Let me just say...

I love Carrie Underwood
I very much dislike Joe Perry stooping so low to play guitar for Sanjaya

I love Elizabeth Hasselbeck
I very much dislike Rosie O'Donnell

I love running
I very much dislike sit ups

I love people having their own voice, opinions and views
I very much dislike people who think everyone else should see it the same way

I love waking up in the morning to my radio
I very much dislike waking up to my neighbor's five dogs howling at their pet monkey



I came across my travel journal yesterday - and considering that I am lucky i have even kept track of it since my trip to Europe....i thought i should go ahead and transfer my Taiwan entries to the blog...in the rare (or not so rare) chance that this baby gets lost in my room. So, bare with me...here is a recap of the most amaing Asian trip ever...

First, some background - my college roommate, best friend, confidant, etc etc, Emilie, has been in Chia-Yi Taiwan for almost a year now serving God as a missionary and English teacher...molding the young minds of taiwanese middle schoolers. So, i went to visit her.

Sunday, April 1:

Alright, first of all, i am not even sure what day it is. I flew out from LV on a Thursday morning, and got to Taipei late on Friday night. The flight was long, obviously...but really really, it was long. At the airport in LA, the people at the EVA gate (the airline i flew) questioned if i was in the right line - as i was the only white girl within view. Yes, i am in the right line, thank you. I found $40 at the gift shop, I tried to give it back, but the cashier told me to keep it, so I bought Emilie $40 worth of English magazines.

Our flight was a little late, so i arrived in taipei around 11pm. however, soon enough i was reunited with Em, and it was amazing. It was such a great feeling to see her after so long, and so many miles! It was so surreal to think that we were together, in asia. We took the bus back to Chia-yi....a 3.5 hour ride! eeek. So, i didn't get to see much of taiwan yet. I am pretty sure that all of the sleeping taiwanese people were probably very annoyed with the two white girls catching up on their gossip for a whole 3 hours, but oh well...

We got back to her place around 3:30am, and mind you, my body has noooo idea what time to think that it is.

The next morning, we woke up early, and headed to the school bus. They go to school every other saturday, when they have 'clubs.' Well, em was asked by the community service club to go to the nursing home and play guitar while they sang worship songs. Yes, the first place em took me to in Taiwan = nursing home.

After that, we took a tour of the campus - and then it was lunch time, and time for my first scooter ride :). If any of you know me at all, you know that i am a BAD passenger...i am very jumpy and very paranoid...therefore, em was a little anxious to see how i would do on the back of a scooter. I think i did rather well :)

We went to Sushi express, where all kinds of different sushi dishes come out on a conveyor belt, and you just pick up whatever you want. It was amazing. Then we just walked around the street shops.....and got stared at :)
That night after a loooong nap, we got up, got some Taiwan beer, pizza, and got ready to go to Player...a club. We took a very illegal taxi ride with 4 people in the back....we were the only Americans in player for a good 2 hours. so, we enjoyed some more taiwan beer, and some great american songs sung by a very taiwanese band. Such songs as "This love." lol.

Enjoying a taiwan beer just as the taiwanese do...with ice in it...

Tuesday, April 3

Sunday we went to church. Rode the scooter, of course. I got to meet Emilie's friend, Emily, someone i had heard so much about (and was baptized a christian on easter sunday!). She was so excited to meet me, too...it was great!

Church was interesting...it was a very small room upstairs, and the whole service was in Chinese. Then a translater had a microphone in the back of the room that she would translate into for us, and we listened on little walkmans. After church, we went to eat at an amazing 'family style' restaurant...here is a pic.

Then i got my first tea experience...it was amaaaaaaazing, and i craved it every day.

After that, we took a walk in this little park in the middle of town. That night, we went to a couple of other missionaries' home.

Monday, Em had some papers to grade, so i went to hang out with a third grade class that her friend Jenny taught in the afternoon. They were soooo cute, and unbelievably smart! They had better english than a lot of the older kids that we talked to...if i had a picture of the cute third graders, i would put it here:

That night, we went to an amaaaaazing dinner....it was almost my first rainy scooter ride:

Dinner was great - they brought out ALL kinds of raw meat on platters, and we cooked it in these little grills right in our table. That pot in the middle is a hot pot...basically they put anything and everything in a 'hot pot,' with a little broth, and call it soup.

tuesday, Em and i went into town for some lunch and shopping. I bought a shirt that said "Love and Peas." It was obviously translated by a non-english native speaker...think about it.

This was also my first exposure to the buddhists burning 'ghost money.' Outside of their shops it is very common for them to set up little fire pits, as i called them, and throw in this yellow paper that is called "ghost money." they are literally (well, as literal as you can get) 'paying' their respects to their dead ancestors. They also set up a little altar by the fire where they set up a shrine to their ancestors.

ok...so this is the point where we went to Kenting. This is a beach town, where they have a huge festival every year that is comparable to spring break....they even call it 'spring fling.' Emilie has a close friend, Tony, that is in the Taiwanese army...and he invited some of us to meet up with his friends to go to Kenting. Here are some pics:

Tony was an awesome tour guide...he thought he was going to make it to LV this summer, but unfortunately he can't, and so i am unable to repay him for his hospitality.
Here is a pic of one of the food stands at the night market in Kenting...yes, those are chicken necks and feet. yikes.



um ya, about that new year's resolution

ok, ok...so i just read my last post, and realized that it was written on December 22. woops.

well i am back. and let me tell you why.

I have realized in the past couple of weeks that in the blink of an eye, life can change...and really, it isn't that my life drastically changed in the past few weeks, but when i really think about where i was two years ago vs. where i am today, i am blown away with what has happened. And really, i wish i would have kept better track of what was going through my mind these past few years because maybe it would help me to make more sense of what i want for the future.

So, as i was running tonight (the best run i have had in probably 4 months), i decided that i owe it to myself, and my family that isn't geographically close to me to keep up my blog. Then i thought it would be really cool if i could run and blog at the same time. I really do have a lot of deep thoughts and profound ideas when i am running, but the second that i get back inside the house, my mind is void of anything of interest.

However, i did make a mental list of future blogs that i want to make sure to post....
1. Taiwan (i found my travel diary when i was cleaning my room, and i think it would be best to transcribe that to the blog rather than count on me to keep track of that thing for another year)
2. My priorities
3. How living in las vegas is much different than lawrence, ks.
4. This conversation:
Me: "Someday i am going to date a nice guy."
Ali: "Me too. And i am excited."

So there....all of you devout, and not so devout readers are absolutely allowed to hold me accountable....i will keep up blogging more than once every 3 months.