Yarg. Next week I get to go to Hsinchu (2 hours drive, maybe) for two days of training. I was planning to drive, but then I checked with someone who commutes from that city (work is in Linkou, between there and Taipei) and found that the hotel they’ve booked me into is 40 minutes drive from the hotel where the training is. I’ve asked (a few times) about simply staying in the same hotel, but the say it’s too expensive. So now I’m thinking maybe instead of having to navigate between hotels as well as finding the first one in the first place, maybe I’ll let work pay for trainfare and taxis. This adds some aggravation in that I am probably much better off going and buying the train tickets in person this weekend, but I think it will save enough stress to be worth it. I was going downtown this weekend sometime anyway, so it will just be an extra stop. My coworkers seem to be strongly in favor of me taking the train; I don’t think they trust me to drive it. (Taiwanese still seem to view women driving as an odd thing, however; I’ve actually been asked how I get to work when Rudder is out of town.) I do have a GPS, but it doesn’t really seem all that reliable. On the other hand, having looked at maps, the directions don’t look all that difficult – the traffic, however, might be.

While I was writing the above, I was informed that my waitlist in a closer hotel had just been confirmed, so probably I will drive after all. It looks pretty simple – the two hotels are 10 minutes off opposite sides of the same highway I take to work, so I think I wlil drive after all. This is a good example of why everything is just more coplicated in a foreign country.

On the plus side, I just found out the Chinese characters on the earrings I’m wearing (that I bought a couple of years ago) say something about peace and safety while traveling. Maybe I’ll wear them for the trip.

Even more on the plus side, my Stitch and Bitch is definite so I get to socialize this weekend. And lunch today was sushi and milky pearl tea, courtesy of a colleague who went out to get it (and tried to treat us all, but we pushed money at him). My sweater is going well; I don’t think the cable detail will be too bulky because though the gauge is slightly heavier than the one in the pattern the cable comes from, the yarn has a nice drape to it thanks to the silk blend. I’m glad I thought about it in time to add a few more stitches than I was planning under the arms, though, because the cable will pull in a bit. And tonight I will begin this weekend’s planned recreational shopping. Unless I decide I would prefer to hang out at home, because I can do whatever I want tonight – no need to go to bed early because no need to wake up early, no workout to do because I did that this morning, no need to worry about food until I’m hungry for it, no need to figure out what two of us both feel like eating or worry about eating at all until and unless I’m hungry, no worry about rushing to get there before stores close because they are open every night until 9 or so – might even be later on Fridays. The freedom is making me a little giddy.