Thursday, December 31, 2015

Going to the Hospital in Taiwan

Anne Marie's had a cough for the past two weeks. We've been avoiding going to the doctor because we don't have Taiwan healthcare until June and we were hoping it would just go away. This past week it began to get worse, to the point were she wasn't feeling up to going to school. We finally decided to make the trip. When we got to the hospital we weren't sure if we were in the right place but a lady helped us find the right department and get registered.

Within fifteen minutes we were already in the doctors office having Anne Marie evaluated. It turned out that she had bronchitis due to the air pollution here. There are many factories here as well as so many scooters that cause the air quality to be very poor. Anne Marie and I usually wear surgical masks anytime we go out. The doctor told us that the pollution in China is a problem too because the wind carries it over here to Taiwan. When Anne Marie asked what she needed to do so that it wouldn't continue to be a health problem, he told her, "Just get used to it like the rest of us!"

After the doctor wrote Anne Marie's prescription, we went back to the front desk to pay our bill. We weren't sure how much it would be. The total cost of the hospital visit which included registration, seeing the doctor, and the prescriptions, was $28USD! Within the next ten minutes we had our prescriptions in hand. In all, the entire process took us only about forty-five minutes.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas in Taiwan

Celebrating Christmas in Taiwan felt a little more festive then Thanksgiving. Some department stores and parks decorated with lights and Christmasy things. It was still difficult to be away from family in the States during the holiday season.

Thanks to Yu Fen for this awesome photo collage
Luckily, we have lots of good friends in Taiwan. The same girls who celebrated Thanksgiving (click to see blog post) with us also celebrated Christmas with us by treating us to a Mexican themed restaurant. We exchanged gifts, chatted for hours, and enjoyed having a Bible study.

The following week, we invited our classmates over for a Christmas party at our house. We did a gift exchange, talked about different Christmas traditions from each other's countries, and played some other games.

Because Christmas isn't widely celebrated here, on Christmas Day we still had class. We agreed not to study after school and just enjoy most of the afternoon relaxing. Christmas evening we were invited to KTV, which is what Taiwanese call karaoke, by one of our Korean classmates and his Taiwanese girlfriend. At Taiwanese KTV's you rent a private room for just you and your friends to sing for 3-8 hours. Generally they also have an all you can eat buffet.

We joined the KTV group from 7pm-12am while others stayed even later. We were able to sing one Taiwanese song that we learned previously and a few American songs. However, we mostly sat and watched everyone sing. KTV is a big part of Taiwanese life that is hard for us Westerners to understand, but it is certainly enjoyable to watch! 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Taiwan Collared Scops-Owl

Taiwan Collared Scops-Owl
Click on the Photo to Enlarge the Image

While walking home from our University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I heard a bird making lots of noise in the bush like trees alone the sidewalk. I was curious to what was making all the noise. So I looked in and I spotted a tiny bird chirping like crazy. I soon realized that he was making a fuss because of the Owl that decided to take a nap in his low tree.

Lucky I bring my camera almost everywhere with me just in case there is something interesting going on.

His eyes were closed and he was clearly resting however with all the chirping that tiny bird was doing and with my trying to move in closer to get a clearer shot without brush blocking my view his eyes began to open really wide like in the photo above.

I am no bird expert but I believe this is a Collared Scops-Owl.