First off, things I will miss about Taiwan:
- EVERYONE being nice to us. I really can't overstate this and it is the #1 thing I think of when I ponder about Taiwan.
- Along with that, there's our amazing ward (church group). We didn't even have to put forth any effort, whatsoever, to make friends because everyone just did all the work for us. This is even more impressive considering the language barrier and considering we aren't only friends with English speakers. Case in point, in two weeks we are taking a mini two-day vacation with a family in the ward that speaks almost zero English. Yep, that's right - they are friendly enough to go on vacation with a family who they can't even properly communicate with! Most families wouldn't even be friendly enough to do that with a family they've known for years! Final example - the whole ward is having a going away party, just for us. Really? We did nothing to deserve it!
- Being treated like a celebrity (the counter will also be on the other list). However annoying sometimes, it is definitely a confidence boost to have people stare admiringly at you all day and try to take pictures with you.
- 711 / Family Mart (kicks the trash of the American version of the chain)
- My kids at school. Oh, I will miss them a lot, a lot. I have quite a lot of affection for my students. I may even get to see one of them when I get to Philly! They will be in the area and want to visit!
- The CTs (Chinese Teachers) who I work with. I like the NSTs (Native Speaking Teachers) at work as well, but have definitely become closer to the Chinese Teachers. They are so very endearing and so very impressive. I really admire them and appreciate them.
- Having a nice apartment. It may not feel that homey, but it sure is big enough and nice enough.
- Driving a scooter. Cheap to buy, cheap on gas, convenient in a city, thrilling, and of course, coooool.
- Certain things being very cheap. Water park? $1.60. Jeans? $6. Big jug of water? $0.20
- The obsession with education.
- There's much more, but that's enough.
Things I miss about the States (or things I am looking forward to):
- THE FOOD. I currently spend two or three hours a week drooling over this.
- Seeing my new nephews and niece, who I haven't met yet. Plus, of course, my....old nephews and nieces, who I've already met.
|Donovan (Donny) - born the day after Cash.|
|Cash (born while I was sleeping, my first night in Taiwan)|
|Brooklyn - Born Feb. 9th.|
- Knowing where to shop for everything imaginable.
- Being able to speak quickly and intelligently and have people understand me.
- Less pollution.
- Wider streets.
- Nicer parks.
- Being able to order off a menu instead of just pointing hopefully to photos displayed around the restaurant.
- Beds that aren't just a slab of wood.
- Cooler, less humid weather.
- Driving a car.
- Libraries and bookstores that are in English.
- Things, in general, being in English.
- Netflix / Hulu, etc.
- Being in the same or similar time zone as everyone so I don't have to call people when it's the middle of the night for me.
- Not being stared at / treated like a celebrity.
- Going to Penn and living in Philly.