Typhoons, Tailbones, and Time

So I have to admit that we did nothing this week that could be considered touristy. We lived a blessed life this week again, for sure. But I have nothing special to write about, as far as what you should see or do in Taipei. The “typhoon” (I use quotation marks because honestly I have seen far worse storms in California), my bruised tailbone from my fall down the stairs, and my subsequent paranoia about falling again in the rain prevented us from doing much this week.

When you travel long term, it is important to take time to do normal, real-life things sometimes. One cannot bustle around and be on the go all the time, especially with a toddler (I blame having a kid, but in reality, I need the down time more than her probably).

Despite the fact that we didn’t see any sights, or take any pictures of monuments, we did do some things that I do feel everyone should experience. They may seem mundane to you, but I feel refreshed and renewed for the new week because of them.

1) We had housecleaners come and do a deep clean of the house we are renting.

I have never had professionals clean my house. The house that we are renting previously belonged to three cats. Chad is allergic to cats and he has been suffering in silence. Yes, I could have done the work myself, but at the price of $20 an hour, we were both willing to let someone else do it for me. I am thankful that I was able to partake in this luxury. I know that in the States it is much more expensive, but I think everyone should enjoy this at least once. Especially all you hard working momma’s out there!

2) We stayed in and had a game night with good friends.

Last night after the babe went to bed, our friends came to our jungle oasis bearing gifts of hamburgers and fries (I know, awesome friends right?!). We sat and played the Battlestar Galactica board game until the wee hours of the morning (hence the lateness of this post). What a great time it was! I was the cylon and I ended up winning. I promise that is all the details I will go into about the game, Battlestar Galactica is not exciting to everyone I am sure, but I sure do love it!.

Regardless of what game we played, it was nice to relax and spend time with good friends. Last night I was Jenny, not just Zz’s mom, as she loves to call me lately. I think it is very important for every parent to take time to just be themselves occasionally. I know that it seems like that would go without saying, but I know many parents who never do so, or feel guilty when they do (I am totally pointing my finger at myself right now).

3) We spent a whole day in the house, just us three, and enjoyed each others company.

The typhoon day was such a blessing. Both Chad and I were nervous that many of the trees surrounding our house seemed like they may fall and break through our roof at the slightest breeze, but the Lord kept us safe in the wimpy torrential rainstorm. It ended up being a great day of togetherness!

Having Chad and Zoë with me all day, every day for the most part, I often forget to actually connect with each of them. I just end up going through the motions. I am so glad that there was a day that we were forced to stay in with each other, so I could reconnect with my two favorite people.

Make sure to take time and have a “typhoon day” with the ones you love too.

Next week I promise that I will write more about the wonders of Taiwan. Until then, what are some of the ordinary yet exceptional things that you would recommend that everyone do this week?


Wednesday Write-Up: Constants in an Inconstant World

There are few things that are constant in this world. It is always changing and evolving, and we are always trying to destroy improve the earth around us. But in each place that we live or travel to there are constants. In Santa Rosa, California, my home town, there will always be beautiful vineyards and inflated home prices. In Taipei, Taiwan there will always be a chance of rain and slick marble sidewalks and entryways.

I was reminded of these Taipei constants again yesterday. Chad, Zoë, and I were on our way to the local big box store called RT Mart (the Walmart of Taipei). There was a typhoon forecasted for the next day and we needed to stock up on food items in case we were unable to leave the house for a couple of days.

Typhoons often hit Taiwan this time of year, it is called typhoon season for a reason, but very rarely are they much to worry about in the actual city of Taipei. Usually the coastal towns, such as Hualien, are hit hard and then the typhoon fizzles out before reaching the valley that is Taipei.

It was raining here in Taipei, as we made our way to the abysmal but necessary RT Mart, and I had dressed accordingly in black skirt, dark shirt and flip-flops. Or so I thought. Chad and I dashed from the taxi that dropped us off into the entryway of the store. Chad was pushing Zoë in the stroller and made it down a ramp to the basement entry without issue. I followed, going slowly because I started slipping and sliding in my flip-flops on the marble sidewalk well before the I had gotten to the stairs.

It is common place for businesses to “dress-up” their entryway with marble or slick tile despite the possible accidents that could happen because of the constant possibility of rain. It is something that my foreigner friends and I used to discuss often about the lack of common sense that sometimes abounds in Taipei. The marble tiles are not new to me, I know that this is a thing here in Taipei and I thought I was prepared.

I was not prepared. Chad and Zoë (thank God) made it down the stairs safely. I did not fare so well.

As I stepped on the top stair, I felt my foot slip out from under me. I was so careful, but obviously my flip-flops were the wrong shoes to wear that day. I think I yelped as I landed on my tailbone and proceeded to fall down the flight of dirty, nasty, wet stairs in front of about five locals and Chad and Zoë. It was not my most graceful entrance, and I definitely felt that flight of stairs more than any other in my life (this was my first time falling down stairs).

I laid on the stairs for a moment while Chad asked me questions, making sure that I was ok enough to move. I slowly moved all my limbs and joints, trying to ascertain if I had broken a leg, arm, or my back. The locals didn’t move to help, but tried not to stare, which I appreciated. I was ok, I was still alive!

As I slowly got back on my feet, I felt intense pain in my tailbone. I must have bruised it. Chad and Zoë asked me if I was ok. I held back tears as best I could because I didnt want to scare Z and said I was fine, just a little sore.

I have bruised my tailbone once before in a scooter accident. I also bruised it when giving birth to Zoë, so I am not unfamiliar with the pain, or how to take care of it. I guess I am pretty lucky.

I hobbled around while we did our shopping and since then have been doing the best I can to be normal with a bruised rear end, unable to sit or bend over without some pretty excruciating pain.

In all of this though I am thankful. I am so thankful that Zoë was in the stroller and not in my arms when I fell down the stairs. I am thankful that the typhoon did actually hit Taipei and I have had an excuse to sit (or stand awkwardly) around the house. Mostly I am thankful that I made it through a fall down cement stairs without breaking my neck or dying. I am thankful to be here, with Chad and Zoë, in this wonderful rainy city with marble sidewalks.

I am going to go ice my bum now and listen to the sound of heavy rain falling on our tin roof (there really isn’t a more soothing sound). What are the constants in your area? I love to hear from you, leave a comment and let me know!