A Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness….we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . . .
– My good friend Charles Dickens

This past weekend was nothing short of a glorious hot mess. It was the best of times and the worst of times. This weekend I went from one end of Taiwan to the other for the Fulbright Farewell Conference and for a iEarn speech competition my students had. But let’s start from the beginning?

With just a month left in the program Fulbright we had our “Farewell Banquet” in Taipei at the Howard hotel.

「howard hotel taipei」的圖片搜尋結果

Pretty swanky, eh?

I was really pumped to be around my friends and be able to kick it in Taipei for the evening, not to mention getting to sleep in a REALLY comfy bed. So I was really hyped before I even got there. Julianna and I checked in and got all purtied up for the dinner.

Then there were lots of introductions, thank you’s, and a short speech most of which my memory is not too keen because of the hilarity of sitting with Phoebe, Christian, Julianna, and Chris, and continuous free red wine. Anyway, then we we all devoured the food. It was all pretty decent, with an absurd amount of meat (no carbs???!?!) and then the night dissolved into photo shoots and chatter.

HKSG

HKSG

My FINE roomie!

My FINE roomie!

Christopher<3

Christopher<3

Phoebe and I being REAL put-together

Phoebe and I being REAL put-together

CR3W

CR3W

BA3

BA3

After the party had one too many conga lines, people started to split up and head out. Phoebe plotted for Julianna, Christian, and I to go to Ounce, a speakeasy in Taipei. We waited an HOUR but finally were let in the secret door and were seated.

The guy on the far right? that was our server (or bartender?) He was bomb.

So, they don’t have a menu, you just tell them what sounds good to you and if you want “strong” or “light” and they make up a delicious concoction for you! It was beyond tasty! Hilarious conversation and a hilarious time.

Then Phoebe and Julianna broke off for the hotel and Christian and I headed out to KTV with some of the ETAs from Kinmen. That was a hoot. We ended up also going to a club and another bar before the night was over. Talk about some kind of crazy! I haven’t stayed out that late in I don’t know how long.

So naturally Saturday morning I felt the not-so-light ramifications but rose to the occasion and traveled down to Kaohsiung where I later met up with my students at the night market to hang out with them before their big competition Sunday. It was hilarious to hang with them outside of class, and they were great.

Sunday dawned bright and early and I made it over to the area where the competition was just in time to run into my coworker!

Kelly!

Kelly!

We met up with the kids, practiced, and waited to watch them perform!

Me+ babies

Me+ babies

The kids presenting.

The kids presenting.

Everybody post-presentation!

Everybody post-presentation!

They killed it. They presented on some projects they did this semester to become global citizens- they did research and wrote papers and REALLY improved their presentation skills. I was one proud mama duck. You can check out their entire presentation (only five minutes) here.

Finally after all that Kelly, Brandon, Tim, some of the kids and I went to Lee and Daughter’s for brunch.

I had french toast with salmon and an egg on top. It was out of this world.

I had french toast with salmon and an egg on top. It was out of this world.

Then Kelly and I took the high speed rail back to Taichung. What a weekend! I really feel  like the line at the begining of A Tale of Two Cities….  “we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…” as the end of the program is wrapping up it seems like the next step is imminent and exciting and yet perhaps nothing compared to what I have experiences here.

Til next time!

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