Okay, so today I’m a bit late. Actually, about 12 hours late in doing this blog. Why you ask? Well, just because.
No, really, I’ve been busy uploading pictures and videos from yesterday’s two wedding feasts, cleaning up my office, and catching up on some lesson plans.
Yesterday was definitely a busy day. Class at 9:00 with a private student. This boy, as great a kid as he is, is going to be entering college in September. He is in 3rd year senior high school, which is like grade 12 for us Canadians. Originally, he had told me that he wanted to get into Travel and Hospitality. Fair enough. It’s his choice, but his problem is, that he wants to study in an English language program. I, personally and professionally, don’t feel he’s ready to commit to 8 hours of English-only classes, but he feels he is. Okay, so I’ve been helping him to prepare for his entrance interview. This has been going on for four weeks now.
Suddenly, yesterday, he told me that he also wants to apply at another college to become a translator. Okay, and his interview is in two weeks! There is NO WAY he is ready for this type of program. His Chinese, I would assume, is very good, considering it is his mother tongue, but his English is somewhat (? – how about a lot) rusty. He has a hard time trying to convey what he wants to say in Chinese, into English. How is he going to cope learning a third or fourth language, if he can’t quite grasp his second?!
I wasn’t prepared at all for this, so it was a bit tough trying to explain what is involved in translation. I don’t want to DIScourage him, but at the same time, I don’t think his parents should be ENcouraging him to enter this program.
Nonetheless, the class finished, he seemed okay and more eager, and I left. I had to get over to Cliff’s place, because at 12:00 we had an appointment at a wedding feast in Jiali, Taiwan – about 45 minutes north of Tainan, in Tainan County. Good thing I cancelled my second class, and my third class had cancelled as well. If not, I would have gone up there, dropped off Cliff, and had to turn around to come back for my class.
So this was a “groom’s” wedding feast, as I was informed. Apparently, most wedding ceremonies in Taiwan involve two feasts. One is for the bride, which is usually small-ish, compared to the groom’s feast, which is much larger and more entertaining. The old tradition that the man has to impress his bride and show he has more friends, blah, blah, blah (yes, I’m going to hear about this blog for sure), doesn’t really sit too well with me and my beliefs that we are all equal. However, this is the Taiwan way, and I will never and WOULD never change it. Eventually, I hope that things change, and both bride and groom will be equal.
However, this was the groom’s day. I have never been to a groom’s feast before, because, quite frankly, I’ve never known a guy in Taiwan to get married. I’ve only known women, because the teachers that I deal with, are all women. No men. This feast was, to put it bluntly, the best damn wedding feast I’ve ever been to! Even though I had no idea who the bride or the groom were, and are just as likely never to see them again, I was impressed.
Many, many people. So much food, I couldn’t believe it! The ‘pomp and circumstance’ that went with this celebration, was something I’ve never seen before. And, I actually enjoyed every dish that was brought out! Usually, there is something that I can’t quite stomach, but this time, I tried AT LEAST SOMETHING from each course. Oh, except dessert. By that time, I was way too stuffed, and besides, I’ve had so much PUDDING in Taiwan, that it didn’t really matter that I didn’t try it.
To see pictures of this wedding, go to my Facebook account, and look for the album, A Taiwan Wedding #2.
On to the second feast. This was for a teacher at my bushiban, Giraffe. Nicole had given me a couple of tubes of candy shortly after Teacher Dale’s wedding, telling me that she was getting married, and the dinner was on March 28! Two in one day. Oh my word! I already knew, before going to Jiali, that I was going to this second meal, but the lunch feast was just too damn good!
This time, we were in a banquet hall. Much different attitude from the servers than at a ‘normal’ wedding feast. Honestly, I found it a bit stuffy and too formal. Nonetheless, the dinner was beautiful, the food looked ALMOST as appetizing as it looked. Unfortunately, I was still stuffed from the first meal in the afternoon, that I didn’t eat a whole lot. I did try Shark Fin Soup for the first time though. Interesting… like eating eraser soup, as I told Janice.
Both meals were very good, and I enjoyed each one differently. I did enjoy being with people that I know, at Teacher Nicole’s wedding. Not to say that the company at the table for the first wedding was bad… in fact, sitting with very pretty girls who Cliff went to school with, and a couple of them able to speak English, made the lunch feast just as enjoyable as eating the food. Also, having Cliff there, helped a LOT!
If you ever get a chance to come to Taiwan, try to get yourself, somehow, invited to a wedding feast. It is an experience you will never forget – whether for the bride or groom!