Monday, April 15, 2002

I can barely type this blog entry because...I went rock climbing! My friend Josh is about to leave Taiwan for the States (why does it seem like everyone I've just become friends with is leaving Taiwan?), so I jumped at the chance to try rock climbing before he leaves on Friday. There is a indoor rock gym on the corner of Renai Rd. and Linsheng Rd. I actually went up about 6 meters, and I didn't even notice the height because I was so focused on finding the right holds. Josh was my belay, which means he was my counterweight, so that when my arms got really tired, I just hung in the harness as he lowered me down. I also learned how to tie a double figure-eight knot, which is a way better knot than my usual wimpy tying-shoelaces knot. Rock climbing was the most active my mind and body have been all day.

My first day at UMC went well: I woke up amazingly perky at 5:30a.m. and made it to my colleague's home by 6:30a.m. (Leo had to go down to Hsinchu as well, so he gave me a ride). My perkiness quickly faded as I filled out paperwork and listened to presentations in Chinese all day long. The Chinese I have learned so far does not extend to understanding talks on company policies and benefits, and fire safety guidelines. So basically, I politely zoned out all day. The staff and my new colleagues were very friendly though, and tried to help me as much as possible. I also learned how to put out a fire with a fire extinguisher -- they lit metal pans full of oil, and we had to successfully put out the fire. Leo got me out of the required English test given to all employees so that we could beat the traffic and head back to Taipei.

I need to go to bed.

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