Everything else is going fine. A few weeks ago I lost my beloved blue rain jacket, which had been a gift from REI, and haven’t recovered it yet. I’m positive that I left it in some restaurant. My friend Nicole wrote up a slip of paper explaining in Chinese what I’m looking for, and I’ve taken it to all my haunts, but so far it hasn’t turned up. I bought a down jacket in anticipation of the weather getting colder (yes, I know, not quite that cold, but I will be flying back to Michigan in February, so at least it'll be put to good use there). And the rain and ocean winds here can be quite chilling, too, even if the air temperature is in the fifties. But so far it’s been quite mild, which makes my down jacket quite unnecessary.
All right, so I’ve finally started counting down to Chinese New Year. After Christmas it became a downhill slope for me, and time is picking up speed. Less than one month until my replacement teacher arrives, a British man named Neil. But he’ll stay in Taipei for training that first week, so I’m not sure when I’ll meet him. He’s going to move into this apartment with me. My last day at Shane will be February 15, and then we’re off for the Chinese New Year vacation. Five lovely days in the Philippines, then back to Keelung for two days, and then I’m headed for home. Part of me is really looking forward to that now, and part of me doesn’t want to think about it yet. One of my CE15 kids, Sammy, just left for a month-long vacation in the US, and I won't see him again. That was quite sad for me, because it happened too soon. I know I'm going to miss my classes a lot. And I hear jet lag and culture shock are actually worse on the return trip. But once I get back home, this chapter in my life will be closed, its experiences logged and its records balanced, and then I can start a new one.
Talk to you soon,
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
- Robert Louis Stevenson