Tuesday, August 30, 2005

first day

We tried to take a walk outside the hotel; it was 10:30 a.m. and a bit early for bedtime! But after taking a picture I discovered the camera needed to have its photos removed so we went back into the hotel to do that. This required that I remember which of the infinite tangle of cables for my laptop would be required to connect the camera to it. After a few false starts, elimination led me to the correct cable and I was even able to find the instructions for how to accomplish this task in the papers I brought along to guide me through the dark tunnel of technology. Since we were in the room and it was raining outside, and I had used a fair amount of time, we rethought the nap idea. Just after we dozed the phone in the room rang [(!) who knew we were here?]. It was Dr. Wu Jing Jyi, the head of the Fulbright people here, who said we should not stay in today to avoid the typhoon, as we had thought, but come to the office to meet him and stay in tomorrow, when it will be much worse. So I have awakened and dressed again to the extent I can (did I mention the one bag that got lost had my clothes in it?). Peter is snoring and I will awaken him soon to go downstairs to meet the delightful young woman who picked us up at the airport. She (alas not Michael Caine) was standing there with a big sign with my name on it, and a big smile, when we came belatedly out of the customs clearance area. We had no problem with customs but when we went to collect our luggage, circling on the track with all the bags was a big sign saying "Please talk to the EVA people Patricia Golemon." Silly me, I thought they were going to scoot us through (state department you know, VIPs, very hush hush). But noooo. It was to tell me that one of my bags has been lost. [ Teresa, it's your bag, in which most all of the clothes I brought are packed. Just to give you a heads up on that . . .]

We have returned from our visit to the center of learning in the Far East, the Fulbright office in Taiwan. It was understated, to understate. The Director, Dr. Wu, is very gracious and knowledgeable about me personally which is impressive when you realize he has 40 other such lecturers coming in plus an equal number of students. And the school year is beginning and they have a class of students they are grooming to apply for Fulbrights in the U. S. . . . After our visit with him we caught a cab back to the hotel, which proved quite easy and the driver spoke good English. We walked down one of the streets in front of our hotel looking at the shops and people. (I'm going to post some photos, if I can figure out how, to show you what we saw.)

Before going back to our room we made a few stops for water, beer, and fruit for our room in case we can't get out tomorrow. We'll probably do something exciting like watch car chase movines on TV in our room. This life in the fast lane is what keeps me on the cutting edge . . .


At 8:09 AM, Blogger K. A. Laity said...

How exciting! It's great to see the two of you already checking out the sights. Sorry to hear about the bag -- let's hope it still turns up!

It's good to know that everyone has been so gracious and kind. Good luck with the weather -- Katrina missed Houston completely, but New Orleans is under water.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Kelley Coyner said...

Inspired by you I set up a blog. Nothing on it yet.

I lost my bag in route to Paraguay. The bag went to one of Pablo Neruda's home cities in Chile, back to Miami and finally to me. May your bag not be quite so well travelled.

Stay safe and dry tomorrow.


At 3:24 PM, Blogger Patricia Golemon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Patricia Golemon said...

Hi Kate,
To get the photos to have text near them should I post them first and then type? How does that work? What's going on at school? Any good gossip? I had planned today for the Palace Museum but that may not work if the typh really phoons. But we can go on Friday. It was really wierd to just completely lose Tuesday. We left on Monday, traveled all night and day, and it was Wednesday morning when we got here. Gene understood it but I guess at least I didn't.

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Patricia Golemon said...

Dear Kelley,
Wow! I love the picture of Andrew. Finish the blog so I can talk to you there, as well! I lost a bag on a trip back from Istanbul years ago and only got it back by making a subsequent trip several months and barging into the lost luggage department of Luftwaffe Inc. (I can't remember the name of the German airline right now) at Munich, grabbing it, and dragging it out. It was full of presents I had bought for my family and friends. The people here said that EVA would get my bag to the hotel probably by Friday, which would be good. I would just go shopping but since I am so much taller and larger than any Chinese person with the possible exception of Yao Ming, I don't have much hope in that dept.

Give Time and the girls a kiss for me!

At 7:05 PM, Blogger tbg said...

Hi there seester. Looks like this is gonna be all and more that you hoped. I have not previously been blogged (been a bloggee?) so I am sort of trembling in the reflected excitement of the moment as well. I believe the Romans did their names somewhat similar to the Chinese. Hmm, that's a stretch, eh? Mom will get special instruction tomorrow on how to communicate.

You are typhooning while New Orleans is drowning from the hurricane and levy ruptures. Tough times in both oceans.

I like this format. Keep us all posted and plan on writing a small memoir for posterity or even to publish. You write well, sis.

Peace. Bro Tom

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Patricia Golemon said...

Hi, Tom! Thanks for your sweet message and for being a willing bloggee, using your perfectly functional neologism. Thanks for helping the mere get on line with us; she may use that computer a bit more often now. This is fun to do and see all the messages and interesting facts that turn up, like Kelley Coyner's suitcase in Chile. I hope mine is not there, since it would even be the wrong continent. We are seeing the horrible destruction in Mississippi and Louisiana. New Orleans is only about a quarter of an inch above sea level, so it's a wonder it isn't flooded more often, I suppose. I have some dear friends there who decamped to Florida, thank goodness, but their home is probably completely underwater as they live near Lake Ponchatrain.

I can already tell that the East is helping me; I'm thinking about how we need to let go of control and try to just be the best we can. A catastrophe is hideous but it does serve to remind us how puny we humans are in the face of real power . . .

I wrote a report on our workshop and I bet I didn't send you a copy of it. I'll try to get Peter to do that when he returns in a few weeks. Having him here with me is so wonderful and makes all the difference. I'll be sad when he leaves but I will be safely installed in my little apartment and know how to get where I need to go each day by then. We are having fun wlaking around looking at everything. I don't know if you can see detail in the photos I posted, but the "high class ice cream" sign and and the menu featuring "cow stommack" seemed pretty interesting to me. (I wanted to go in that place but Peter demurred, despite my assurances that he would not have to eat cow stomach or intestines or anything else unless he ordered it.)

You and Joan and the children in Disney World are the screen saver for my laptop and the pictures always make me smile. I like the one of mama with Donald Duck (I think it is) in particular. Don't we have a wonderful life, all of us in this loop? So many blessings we can't count them.


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