Scribbles in the Sand

All About My Life in Taiwan


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Our new present

Today we took delivery of this amazing present from Mr Lee, as a “house warming gift” for Fiona. Plugged directly into the water mains, this baby purifies, chills, warms, and boils water straight from the tap. There are so many filters and chemicals inside that I’m trepidatious to try the first gulp, but we’re going to return to TalkEasy now to try out the product. Apparently it’s top of the range and used by all the government officials, so each month the technician comes to Penghu to maintain them.

Laurence is still trying to get his concrete mix correct for the dumbbells that he’s making for my birthday. The first batch are slightly crumbly so I think the sand we used is a bit too coarse, but I have high hopes for the 3rd cast which is larger. If we pull this off we’ve saved some £30 but it’s likely they will crumble as soon as they’re attached.

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Update on the School

Its been a long time since my last blog,(again) and this time I’m composing it on the keyboard of an iPhone so it will be even more mistake laden. So what have we been up to? Well the school was officially passed and we now have a certificate which can be mounted on the wall. The doors in the school are all painted blue after what seemed like an eternity of sanding and chipping every last bit of green paint off. After 3 days we resorted to a power sander which made our lives a lot easier. We hope to add names to each room and are wondering what to call them? Newton, Churchill or is that too pretentious. Tomorrow we take delivery of a very generous gift from a friend of the family, Mr Lee. It is an all in one water purifier,boiler, cooler which is plugged directly into the mains, so no more scooter rides to the water stations that are peppered around the place. I can’t imagine what this contraption will look like but I’m excited.

The past week or so I’ve been busy converting a WordPress blog into a website suitable for the school. Not an easy job due to the limitations of the editing platform, but it works out as a cost effective and easy way to get a website up and running. We’ve paid £17 for the year to have our own domain name and this will be up and running when we have our grand opening. We can also go ahead and print business cards now that we have a fixed line and website. Now to choose what picture to have on my card.

I hope to post more blogs about my learnings of mandarin, but for now my thumbs are tired.

Below is a picture of the cups the have attached to water coolers. They take up no space, are better for the environment and look very cute although the capacity is limited and it’s easy to spill.

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Renting the School

After a long time searching for suitable places to rent for the school, we finally decided on leasing out a flat we found a while back. It’s been incredibly difficult finding suitable places which meet the required fire safety precautions including two fire exits (front and back) and no illegal structures added on. The place has one large classroom, two smaller ones, a room for an office, two toilets, a kitchen and a balcony. It’s incredibly well located, above a 7/11 which means plenty of access to green teas (Lǜ chá) and cold coffees (Lěng kāfēi). It’s the first concrete step we’ve taken, and now all depends on the fire department installing the required equipment and then hopefully passing it. We can then start advertising and attracting customers. We’re looking forward to scrubbing the place down and adding some British touches. Saying this, the majority of our furnishings shall probably come from IKEA so will be more Scandinavian looking.

We’re currently in two minds about tables. Either we buy locally, or we get a set of IKEA legs, and make our own table-tops from the wood shop, sanding them down and varnishing them. Considering the DIY skills our team, it will be a miracle if these tables turn out any good.

Today we went to the local liquor store in the search for some tonic water. The selection of whisky and spirits is incredible considering where we live. A bottle of kahlua is only £10 so we were thinking on making some White Russians for Tim’s birthday. The most expensive bottle we saw was £1,200, but it will take a few months before we can afford this.

In other news, it’s not often that I Google myself, but it’s nice to see that i’m the top hit, with my Twitter account, as well as my LinkedIn, Google+, Mendelay, and Reverb nation pages. It wouldn’t be too hard to steal my identity with all the information that’s out there. Lisbeth Salander would have me figured out in seconds.