Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Kitchen

After reading what Craver wrote about picassa and the editing you can do within it (and seeing the difference in the pictures he posted!), I went to my picassa account and started looking through my pictures. I found this picture of my kitchen in China! You have to understand we lived in a small, rural market town, and had little in terms of comfort items. This kitchen was actually one of the nicer ones around. It had concrete floors and such. We put in wires so that we could plug in a small fridge, so that I could go to market every OTHER day instead of every day. :) Milk was delivered to our door in pint sized bottles.

In the picture, there are woks imbedded in the concrete, with holes underneath for wood to heat up the woks. The tall, wooden thing in the corner is what they use to make yak butter tea. It's unique to that area. It's definitely an acquired taste!

The second picture shows my kitchen door on the left, and the door to the house on the right. My dad actually made the screen door when he was visiting. There's a smaller handle toward the bottom so that Nathaniel could open the door. The bench in the corner is one we had made while we were there, so that we could sit on the porch and look at the mountains. I think we had one of the best views on the planet! We were living at 8600 feet above sea level, and one night we were looking at the stars and noticed two "stars" moving away from each other. I ran in and looked up NASA on the computer, and found out those "stars" were actually the space shuttle moving away from the space station, and we were watching it without a telescope. It was really cool. :)

I guess coming back to the states has made me a little nostalgic about our overseas life. Of course we are reliving many things when speaking to others, so it must be natural. But these pictures bring about some fun memories.

Friday, August 15, 2008

No Duck For YOU!

You have to know what it's like living here in Taiwan. There are things that happen here that drive us westerners crazy, mainly because we are so set in our ways. One thing is traffic. It seems the laws here are viewed as "guidelines", and that includes stopping at red lights and stop signs, turning into traffic, stopping a vehicle and blocking lanes in order to run in and get a bowl of noodles. I could go on. Of course Taiwan is not the only place in the world like this, and I have to say traffic is MUCH better here than other places I've lived, but it still gets to a person occasionally.

The other thing is waiting in line. I know there are those in the states who don't do this, either, but it seems to be more common here. I tend to let it go, unless I'm in a hurry myself. But this tendency to not wait in line is what made yesterday so comical.

Enter the duck lady. A lady on a street corner who sells roasted duck. We'll call her the Duck Nazi, because much like the Seinfeld character, the Soup Nazi, she ruled her place of business. People lined up, LINED UP I said, around the corner to get her ducks. No one cut in line. No one spoke. Every one waited their turn.

Step up to the line.

Duck Nazi: "One?"
T: "One." Hands money.
DN: "Change."
T: "Thank you"
T side steps to the right to wait for his food.
T receives said food, walks away, careful not to speak to soon, a little smile of triumph on his lips.

We're still talking about it. If we get a chance to go there again before getting on a plane, I'll post pictures. You gotta see it to believe it.