Working and learning.

I have had a very interesting week! Dave went to Bangkok on Monday so the mouse played a little!!!

Monday started normally with me going to Pilate’s, I keep slogging away at the weight/fitness but seem to be getting nowhere!

Tuesday it had been arranged that Siow Ping would pick Sylvia and I up and take us up Yangminshan, the mountain close to Tianmu where I live. It is the flower festival here at the moment although it has been very cold lately so the flowers are still in tight buds. Very cold here of course is relative but still it was about 10C on Tues. which was quite chilly when you don’t have winter clothes (only fall and spring ones) and when most places don’t’ have heating. We went anyway and had a lovely time chatting and getting to know each other I had never met Sylvia before and only met Siow Ping once. Sylvia is originally from Belgium and speaks, Dutch, French, (she lives in Switzerland now) Flemish and English and she is learning Mandarin. It never ceases to amaze me the interesting people I am always meeting. Siow Ping is from Singapore and of course speaks English, as well as Cantonese and Mandarin but she says although she looks oriental as soon as she opens her mouth the Taiwanese know she isn’t a native Mandarin speaker.
We ended up eating in a wonderful Thai restaurant on a quite road (very busy on the weekends and nice days) up the mountain. We later moved to a tea house for tea and coffee, this was a group of garden shed type shelters clustered on the bank of a babbling brook, because it was a cool damp day it was rather wet and chilly but we switched the heater on and closed the plastic door curtain and spent an hour chatting about life as you do on a mountain side in Taiwan in February!

On Wednesday I had another adventure with the “Lunch group” we went up a different side of the mountain, on the cable car to eat in a “Tea House” we had a a very pleasant meal each sharing our entrees and of course drinking lots of tea. The downside to it was that it was even colder than the day before and this restaurant was not heated.

While I was on this adventure I had a phone call asking if I would be interested in modeling? A photographer was looking for westerners over age 50 (darn I knew their must be a catch!) to pose on electric scooters for seniors. A lot of photos were needed by the manufacturer to use in their advertising. I agreed, the remuneration helped me decide, thus spending Thursday and Friday in the company of two very interesting people. They are both living and working here; one in high school and the other in a university, one teaches English as a second language the other English Literature. Faye comes from New Zealand but has lived and worked in a lot of other countries. Josh was born in the US but lived in Israel for 22 years. Faye has been in Taiwan more than 5 years while Josh has been here for 6 months. We covered many topics while we waited patiently for the sets to be prepared for our different”shoots”. The whole episode was a massive learning experience for me, watching how photographers shoot pictures both outside and inside as well as listening and contributing to the conversations with Faye and Josh. All in all a very interesting week here in Taipei.

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