Outdoor Teaching

I went outdoor teaching today. It was 35C. It was incredibly hot. I had 4L of water with me. I was using a hydration bladder. It was cool. My Osprey Atmos 25 is perfectly suited for the job. Still, I brought too much water. I like using the hydration bladder. It makes drinking water on the go a cinch.

I hate it how the playgrounds in parks are so dirty. It’s terrible. There are dog turds all over the place. You don’t even want to sit down. Shit all over the place, bums hanging around drinking alcohol, dogs all over the place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a dog owner myself, but I never let my own dog near a playground.

I stopped at the Carrefour and got some dog food for Spike. It took forever to find the place where they moved it to. I couldn’t decide between PetLife, Purina, Alp and a few others. In the end, I got a 15kg pouch of PetLife and a 4kg of Alpo.

Today was a great day for Spike. He was off leash in the park and stayed near me the whole time. He came when I called and did his business by himself. After he finished, he heeled and we left the park. I put him back on the leash before I exited the park.

Tuesday Morning At A Kindergarten In Taiwan

I arrived at my morning gig right on time. Actually, I’ve been slower than usual getting to work so I’ve been arriving at work a bit later than I wanted. I’ve never been late though.

My bruised is healing up well, I ice it down three or four times a day. The rest of the time, I spray on a liquid form of Vicks Vaporub. It’s working. I’ve been able to run short distances, but my foot still feels a bit weak, and I’m sure that it would be easy to injure it again.

Tuesday morning I arrived at my usual time. I was heading into class when I saw the Taiwanese teacher of the K1 class using a hair dryer to dry her jeans. She still had them on and I was curious. It had been raining, so I guessed that she had gotten wet. Still, it was surprising, since I’ve never seen this type of behavior from the locals.

I asked her about it. She replied that a little boy named Vince had peed on her. He’s about two and a half and is in the K1 class. It’s a bit early for him, since he spends most of his time running around, not really being able to follow lessons.

Later that day, I was eating my lunch and watching some kids go through their lunch time routines, which involves a 90 minute nap. I haven’t eaten any rice at the school. I take the meat, the veggies and dump soup all over it. It tastes pretty good and is filling. I usually go back for a second bowl of soup. I find that I’m eating a lot less than before since I eat throughout the day, when I stop at home.

Anyways, there I was drinking my soup when I noticed that Vince was squatting in front of his classroom. I wondered what was going on. I didn’t really bother investigating. I was just enjoying a few minutes of peace, watching the kids run to the bathroom.

I saw the principal walk up to him. She started talking to him in Mandarin and summoned the Taiwanese teacher Rebecca. It became apparent that Vince had pissed himself again, right in front of the classroom. For some reason, this was extremely comical to me. I found it pretty funny. The same teacher cleared up the mess.

Shulin 樹林市

I got lost this morning on my way to Shulin (樹林市). Getting there isn’t that complicated, but I took a wrong turn and ended up taking the 114 the wrong way. I took the Guanfu bridge into Taipei. Luckily, I had left early enough so that being late wasn’t an issue. I made it into Shulin easily enough.

Once there, my memories of the city started coming back. I lived in Shulin for a few months last year, in my mate’s flat (Carrie) while she was away on holiday in South-East Asia.

A few quick directions from some strangers on scooters and I found my school easily enough. Teaching there brought back memories from 2007. I taught at another branch of the same school and was recommended to sub there for the summer.

It didn’t help that I mixed up the 114 and the 116, lost part of my map and was just all sweaty from the extremely hot sun that plagued Taipei today.

Getting back was a snap. It took me about 25 minutes. Meaning that the commute could be pretty damn fast once I’m sure of the way. Streets and ways seemed familiar and I could see the Banciao train station building from a distance, so I knew which way to go. While I was doing that, I was memorizing parts of the journey so that tomorrow I could find my way back easily.

Now that it’s over, I’m pretty sure how to get there. Once I’m in Shulin, it won’t be that complicated to find my school again. I’ve found that once I’ve been to a place, I can make my way back there easily enough.

Old Nancy’s been repaired. However, she’s a bit slow. She’ll only hit 90 at the max. Before I could hit 95kph. I’m not sure what to do about this. I feel that I’ve put enough money into her for a long time. I’ll probably look into other faster options over the summer. An old Kymco Ego 250cc from 2004 might do the trick for me. Now that I’ve driven a more recent scooter, Old Nancy feels a bit dangerous and shabby. Yet I’ll never get a maxi-scooter. They aren’t maneuverable enough and they are heavy as hell.