I spent much of yesterday with really itchy feet. I asked my brother what the heck was going on and he laughed and said, "Jungle foot, man. You're in the tropics. All sorts of weird bacteria grow here." O rly? Is "jungle foot" the medical term? :P Anyhow, things seem to be better today so wish me continued luck.
I feel like I am starting to settle into a routine. Let me tell you about it:
6:00-7:00 Wake up
???- 8:30 Write blog post, reply to e-mails, play poker, surf web, read....lots of random things happens here.
8:30-10:00 Head to morning market and grab breakfast. Explore a little before it gets too hot. I bring back breakfast for my brother 'cause he sleeps in a lot.
10:00-13:30 Go home and grind, read, surf some more. I'm starting to adjust to the temperature but still find it too warm to do much outdoors.
13:30-14:00 Go grab lunch at afternoon market.
14:00-16:00 Grind some more, read, chill around the apartment.
16:00-18:00 By now, it is cool enough for me to explore the city. Yesterday, I just picked a road and walked for an hour.
18:00-18:30 Check e-mail again, read, maybe grind a bit more.
18:30-21:00 Take a nap.
21:00-21:30 Grind a bit.
21:30-3:00 Grab dinner at night market, hang out with my big brother, visit his friends, etc. Lots of young people out and about because it's not oppressively hot.
My sleep schedule is gradually adjusting and I can't wait for the day when I sleep a full 8 hours.
Anyhow, let's talk specifics from yesterday:
I picked yesterday's breakfast joint based on how busy it was. This strategy has not yet led me astray. I ate at the stall and had a nice conversation with two middle aged Taiwanese ladies. I have my own special blend of Mandarin/Taiwanese/English/Wild Gesticulations. It kinda sorta works and, in fact, I learned the name of the dish I was eating. I think it's "mee suah" although this is the Taiwanese name. I have no idea what the Mandarin pinyin is. This might be a good time to discuss Taiwanese. Yes, it is a language. It is also completely different from Mandarin. From what I know, it is a derivative of Hokkien. Most Taiwanese folks speak both Mandarin and Taiwanese and the further south you travel the more likely it is that you'll hear Taiwanese. Anyhow, the ladies explained to me that mee suah is a very, very common dish. Thin wheat-based noodles in a broth with pork, oysters and assorted garnish. I can't say I loved it because I like distinct, chewy noodles and these were too thin to be readily distinguishable.
Afterwards, grind grind grind. Lunch consisted of a local joint for a rice plate. A little birdie reminded me to eat veggies so I ordered three vegetable side dishes to go with the poor interpretation of lu rou fan. No fat or lusciousness, just dry ground meat. Poor. Veggies were great though.
Afterwards, more grinding and then I decided to explore the city. I headed to Wuquan Road, a semi-major thoroughfare near my brother's apartment. Pick a direction and walk. I gotta tell you, people look at me a lot. I'm already slighty paranoid about people watching me when I cross a crosswalk and it's even worse here. Heads turn. I guess I will get used to it. Now that I am gradually adjusting to the weather I will definitely be spending more time outdoors.
Went home and slept. Woke up, headed to my brother's friend's house, watched some TV and grabbed niu rou mian (niu rou= beef, mian= noodle) for dinner. Went home, ate, watched two episodes of Star Trek Voyager with my bro and then passed out. And here I am again. :)
Pictures...as always hover over the word "notes" for captions:
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