Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Young Women

Last week for a young woman activity we went for a bike ride, but when we got to the bike rental store, we had to wait for our bikes to be assembled because the store had just opened and we were the first customers. So we took jumping pictures of everyone to kill the time while we waited.

Quinn, Sydney, Kasumi, Jelica, and Caitlin

Evan and Reed


Mackenzie (you make it look so effortless!)







Pig Festival

On Saturday, Josh & Chiu-yi invited us to Danshui to a festival of some kind, (Chiu-yi doesn't really know how to explain it in english) it had something to do with killing pigs because there were dead pigs everywhere on display as offerings to the gods. We called it the pig festival. Chiu-yi's family was chosen to organize it this year for 9 villages.

There were also some pretty cool performances. This Lion Dance was our favorite.

This one wins the 'stupidest' award.

I threw this one on just so you can tell how much skill it takes to play chinese instruments. And I don't think your speakers can play this as loud as it actually was in person.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Modern Toilet" video

Just in case the pictures weren't enough for you, here is a video of our 'Modern Toilet' experience. Enjoy!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, April Fool!

April Fool's Day is a great day to be born! Last year a bunch of friends snuck into my house and kidnapped me and took me to Denny's in the middle of the night. A few years ago I had the INSIDE of my house toilet papered, and this year in honor of my birthday being on April Fools Day, some very brave friends went to the 'Modern Toilet Restaurant' with me. We had a stinkin' good time! (haha, get it?!?)

As you can see, the chairs are toilet seats and the table is a glass-covered sink. The light-up urinal on the wall provides a touch of mood-lighting to the ambiance of the place.

What?!? Souvenir urinal bottles? Heck ya, we'll take those!

Mmmmm....that's the best drink I've ever had out of a bedpan!

Carrie ordered lemonade (she really didn't think that through, did she?) and here in Taiwan they always add this sour dried plum to your lemonade, which added just a little bit too much reality to the situation.

And then our food came. Curry sounds good until you see it in a toilet bowl, doesn't it?

Mmmm, this toilet smells great!

We never did figure out what some of the things in our toilets were...

And last but not least, our desserts came in a squatter dish. (Some of you lucky people may not know what a squatter is, but if you think about it long enough, you'll figure it out) We chose the chocolate poo poo platter over the strawberry bloody stool dessert. What, I didn't name them!

Just curious...

Souvenir poop, anyone?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's Taiwan!

There are so many things about Taiwan that make me laugh, and this is one of them. Whenever they are working on the road, they put one of these big dummies with flags on his arms, and some of them are motorized so that the flags wave up and down.

Today I saw this guy walking along holding his coat over his head like a criminal. This is to protect him from the sun, even though it's overcast. They also wear these nifty arm covers that all the scooter-riders use. It makes me laugh.

Not only do I wonder what this guy is carrying on his scooter, but I'm also wondering how he can see where he is going. It's amazing the things you can transport on a scooter. I've seen huge plants, big dogs, furniture, you name it. The scariest is when you see someone with a baby tied onto their back with a bedsheet. Today I saw a lady driving a scooter with one hand, holding a tiny baby in the other arm.

Can I get some of those 'lubrifiants' you're advertising?

The signs here are awesome!

Only in Taiwan can you get a free package of red envelopes with your Huggies purchase!

This is a doll specifically designed to give little children nightmares. how creepy is that?!?


That's our parking spot here in our apartment building. No, not the empty spot on the right. Ours is the empty spot on the left, and that is a Mercedes SUV parked directly behind our parking spot. It's a really good thing that we don't have a car here, because there is just NO WAY!

This is the my favorite thing about our apartment building! I can go out on the balcony every morning and laugh at the people exercising at the park across the street. I don't know why, but they think it's really good exercise to swing the arms. Some other great fitness techniques include punching your body with your fist, and banging your back on a tree. Check out the guy twisting on the left. I'm not sure exactly which muscle group he's working, but maybe in about a month he'll burn off the calories from that cho-dofu he ate last night!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Toroko/Hualian vacation

During spring break we rented a car and drove south of Taipei for a few hours to Toroko Gorge, and a town called Hualian. Along the way we drove through the world's longest tunnel...
We saw some beautiful scenery...

...and we all got carsick on the windy road!

For the most part, Evan was happy drawing in his sketchbook, then when he got bored with that he turned every single page into a paper airplane. They all came spilling out of the car when we opened the door.

And this is what Ashton did to pass the time....poor guy hasn't been in a carseat for almost a year.

Evan's favorite part of the vacation was going for a bike ride along the coast.
Hualian is known for it's marble, and the beaches are full of marble rocks, so Evan came home with quite a few 'treasures' from the beach.

We spent a day at 'Ocean Park' amusement park. Every time Ashton saw one of these characters walking around, he had to go give him a hug and tell him how NOT scary he was, and then show him how well he can dance. It was quite hilarious, and I wish I had my video camera!

Nate and Evan went on the log ride and got soaked. Nate wasn't so happy about it because as soon as you go into the cave, it showers on you so you have no choice but to get wet...

I learned from his experience, and bought a poncho. Evan was already wet, so I only bought one. But as you come out of the ride, you have to exit through the store where I had purchased my poncho, and when the sales lady saw me nice and dry in my new poncho, with Evan completely soaked, she literally gasped in horror, and looked at me like I was the worst mom in the world, jabbering at me in chinese. I tried to explain that he was already wet, but she didn't didn't speak any english. She just shook her head in disapproval and muttered some more chinese.

At the visitors center in Toroko they have aboriginal people weaving fabric and selling thier homemade things.

Everywhere we go in Taiwan, the kids always get mobbed by crowds of squealing girls saying how cute they are and wanting to take pictures of them. (don't ask me why they want pictures with strange random children but they all do) It's as if they were movie stars or something. It makes Evan a little uncomfortable, but Ashton loves it. He's even learned to flash the peace sign that they all do. One lady was trying to take a picture of Evan while we were in the gift shop, and he kept running away from her, so she chased him around until her tour bus finally left. Another elderly lady came running up to Ashton with her arms out like she was going to pick him up, and we all started backing up, and I put my body in front of Ashton, but she was very determined to hold him, and elbowed me right out of the way. So Nate picked him up, and she still kept reaching for him, and they almost spun in a complete circle before she finally pried him out of Nate's arms. She held him for about a second before he dove out of her arms back to Nate, thank goodness. Sheesh!
We went on a 2 kilometer hike to a waterfall. (as we came upon this cave, Ashton said "Uuuum, I don't wuv dis cave") It was a very exciting hike... Just like Indiana Jones! We walked through dark caves...
Over rickety bridges...
Jumped across the river on stones...
And got showered on by a waterfall!

And on the way back we ran into some missionaries. We took a group shot for Terry and Melba. (Nate's parents are coming here to be their new mission president in July)