Instead of sitting in the classroom, I decided to go explore the library. They had an exhibition on the ground floor that was really excellent to look at. It was called "Extravagance," and involved things that were a strange size or generally weird in some way. Here are some photos...
|Atlas Moth, Etc.|
|This bean was as long as my torso...|
|Beautiful Rooster and Shell Painting|
I just snapped these with my iphone camera. There was another guy there who was taking photos very seriously. I could see why. Truly, it was a fascinating display.
I did take time to peek into the stacks too. It's hard to get my head around a place where the books I want are actually checked out. By other people. But this actually happened to me in this case. It's a strange world.
Day two of the orientation went a bit slow because the presentation was given in both English and Chinese. But the things the presenter said were kind of interesting. She talked about beginning Chinese language use as being like plain water, intermediate Chinese language use as being like grape juice, and sophisticated Chinese language use as being like wine. Under my breath I wondered if that makes my Chinese language use like vinegar...? But I was actually pretty charmed by her presentation.
I had lunch with my friend again. This time we had hundun (wonton), some greens, and some noodle soup. I again really enjoyed just the simple fact of having made a new friend, in addition to her being so fun to talk to.
Later we went on a school tour to the Taipei Discovery Center. It was not entirely successful--too large a group, and a bit too rowdy for the all-Chinese guided tour that we were treated to. I felt a little bad. I'm not big on guided tours, but the docent seemed polite and gentle and dismayed at our lack of manners. After a while I stopped milling around and started industriously listening. My future classmates who were not quite up to that level of listening comprehension chattered loudly. It was very understandable since everyone is getting to know everyone else. But it was too bad.
There was a rotating theater progandizing the city and its various improvements in 360 degree light and sound. I was actually amused and endeared, slightly dizzy, and very nearly soothed down into sleep.
|Sun Yat-sen Memorial|
I spent a lot of time staring at the inscription. I got as far as tianxia wei gong 天下為公 (the realm is for everyone), but I guess I'd need to be sitting down to decipher the rest. The written language of that period is really hard for me.
There were a large number of tourists at the monument, snapping pictures. There were also some great kites. The whole thing was not quite my cup of tea, but I did enjoy this funny picture of three boys in my program sporting their umbrellas as parasols. I find it kind of fun to duplicate other people's pictures sometimes. I know people who know me would rather see pictures of me, but I somehow just didn't have the energy to get someone to take one.
|Classmates with Parasols|