6:45am: First alarm goes off.
8:00am: Get out of bed late.
Shuffle to the bathroom.
Shower, brush teeth, do bathroomy things.
20-25 minutes later: Return to room.
Check phone for texts,
get dressed, put on makeup, dry hair. Pluck eyebrows.
Realize I’m running late.
8:47am: Head downstairs,
put in earbuds, put on mask, put on helmet, walk out to the front porch,
open car gate, climb on scooter,
back out, close car gate.
8:49am: Realize I’m still wearing my house shoes.
8:57am: Check the pollution levels by scoping out how much of the mountains I can see at the long light at HsinAn Road and Highway 1.
8:58am: Pull into underground parking garage.
Walk to elevators. Go to the sixth floor.
9:02am: Clock in. Greet Vicky at the front desk, then Yvonne and Polly at our cubicles.
9:04am: Eat “danbean” for breakfast, an egg and bacon concoction. Drink milk tea. Fill water bottle.
before 10am: Order lunch for DinBenDon!, the lunch delivery service.
until 12:00pm: Show the English language who’s boss. Repeatedly fight with Microsoft Word 2003 and Photoshop 6.0. Try to Google how to solve a problem, but get mocked by a screen that says that company policy forbids social networking sites at work.
12:01pm: Pick up lunch in cafeteria. Realize I accidentally ordered noodles instead of rice.
12:40pm: Take leftovers and trash to cafeteria.
1:01pm: Wake up with giant red spot on forehead.
Resume battles with English, Word and Photoshop. Get in a major disagreement with PowerPoint 2003.
2:10pm: Walk to the bank on the first floor and use the ATM to pay my registration fee (approximately $10) for a 10K I’m attempting next month. Then walk across the street to 7-Eleven to get a non-water drink.
2:20pm: Return to the office.
Drink more milk tea. Drink more water.
Get Yvonne and Polly’s feedback on my brochure.
4:02pm: Clock out. Return to scooter parking garage.
Put in earbuds, put on mask,
put on helmet. Zoom.
4:15pm: Go through school zone. No zone, really, because not one vehicle slows down. Stupid amounts of traffic, pedestrians and bicycle riders.
4:17pm: Check the time at an intersection clock. I’m on time.
4:25pm: Park in alley at a home that’s been converted to a private tutoring school.
4:27pm: Go inside. Put on red Mickey Mouse house shoes.
Walk up one floor. Greet kids, corral today’s first class: Jessica, Ryan and Ting Ting.
4:29pm: Call to Ting Ting to hurry up.
4:30pm: Start class.
4:31pm: Tell Ryan to sit still.
4:40pm: Tell Ryan to put his chair back at the table and sit still.
4:44pm: Tell Ryan to put all four chair legs on the floor and sit still.
4:49pm: Threaten to tie Ryan to his chair with the stereo’s power cord if he doesn’t sit still.
4:56pm: Tell Ryan to get off the table. He knows he’s irritating me. Ting Ting and Jessica laugh. Ryan giggles nervously.
5:06pm: Laugh with the kids when Ryan trips and falls while jumping around.
5:07pm: Continue laughing. Ting Ting shares gummy candy. Goof off.
5:15pm: First class over. Head to another classroom for second class.
5:20-6:05pm: Tutor Shayna and Ilitta.
Try to teach them about the phases of the moon. Give up when they start dancing. Make them sit down and do book work.
6:06pm: Chat with Sunny. Laugh about the crazy kids.
6:10pm: Head back to the house. Make it through three green lights, then get stuck at busy intersection by the train station.
6:14pm: Take tiny underground scooter/bicycle tunnel to a back alley. Four-block shortcut cuts out 10 minutes of scooting time. Key to tiny tunnel: hold your breath and duck. There are 8 open sewer grates lining the ground, and it smells just how you’re imagining.
6:20pm: Pull up to the house.
6:22pm: Greet sweet-but-insane tiny dog who doesn’t stop moving. Ever.
6:30-bedtime: Catch up on emails. Check Facebook. Watch show online. Push tiny dog off my laptop. Push her off again. Push her off again. Push her off the bed. Change to go for a jog. Eat dumplings with roommate. Somehow lose track of time and go to bed at 2am. Never go for the jog.
(I jogged tonight.)