Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Hi y’all! Bit late this week, sorry! I was off school on Monday with some bug, (or series of bugs) or other, but am more or less ‘normal’ again now. We still don’t have an internet connection at home, which is a real nuisance, but it also stops us wasting too much time on-line, so I can see the good side of it. We’ve bought the school’s wireless access service for this term at least, so we can take our laptops in and use that when needed. Most of the time it’s just easier to take our USB sticks and use the free computer room, although the air con is a bit strong in there and you get to feel you need a winter coat at times!!

Other than various illnesses (last week’s was short as I had a belting migraine and couldn’t think of much to say), what’s been happening here? Well, we’ve been getting a few things sorted around the house so that our kitchen is much more usable and there is somewhere sensible to put stuff in the bathroom as the following pix show:

Just like the first place we stayed in, we don’t have a bathtub or even a shower tray here, but you get used to it pretty quickly, and it’s amazing how many things we think necessary aren’t at all really!

This is our balcony with the utility and bin area. The 3 tubs on the lower left are boxes for paper and plastic/metal recycling and the general waste bucket. The organic waste is kept tightly in the fridge out of the way of any cockroaches looking for a good feeding place! I was going to say 'uninvited guests’, but, frankly, many people just plain do invite them in by leaving food and dirty waste around, water on the kitchen floor and also leaving thoroughfares open. We’ve got nets on the gratings, stuff something up against the back door and Martin is about to silicon the bit around the gas inlet pipe etc so that all entrances are well blocked. Some of the locals have said to me, ‘Cockroaches? Oh, you get used to them!’ But I don’t really see one needs to if one is scrupulous about waste disposal and cleaning. I’ve never seen Martin so keen on washing up – so living near nasty household pests has its positive points after all!!=)

Martin’s suit is hanging out there to dry after a good soaking on the way home from the min last night! The weather has been very changeable the last few days and whilst I’m not going to go to the point of saying, like Rosie, that there’s a nip in the air when it drops to 34oC, the quality of the heat has changed and it’s much more bearable these days – much drier. Having said that, there’s been a typhoon in the area (just a regular one – nothing to worry about and it didn’t even hit the island) thus some wind and rain the past few days. No air con needed today, I’ve just opened the windows and the balcony door and the wind blows nicely through.

School is still going well and we’re both happy with our marks and progress. Sir says he’s not bothered what grades he gets as long as he makes progress, but I can’t afford to be that easy on myself as I have to get over 80% each term in order not to lose the next month’s scholarship instalment. The funding body wants their money’s worth and, whilst you can see their point and on the whole it’s an idea I support, it can make it a bit stressful at times. Oh, we found out yesterday that the girl who I got a pic of sleeping on the desk one break time is actually a sister! She asked Martin if we were in the truth yesterday as she thought we must be. (Nice compliment, no?) She never says a word unless spoken to directly, so I’ve had no chance to get to know her, but now there’s more reason to try again to get her to talk. I think 8am classes are not the best option for her – or me, for that matter!!

Discovered this flower growing in one of the tubs on our balcony. Isn’t it a lovely colour?

We’ve had some interesting visitors lately. Not just humans (a former student of Martin’s who was working at Huddersfield Uni came home to Taiwan the other week and called in to see us 10 days ago), but insects as well. Yes, we have a few ants as most places seem to here and the occasional mossie gets in, but whilst I was pouring over my textbooks the other day, what I thought was a small cockroach seemed to fall onto the back of my desk. It was actually a cricket! Goodness knows how either it, or the centipede we found strolling across the living room floor on Sunday, got in, but they do! The occasional ‘lone ranger’ I can cope with anyway! I’m not a big fan of the mid – large scale insect. Anything bigger than we get at home is a shock to the system, even for someone whose trying not to be a scaredy cat!!

Martin’s got a couple of decent calls going and has been going with the local bros on some of their calls and studies as well, and a sister who lives around the corner has asked me to go with her on some of the studies she’s started recently. I’ll have to perch on the back of her motorbike to get there though, so I’m not really looking forward to that – I don’t have a very sensible sense of balance! Anyway, I’ll give it a try and, as long as she doesn’t mind being clung to for dear life, I daresay we may make it intact! She said some of the places are up hills and off bus routes. More on that later…

That’s about all for the news post this week. Janet asked for some photos of the Hall and the shops, so I’ll try and get some like that this coming week and get them posted soon. We’ll probably have a ‘play day’ next Tuesday and go somewhere touristy that I can show shots of next Thurs/Fri too, so look out for that. We should be able to get a clearer idea of budget when the bills come in soon, so then I can start sending some things home. Who wants a Chinese name chop? If you do, e-mail me the characters for your Chinese name and I’ll get you one. It’ll only be the cheapest type (about £1 – we’re only students), but they’re fun to use. Saw some coolie hats in a shop in the next street on the way home today and, no, I am NOT sending you one of those, Clive!!=) If anyone wants a coolie hat, they've to come and get one themselves. Deal??=)


  1. i am happy readint to you, i like the flower, is a beautiful color.

  2. Hey Elizabeth! I just "found" you again via Sew in Love! I've been off sick for a few weeks and been unable to blog/read. Great to hear how you're settling in and look forward to catching up with you here.
    Jules x