Parents, Thai Holiday, and Oh, Yes, A Beer Commercial

Well, the last few months here on the Asian side of the earth have been eventful to say the least. In February, my parents came to Taipei to visit me for two weeks. It was awesome to share what I’m experiencing here with them, and they were pleasantly surprised at how great Taiwan is. From the day they arrived, they were up and about, talking to Taiwanese people, trying the food, drinking green tea, riding in crazy taxis, trying out Chinese calligraphy and even Qi Gong (“Chee Gong”). They managed to impress all of our friends here too. I often got, “You’re parents are so cool Jen, there’s no way in hell mine would come here to visit me!” My parents are very unique and open-minded creatures, but I must admit that I was a bit disappointed to see how well they did here. I was hoping to see my mom freak out a little more!!

Tim and Sally swimming in Koh Phi Phi

After their two weeks here in Taipei, we headed off to Thailand for 2 more weeks (Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi), with Steve Holmes joining us too. Of course everyone had a great time in Thailand, because really, who doesn’t? Between lying on the beach, playing guitar, applying aloe to Steve’s sunburn, swimming, snorkelling, drinking beer, and stuffing our faces with fresh seafood and thai curry every day, Jon and I also managed to get our Open Water PADI certification, so now we can dive up to 18 metres on our own. Being underwater that deep and for so long is fantastic, it’s a completely different world. It’s like you’re on another planet. All in all, the trip was great, and if you want any more details, you can just give my Dad a call because of course he’s got every second of it on video tape…

These last few weeks have been busy, busy, busy with teaching. I’ve got more hours now and I’m really trying to save up some money before I go home. It’s been a bit tiring, but I’m still enjoying being around kids all day. I’ve been teaching them “The Cat Came Back”, and they can’t get enough of it! It’s awesome! I have to sing it at the end of class though, or they’ll be too crazy to handle.

Dancing on the set of the Long Chuan Beer commercial

The highlight of this month was that I got to be in a beer commercial! Couldn’t say no to that one. The beer is called Long Chuan Pijiu (“dragon river beer” is the closest translation I could get). I went in not really expecting much, because my agent never really tells me what I’m going to be doing, and it turned out that I was one of two “token foreigners” in the commercial, and of course we got to be in the main shot right beside the lead actor, the famous Chen Zhao Rong (apparently he’s in a Taiwanese soap opera that’s on at 8:00 every night here). It was the most fun commercial I’ve ever been in. I had to sing and dance to a Taiwanese song, well, pretend to sing a Taiwanese song. The only message in the song I understood was, “When your heart is depressed, drink Long Chuan beer, and you will be happy!” Words of wisdom.

Anyway, things have been going well for us over here, and I hope it’s the same for everyone back home! Miss you guys.