Monday, May 24, 2010

Green Onion Pancakes: a love story

Divided by fate and longitude, these two lovers grew up in different worlds. She, a wild, independent spirit from the untamed American West; he, a silent, strong but tender warrior from the rugged shores of Formosa. But fate could not long separate two souls whose heartflames had been kindled in the same primordial love furnace.

And so it was that Montana Rose crossed an ocean, embarking on a new life for herself and destiny threw her in the path of Cong Zhua Bing, the passionate mute warrior of the Far East.

Taiwan Birthday

There are different love languages. Maybe you've heard of these - you know. Some people show their love with words of affirmation, some with quality time, some with physical affection. Some people show their love with giant mountains of food.

Taiwanese people and I speak the same language.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Banana-Cacao Heavy Mushipan Torte with Okinawan Black Sugar Glaze

Doesn't it sound totally exquisite when I call it that? Actually what it was was something I made up because I bought too many bananas and they were ripening faster than I could use them. The title is just to be pretentious.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Adventures in Processed Food

I'm a very healthy eater. Right? Yes. I'm very 養身, which is a word that Clark and Claudie taught me on the way to school yesterday when I was asking them about whether or not Taiwanese people eat whole wheat bread. They told me that 養身 people do, and then explained what that meant, and then asked how we say that in English and the closest I could come up with was "health nut." I told them that I like to be pretty 養身 myself. And then I went shopping when I got home that afternoon and decided that it was time to try all of the weird processed food I could find.

(How do you say "hypocrite" in Chinese?)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sunday Night Outing and a Dangerous New Degree of Freedom

I'm starting to get a little better at figuring out what's going on around me. And I feel like my communication skills are getting better all the time. I haven't, for instance, accidentally used the word wife when I meant to say grandmother in at least 48 hours.

My host family, Clark and Claudie, are kind of fantastic. They teach me all sorts of handy vocabulary, like the name for the hussies who sell addictive palm nuts out by the highway. They also keep buying me food, which I'm trying to put a stop to. They can't let me live in their house for free for four months and also buy me food all the time. Even if it is in a particularly delicious effort to feed me the weirdest creature in the sea.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

If you're gonna be friends with me, you're gonna get fat

I started out this morning without any plans but I ended up with a new friend and a stomach filled to bursting. My host family had to go to work this morning (we have school on Saturday mornings too?) and I was planning to just hang out until they got back and just play it by ear. I ate my leftover salty fish and vegetables for breakfast and I had started some rice before I found out I'd be eating alone so I had to eat it all because I didn't know the protocol on leaving leftover rice. But it's OK to overeat a little for breakfast, right? Because I have the rest of the day to work it off and I just won't eat very much else.

This is when my new friend called. Her English name is Demi, and she teaches at the same school I'll be at and is also a church member. Today her kids were visiting their grandparents and so she had the whole day to take me out and do things. When I got in the car she warned, "Are you hungry? If you're gonna be friends with me, you're gonna get fat." I had no idea.