Friday, July 28, 2006

Carol Reports that....

Hi Everyone,
Little by little we’re getting our feet wet, tomorrow our shipment gets delivered!!!!! It will be great to actually have our own place. We spent some time this afternoon there measuring and thinking, the kitchen is actually (gasp!) smaller than DC and about the size of our miniscule ones in Mexico. We will survive. Speaking of survival, this jet lag thing is something, still can’t seem to get more than about 3-4 hours a night, then drag all day. Hopefully, this old organism will get with the global time thing soon. Bill did some more exploring while I took a nap this afternoon, and we took a good roundabout way home this afternoon, taking in lots more of the neighborhood. We are struck by the quiet for such an urban setting. There’s no New York-Chicago honking, yelling, things smell quite good except for the fish, etc. cooking, but Italian food is quite popular here, so you then pass by garlic and tomatoes. We had dinner in a Japanese (or Buddhist) style vegetarian restaurant last night and discovered that if it says they are open 12-10 they mean everyone is OUT THE DOOR by 10:00 promptly! I’ve never been served a meal in such a speedy fashion! They were literally mopping up around us and gave us the bill BEFORE the meal was served! Whew! Nevertheless, the food was delicious and quite reasonable and a lovely setting, it’s also quite reasonable @$10.50 and $12.00 for a 6-course dinner. There was a lukewarm sesame seed, fruit and something drink to start, a fabulous salad with aloe leaves, asparagus, tomatoes, fresh okra, lettuce, corn, sprouts , several kinds of crunchy beans and a wonderful Japanese dressing (I wish they bottled it!) Then soup with melon, sand fruits(?) , etc., and our choice of 9 entrees. I had wild mushrooms, noodles, basil and veggies, Bill a sort of stew of all kinds of unknown vegetation with chestnuts and a dark (could it be the FORBIDDEN rice we get at home?) , then---a lovely plate with 2 bing cherries, a slice of melon, pear, ????fruit, and a small bowl with sort of tapioca soup with more fruit unidentifiable. All in all, quite tasty and filling and probably just good as heck for you too!!! Despite all the books we had read, nobody stares ( openly at least!) at us, although I’ve seen a couple of nicely mature gentlemen react to my hair. Except at TAS, we’ve seen no one with light hair yet (or no hair Bill adds) . I did, however, find an Aveda shop, not salon, in the mall, and they gave me the address of the Aveda salon so I may not have to dye my hair. I am seriously thinking about having them spike my hair, it’s so adorable on the kids. OK, maybe that’s a little young, but the people are so attractive and so far we have been treated with great courtesy. Hope everyone is well, we’re trying to get some pix on the blogspot since we don’t have our own set-up yet, but they should be coming soon. Bill thinks he has figured out how to do it without causing a problem on our hosts’ computer.
Love to everyone,
B & C

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

First Day..We Made It

Okay, so I was so wired last night I did take a sleepez pill but I really do not think it helped because I was ready to go at 6am. Carol had a harder time getting sleep cycle adjusted and she is still desirous of lots of sleep, possibly because of all she did during the preceeding weeks.

It is very strange to read/see the news from an asian point of view. There is really a ton of news out there that we do not get in USA. The International Herald (NY Times) and the Taipei Times are available in the apt. so I read them and watched Asian CNN while drinking all sorts of hot tea....further wiring me!

Around noon, we venture to TAS by foot and made it.
1. The place is really quiet for what we thought
2. The mountaims around our area remind us of Saba only w/people but still lots of trees and
open space.
3. The Orange Julius effect (remember in UK, Carol needed a generous application
of something familiar when we were traveling) still works well only this time it was
Starbucks with a lovely young lady who wanted to know my name and hers is Mandy. Nice
and friendly.
4. People are very friendly here especially if you try any language with them.
5.TAS is really big and professional. Lots of forms but lots of help. The summer school kids
were on the steps in front of the school with a big table of food staples during a july"Ghost"
ritual with incense and much ceremony. new culture for sure
6. Cross walk signs have another sign that counts down how long you have to walk.COOL
7. The garbage truck announces its presence with a version of Fur Eliseby Beethoven on the
loudspeaker. Talk about class
8. The WELLCOME store is a food market...we have a steep learning curve to even figure
out what is what even when we are looking at it. Prices about the same as here. As Carol
said, " You have no idea how out of touch one can get only shopping at The Pig! We are
going to have a BLAST in these stores!
9. Our new apt. is all we expected and more. We were taken there by Spring Wu's cousin,
the caretaker. We could not really communicate because we do not speak the language.
Carol reminded me that the OK sign in English is really not good in TW as in go
(*&^*^yourself. and that a thumbs up means about the same thing. And I kept trying to
speak to him in Spanish of all things. The apt is a great blank palate for us so we are
anxious to get into it. No one really seems to know how to get the elect, water etc
transfered to our name. likewise the lease is a bit of a mystery but we have all the keys to
the place w/o money down.
10. It is really weird, again with weird, to look around at the topography and to have seen it
before with Google earth. The elevations, the major buildings..I have seen them all many
times without being here. Odd feeling. I guess I need to be careful of who I moon and

More later or I will bore you.


Monday, July 24, 2006

We have arrived!

Hello all from Taipei!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are safely ensconced in a LOVELY 3 floor apt that belongs to TAS teachers and just getting up after a 14.5 hr flight from DTW to Osaka and a 2.5 flight from Osaka to TPE. All went very well. No problems whatsoever. Customs was a breeze through and we were met immediately by TAS representatives and taken to this apt. We will be here for maybe a week or less depending upon how shipment release goes.

The typhoon came over Taiwan just south of Taipei so all we are getting is a lot of wind and not so much rain. It is REALLY weird to look at local TV and see the hurricane symbol passing over where you live. A new experience.

Carol said even Lucille would eat off the floor in the airport restrooms they are so spotless and pleasant smelling. I on the other hand, had the experience of using a clean but interesting looking squat toilet in Osaka…I was successful in the application of the phrase, “We aim to please…etc.” Phweeeww!

Taipei is so lit up with neon, extremely modern, wonderfully clean, and not at all threatening from initial first impressions. We will see more as we have got to go to market today, walk about 10-15 minutes to school to get all sorts of paperwork completed , get a bus/MRT metro type card and just wander around. All is an adventure.

We are very proud of ourselves for getting here since I think there was a lot of internal “gulping” along the way. But we are being cared for by this community and they want us to be successful.

I am still in shock and amazement from the loving send off from the SBHS family… all the kindness and warmth to say NOTHING about the tremendous hard work of Ria, Eric and Lutz Buesing. My god, what did we ever do to deserve their kindness? And Eric and Dorothy going to the airport was a very gentle letting go and transition. They had to wait patiently while all the festivities were taking place in Sturgeon Bay, or as Eric B put it, “I now know what a bus or taxi driver feels like waiting for a party to finish.

We love you all and we will write more later when we are less buzzed and high at the same time. Please share this with anyone who cares.

All our love,
Bill and Carol

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Oh my, what a day. Carol has been cleaning and cleaning and cleaning....we needed to move to get down to a fighting weight so this has been hard. So that I might NEVER say anything about what does or does not need cleaning, I cleaned 8 years of moss and lichens off our canoe----now how relevant to travel is that?

But what a surprise from Ria Buesing, choir parents and the students!!! We were invited to Andres for a gettogether with the Buesing but the room was filled with many many many beloved students and parents for one final wellwishing good bye. A wonderful late lunch, a powerpoint presentation from Eric and Ria (1984-2006 choirs and photos) and so many reconnections with students old (some pregnant---oh my we are getting older) and new but all bound by a loyalty to music and excellence. I think many were watching the progress of folicular degneration and facial line proliferation on my face. 2001 must have been a really tough year! This is not the place for my babble about this but let me just say THANK YOU to all of you and to Ria, Lutz, Eric, and Sean and all who gave a wonderful gift. We will take this memory to sleep with us tonight and many more to come. Thanks to all who came. We would wish we could have talked more to each one...

We are toasting all with a great bottle of Prosecco.

Good night all!!!

Love , US

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I went in to SBHS yesterday and found out that the school is over budget not by the $250-$400K they anticipated BUT by an added $300+K as well. What pure hell it will be to work out of that deficit. So for another reason, it is ok to be going to TPE.

The website for the new school is please check that out for continuing info as well.

If you have google earth, the free download, you can find out new home by going to taipei taiwan, the scroll to the NE...find the east-west airport in the middle of the city, go N until you find the big baseball stadium. The school is just to the NW of the stadium with a big track area and our apt is due N of the stadium in a little triangle shaped park.

We feel like surgery patients who have had the librium before surgery but are not in the operating room yet...kind of out of place, out of mind, neither here nor there. It will be good to stop saying goodbye and begin to say hello.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

T-5 and counting

So in 5 days we will be on the plane and off to Taipei. The details prior to leaving are like a Medusa or the scumbag creature in Pirates of the C.
We will use this blog to keep anyone who is interested posted with info and pictures of our experience. Please feel free to comment. Make sure you leave your contact info so we can get back to you. OH, the flight # is NWA flight 69 for anyone who wishes to send along a good thought.

More later from one or both of us.