GYA16: Halloween and Bookstar

Itinerary: Children’s Amusement Park, 市立大學 Taipei City College, 曉食堂, Bookstar Bookstore

We got a late start today because we got home so late last night.  Though I was tempted to stay home all day, I felt bad because the kids have been talking about Halloween non-stop and we did buy them cat costumes at Yabook.

So I did some research and found out that all the big Halloween activities already happened this weekend.  Oops!  The biggest one is apparently the one in Tianmu 天母.  Not surprising since that’s where the international schools are.

Thankfully, the Children’s Amusement Park supposedly had an event where you can beg for candies so we went that route.  However, after lining up at 3pm to follow some little witch around the park, we found out the candy giving part was actually this morning at 10am.



GYA16: A Day with Relatives

Itinerary: Family lunch, visit cousin’s house, Marukame Udon 丸龜製麵

It’s hard to keep up the one blog a day habit when you’re out at 8:45am and back at 10:30pm!

We had a family lunch with my mom’s large family yesterday at Fleur Lis in Hsin Chu.  To make it to our 11:30am lunch, we left the house at 8:45am because we had a 10am train to catch.  But, next time I know I don’t need to leave so early!

First, we got to the bus stop a bit early and had to wait.  Then we go to the Taipei Train Station 30 minutes early and had to wait.  I did not know how convenient it is to transfer to Taiwan Rail (TRA) 台鐵 from the green MRT line.  We basically got out of the MRT ticket gate, walked right across to the TRA ticket gate, and then upstairs to the platform.

Took us all of 5 minutes.


GYA16: Looking for DVDs at Electronics Shopping District 光華商圈

Itinerary: Electronics shopping district for DVDs

It’s been raining the last day or so and the weather has been down to the 70s.  We took it easy Saturday morning to catch up on school work.  After a nap, we headed out at 4pm to go find some Chinese DVDs.  The electronics district is right off of 忠孝新生 station.  You take exit 1, walk back, turn left around the school, and it’s 2 little tiny blocks ahead of you.

Of course, by the time we got there, the kids were hungry so the first stop was a little stand that sells 紅豆餅 Red bean cakes. These were huge ones that had tons of red beans in them.  Thumper couldn’t finish one.  I also sprang across the street for more winter melon lemon tea 檸檬冬瓜茶, my new favorite type of drink. (more…)

GYA16: Raohe Night Market 饒河夜市

Itinerary: Homeschool, Raohe Night Market

After 3-4 days of running out first thing in the morning, we finally took it easy today and had a 3 hour work period at home.  It’s been hard getting the kids to homeschool because it takes so many days for them to get into the routine and we haven’t had days like that.

Because Astroboy is sick once again, I made him take a nap as he doesn’t breath well at night and keeps jerking awake.  After our nap, we took the bus down the hill and went to 7-eleven to pick up my train tickets to Hsin Chu this Sunday for a family gathering.

I’m still trying to figure out the train e-ticketing system.  What I did today was to download the 台鐵 app and reserved 3 tickets.  Apparently you can reserve a specific train or any train within a time frame?  Not sure how that works.  The app allowed me to pay online with US credit card, specifying whether or not they are children’s tickets during that time.  Then I went to pick up the tickets at 7-eleven’s iBon and putting in the reservation number.  There’s a handling fee of $8 per ticket.


GYA16: Taipei Zoo and Art Class 台北動物園和蘇荷美術班

Itinerary: Homeschool, Maokong, Taipei Zoo, Mos Burger, Soho Art Class, Uber

Wow, we’ve been having jam packed days the last few days.  Will probably need to be a homebody soon.

We finally connected with a local homeschooling group that has outings this week and last minute decided to join their trip to the Taipei Zoo today.  To get there we tried out taking the bus instead of MRT, since buses are much cheaper ($15 per segment) than long distance MRT ($40-$50).  Plus sometimes buses are more direct than MRT.

Since the bus got there way earlier than we expected, we took a detour to Maokong 貓空, which is right next to the zoo.  貓空 is high up in the mountains there are tea plantations around there.  But because we were pressed for time and the whole trip is 2 miles each way, we turned around half way.


GYA16: Children’s Amusement Park and Costco 兒童樂園與好市多

Itinerary: Chinese breakfast, Traditional market, TCAP, Costco, signup for Art class

We had a really good day today.  Good days seem to come with some advance planning.  But argh, I just realized I didn’t take many pictures!

The kids all woke up relatively early today, around 7:30am.  Since we’d decided last night to go down to have that Chinese breakfast, they had some time to do their “must-do” homeschooling before we headed out at 9am.

Chinese breakfast is just a bus ride down the hill.  Unfortunately, we showed up too late and the 燒餅 and 紅豆餅  was sold out.  So I made do with some cold soy milk and sesame cake 芝麻餅 instead while the kids had 饅頭夾蛋, mantou with eggs.   It cost me $4 to feed 3 people.


GYA16: The Neighbor from Hell

Itinerary: Telephone from crazy neighbor, Coco Curry, clothes shopping @ the Net, Mollie

Fleur and I were all set to go out for a proper Chinese breakfast this morning.  But a phone call from our downstairs neighbor threw our plans out the window.

The first week we were here, he had called the 鄰長 or the head of the association (I think), who then called us to tell us we were being noisy.  Thirty minutes later, while I was taking a shower, the security guard shows up at the door to see how noisy we were.  Thankfully, the children were all sitting on the sofa just watching TV.

I get a call from him a few days later about how he has not been able to sleep, even went out to get some sleeping pills, because of noises from upstairs.  We went around and around in circles where he tells me his woes and I ask him to tell me when he heard the noise, only to have him continue to go on and on about the noise, but no specifics.


GYA16: Pokemen, 823 Park, Yabooks 八二三公園和雅博客

Itinerary: Japanese lunch, 823 Park, Shaved ice, Yabooks

I was all set not to visit any more bookstores for a few weeks.  But yesterday, a Halloween costume sale at Yabook floated across my FB feed, putting Yabook in my mind; where, like a fly, it wouldn’t go away.

So, today, instead of homeschooling like I’d planned, we went off to 永安市場 Yong-an Market MRT stop.  It’s on the brown line, southwest of Taipei city, across the river.

Of course, by the time we got there, it was 11:30 and the kids were all cranky and needing lunch.  Given that we did minimal research before hand, we just settled on some random Japanese restaurant, 松亭新日本料理.  It was nothing to write home about other than that huge my set lunch only cost $300.


GYA16: Worldschooling

Itinerary: homeschool, nap, pick up groceries

It was 90 degrees today when we went out this afternoon to run errands.   I wasn’t necessarily sweating, just covered in a sheen of moisture that doesn’t go away.   Otherwise, just a normal, boring day.

Wait, just one side note.  I picked up my co-op grocery today from the co-op.  Just to give you an idea,  1 basket of fruit and veggies cost us $19 USD.  It included 1 batch yam leaves, 1 batch 空心菜, 10 eggs, 3 taro, 3 tomatoes, 2 strange potatoes, 2 火龍果, bag of passion fruit, and 1 huge Asian pear.  Is that similar to US prices?

I would show you some pics but as usual I devoured half of the food before I remembered.   What I love the best about this CSA is that I would actually eat everything in the box, unlike the US ones, with often had things I didn’t know how to cook.

So rather than talk about our boring day, I thought I’d meander on the topic of our world schooling so far. (more…)

GYA16: Work and Play all in a Day

Itinerary: Homeschool, Join co-op, 南門書局, 大安公園, 喫飯

We had one of those amazing days today, where everything goes according to schedule and got done.

The children started school close to 9am and we managed to finish school by 12:30pm.  By finish, I mean they actually finished everything they had chosen to do on their workplan.  We even had time at the end for Astroboy to reach a milestone, namely getting sidetracked in his work and writing 2 super long strings of number to add together by himself.  Plus I actually gave Thumper a lesson on decimals.

I’m really sick of having wontons from lunch.  Today was our 3rd day straight.  Because we have nothing else in the fridge to eat!  I was all set to take that taxi to RT Mart and do some serious grocery shopping.  But what did I find in my stack of papers, the stack that I’d turned over quite a few times already?

My Taiwanese ID!  The one I thought I’d lost!