Greta has officially moved into the dorm at Wenzao University. But it’s been a challenging start to the new month.
I woke up yesterday to the following text: “Between the rat that scurried out of a drain and up to me last night, the lizard that just jumped off my curtain, and the lack of AC, I’m having a wonderful start to July.” Which is just dripping with sarcasm.
Despite these encounters with the animal kingdom, Greta continues to enjoy her time in Taiwan. A highlight of the past week has been spending time with her host family. She lived with the Zhan family during her year-long Wenzao University program in 2017-18. 健新 (Host Dad) is a police officer and 俗惠 (Host Mom) is a nurse. Which is the perfect combination, covering most emergencies, when you have a child living abroad.
They continue to care for Greta like she is one of their own. After the extended quarantine, Greta has particularly relished the good food and pleasant company.
Greta and 佩儒 (Host Sister) have scurried about the island on several adventures. Greta says her Chinese vastly improves when spending time with 佩儒. She is very patient when correcting Greta’s language. For example, Greta said something like the following in Chinese: “I need to take some time to rest in the afternoon since I am tired but don’t want to sleep too much so I need to just lay down for a short period of time.”
That’s a mouthful, even in English. And sounds like a question from the bonus round of the $100,000 Pyramid game show.
佩儒 then said, “你想要睡午覺嗎?”
Translated, it means, “You need a nap?”
Which was exactly what Greta was trying to say.
Greta loves shopping in second hand bookshops and adding to her collection of Chinese children’s books. She is already strategizing for how many she can pack into her luggage while meeting airplane weight limits.
She couldn’t resist this offering of The House at Pooh Corner.
Because having a bilingual map of The Hundred Acre Wood is a treasure.
Greta continues to find an assortment of interesting t-shirts. Apparently, it’s a thing to slightly alter famous brands and change a few details. Just like with these Starbucks and Adidas shirts. Reimagined with alpacas.
And one last random find.
It’s rather edifying to discover that love of food can be parlayed into a principled stand against death.
Long live dumplings and bubble tea!