So much happens in a week here that it’s hard to believe that the Anping Bus Crisis (ABC) occurred just days ago.
And so said infamous incident is where I shall begin.
After already having experienced a series of painful moments I would rather forget, and amid the insufferably hot and humid weather while attempting to serve the senior community in Tainan district of Anping, our large group—separated into two coach buses, consisting of classmates, some language partners, and some teachers—boarded the buses to head to some restaurant for dinner.
Then the buses stopped. Minutes passed. Finally we were informed of a marathon—on the very road our coach buses had been trying to drive on. How did the buses even manage to drive halfway into the middle of this course, in the middle of a marathon that had already begun, with runners actually passing by beside the buses parked on their track?
And so the buses had to turn and fit into a narrow alleyway, but God knows how, our bus literally backed into a fucking sand pit. Read that again and feel free to laugh at our misfortune. Because not only did we somehow drive into the middle of a marathon, but we also got stuck in a DITCH, after, again, an already insufferably long morning in tropical summertime heat.
We waited until we were finally told to get off the bus, and only then did I actually realize why. In the meantime, we had the marathon runners to watch for entertainment, but of course by this point I simply couldn’t deal with life anymore. I couldn’t handle the misfortune. I couldn’t handle the heat (actually). I couldn’t handle the unbelievably poor planning and utter lack of organization of this entire trip. I couldn’t handle any of it.
Needless to say, I had no patience to wait for the miracle that was to pull this bus out of a ditch and somehow through this marathon that could take hours to end.
And so we escaped.
The details of this escape are plentiful and prudishly will be withheld on this blog until at least the end of this program—but all I will write for now is that we basically were paid to escape, and if you wish to hear more, please feel free to ask 😉
The rest of the pictures from that Saturday:
So in comparison, the rest of this past week has been quite normal and drama-free. I’ve been walking around a lot more to explore the streets of Tainan, which has been ceaselessly fascinating with its artwork, small shops and restaurants, motorbikes whizzing by at every turn, temples scattered throughout, and just cool discoveries here and there.
As for food adventures, I finally indulged in the snacks of Dadong night market, one of three night markets in Tainan.
I’m also venturing into more and more local spots, blending in with the dangdiren during mealtime—except when I’m with my language partner and speak in what must sound like the worst Chinese ever from a Chinese-looking person. The looks I feel on myself when chatting with Ellen make me feel so self-conscious, but JIAYOU JIAYOU!
After the weekly Friday test, I treated myself to a much-needed mani-pedi with a very talkative nail artist, who’s a year younger and wouldn’t stop asking me questions, which admittedly felt a bit tiring especially after two full weeks of Chinese classes and a weekly exam, but you know, nonstop language immersion here…
And finally, yesterday I joined my language partner and two classmates to go bowling at what looked like an AMF-owned bowling alley. Our lane kept breaking down, too, thanks to the ancient technology and equipment, so our game dragged on for hours. But hey, chabuduo!
That’s all for now! Stay tuned…