it really beat sitting inside and just observing the typhoon. We were submerged in it. The run was about a 10k and it consisted of getting lost, running through a pith black tunnel for 10 minutes with rushing water. Luckily they had set up a few teeky torches (sp) . It was a wonderful view at the top where you could see nothing because of so much rain and the huge typhoon that lingered over the city for about 2 and half days. Jay came is first for the men and I came in first for the women, which is always nice. We found out later that the typhoon was so strong that it actually had two eyes. I didn't know that could happen. Anyways after the run we had a wonderful BBQ with fajitas (which is unheard of in Taiwan...they don't understand Mexican food) refried beans, salsa (what a novelty item). It was great. We sat around with good people and as usual Jay and I were the target of lots of jokes and fun dobs. Well Sunday we took it easy because the rains almost seemed worse than the day before. WE attempted to go for a run... BUt as soon as we got outside we realized that wasn't happening. Sunday was also Moon Festival in Taiwan...where families will have BBQ and watch the moon... because it is a full moon. But there was a typhoon so seeing the moon was not going to happen. But somehow people still stood outside with their umbrellas having BBQs. This week we purchased some new running stuff so hopefully that will keep us motivated to run more so we literally don't die during our marathon. Things are good and we are really enjoying ourselves. Hope you keep reading. (So you see the little island north west of the typhoon..that is Taiwan... kind of overpowers us huh?)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Going with the flow as usual.

Well lots of time has past and it is running down to the end of our Taiwan adventures. Sorry we have been so slack with the blog. There just hasn't been too many exciting things happening... The next couple of months will be different. But right now we have just been trying to work a lot and make lots of money for our trip to Thailand. Jay was a sub for a kindergarten class for 3 weeks and his kids were so cute. I think he would be a great elementary teacher and lately we have been discussing what he would like to do when we go back to the States. Maybe get his teaching certificate. But life has been good. We have been pathetically trying to train for a marathon that we are doing in November and this weekend we have a half marathon that help us see where we stand in our training. Typhoon season is still underway just as hurricane season is on your side of the world. We are expecting one in a day and you can already feel the winds when you drive your scooter. We have some good things that are coming up that we are excited about. We will be going to Orchid Island in the beginning of October for a long weekend. It is a small island south east of Taiwan.. where hopefully we can do some scuba diving. Septmeber is pretty stagnant for us and we can't wait till October rolls around. Oh the other day Jay and I went to gym like we always do and for the entire year I keep asking Jay to weigh himself just out of curiousity and finally he did last week and it was shocking. He was lost around a total of 20 pounds since he has been here. THe funny thing is we both didn't really even notice. But he is in really good shape so don't worry he definately eats a lot. I can't really say the same for me I am actaully a little jealous... I can't seem to loose more than a pound or 2. Well other than training for our race we are just working and trying to spend as much time with the people we really became close to and like here before we head back to the real world. I think Jay and I are both a little worried about the transition back home.... I know we will be excited to see family and friends but we have come to really like this lifestyle who knows how long we will last in the real world of North Carolina. Well again sorry for such a delay and I will try not to let that happen again. I promise I will have a report after our half marathon this weekend.