Some interesting cultural stuff:
- Sarcasm doesn't work.
- The other day there was this terrible racket in one of the streets, and my companion turned to see a rusty garage door closing. I laughed when he told me he thought it was Taoist traditional music. I will be completely honest, to me that music really does sound like rusty, scraping metal. I miss my mp3 player.
- The Taiwanese do not seem to want sun tans. Whenever it's sunny outside, they will wear clothes that cover their entire body despite the tremendous heat, and at stoplights they will wait in any shady spot they can find. It is common to see women walking around in long sleeves with umbrellas. A couple days ago we were at the library, and a little kid came up to my companion and asked him, "How is your friend so white? He lives in Hengchun, and it's really sunny. How is he not black yet?" Beats me, man. I thought I was getting pretty tan, but I guess not yet.
- The address system in Taiwan is genius. Instead of attributing random names to smaller roads like the US (Roosevelt Rd., Franklin Dr., etc.), the name of the smaller road is always linked to the major road that is connected to it ("Charity Rd. Franklin Dr."). Therefore, you can hear an address and pretty much know exactly where it is. In more rural areas, the rules get broken a lot. The worst I've ever seen is the village of DaGuang, which contains about 50 different roads all under the same name, DaGuang Rd. Plus, the house numbers there follow no specific order, so to find a house, you have to ride down the 50 and some-odd streets and hope you run into it. It's the worst when you have a wrong address. You might go back there five or six times before you finally conclude that the place just might not exist.
I forgot to mention last week that Elder Palmer and I got to teach the mayor of Manzhou. He's a nice guy, just really busy and I don't think he has much interest in the church. But he's really fond of one of our church members (whom had actually asked us to go meet him), so it was a good visit.
I woke up at 1:30 in the morning to fireworks outside our building. Good ole' Taiwan.
Mindy Gledhill is a famous Mormon singer and songwriter, but when I left, she was not really known outside of Church member circles. So imagine my surprise when, as we are knocking doors, I hear one of the songs from her album "Anchor" playing inside. The guy was not a member, but he had found her music online and listened to it all the time. It's a small world. It was a fantastic conversation starter.
As it turns out, the member in Hengchun that is good friends with a member in Gangshan is getting married in a couple months to a member from my first area, Lingya. I'm super excited for them! It's just so funny to me how all my areas seem to overlap like that.
I'm loving it out here! I hope all is well for you this week, and I love getting your letters! Thank you for your prayers.