Things have been busier than ever at work. I had to meet a new student at 2:00 to help her with a homework assignment that she didn’t understand how to do. From then on, it I was pretty much constantly dealing with parents of students who were originally at Ding’s before the buyout. Some of them are understandably feeling uncomfortable with the school changing management. From their perspective, they paid tuition in advance and then the owners suddenly decided to sell the school. I’ve been doing what I can to make sure that their kids’ classes aren’t affected too much by that, but beyond that it just takes some face time to give them reassurance.

A run

After getting out of the school in the evening, I ate a snack and then went out for a run. I’d been planning on going to the long canal that goes up to Danshui, but at the last minute I chose to go to Da’an Park instead. The run started out well, but I got a little too enthusiastic and ran the last 2km in about 9 minutes. I’ve definitely been getting in better shape. My resting pulse has been under 50 three mornings in a row, but still… I don’t want to push it too much on the longer runs. All in all it took 1h26m to do 16km, and I’d planned on doing in about 1h40m. That left me with no other choice but to go out eating and drinking so as not to leave my body depleted for the next day.

Food and drink

On the way out of my apartment, I saw one of my best students getting out of a car with her parents and sister. They were startled to see me and asked why I was out so late. Her parents probably thought I was going out to drink like all the “bad” foreigners. Oh, the injustice… Anyway, I stopped by TU first. It was closed. Then, I tried Brass Monkey, but it was pretty lifeless– nothing at all like I remember it being three years ago. Just as I was debating the idea of turning in for an early night’s sleep, I stumbled upon the awesome seafood nightmarket! The one where I used to go with Nathan back in the day. I made a beeline for the restaurant run by awesome-laoban. Since the first time going into his restaurant 4 years ago, I’ve his absolutely rock-solid nightmarket restaurant laoban credentials have commanded my respect. He’s always got a cigarette dangling straight down from his lower lip. His “Taiwan Guoyu” is full-blown. He not only eradicates all “r” sounds in his speech, but he even pronounces all his ㄈ sounds as ㄏs. And most of all, rain or shine, day or night, there are always a few of his buddies hanging out in the back of the restaurant laughing at his jokes. Here’s to you awesome-laoban!

Lawyers

I had just ordered rice, some yam leaves, fish chin and a beer when some red-faced guy at a whole table of well dressed younger women called me over. It turns out that he was a 主管 of a law firm and he was taking out the staff! … for whiskey shots! I know the stereotypes about lawyers, but geez. I have never in my life seen a Taiwanese group, especially a group of mostly women drinking like that. In the time I drank a beer they must have done 4+ shots each, while inhaling various other drinks on the side. The way they partied was insane and not entirely bloggable, but they were a pretty friendly group and it was nice to chat with in Chinese about things completely unrelated to EFL or kids. The price of my meal was unbeatable, too: 250 bucks!