Thursday, August 6, 2009

好消息!(Good news!)

I will be going to Penghu! I just found out that they postponed the trip yet again - to the 15th-18th, which also happen to be the exact days I'll be here once class ends. (I leave the 19th, mid-afternoon.) I'll be missing the opportunity to go to those fantastic sites in Taiwan that I mentioned earlier, but I can always do that another time; they'll still be there in a few years.

What complicated my decision a little bit was actually a separate opportunity that I haven't mentioned yet. Because Taiwan's Jade Mountain, the tallest mountain in East Asia, is in the running to be named one of the modern natural wonders of the world [or something along those lines], they're doing a lot of promotional campaigning right now. One of those campaigns involves filming a documentary of folks climbing the mountain - and, surprise surprise, they wanted some foreigners to be part of the group. It would be a 2/3-day affair, and everything would be paid for by the government agency that administers Jade mountain. But because there's still some uncertainty about whether or not I meet the minimal requirements (I'm supposed to be able to "speak Chinese" to "communicate" with fellow climbers, and I haven't heard back on whether they want/will accept novice climbers), and because I might not be able to attend for other reasons (the date is variable depending on weather; they might choose someone else; etc), I've decided that there's really no contest: Penghu it is.

Other good news: After mildly hyperventilating last night when I found that not a single ATM would accept my debit card, I called Wachovia and solved the problem with them. I've said it before and I'll say it again: their customer service is fantastic. I basically had to tell them my life story to get them to unblock the card, so I felt /that/ was a little over the top... but I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. Anyway, I was quite relieved, because I had a total of about $6 USD left in my possession.

News that could go either way: Tonight's/tomorrow's typhoon won't be particularly large, but it's headed pretty spot-on toward Taipei (and is affecting us already, if looking out the window is any indication), so there might be no class tomorrow and/or a loss of power in the area for the day. I'm fine with everything else about the typhoon (including no school!), but the power cut could be incredibly obnoxious, considering the fact that I live in a dark, dank hole. I guess I should buy some sort of light and a small fan at the Everything Store (TM) up the street. As our nickname for the place name implies, I do expect to find those items there - possibly right next to things like party favors, shirts, teacups, and videogames.

If you don't hear back from me within a week, I probably didn't survive the typhoon.



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