The Chinese - especially the Taiwanese, who tend to be more traditional - still use their original lunar calendar when it comes to defining the dates for special traditional events and so forth. It's lunar July now. Actually, it's the second lunar July; for some reason this year is special and has two Julys. Ned tried to explain why, but he tried to explain it in his broken English and two weeks later my head is still spinning from trying to understand it.
At any rate, lunar July is apparently Ghost Month, and although most Taiwanese will tell you it's just a silly superstition they all still seem to look back over their shoulder whenever the wind blows wrong. Ned, who is getting married in December, even decided to wait until after lunar July ends to go get his wedding pictures taken, just to be cautious. And wedding pictures are a big deal here.
And me, I'm a stupid white girl. I live in a rather big apartment, all by myself, and when I got home tonight I was a little creeped out because a door that normally remains permanently closed for some reason kept opening itself. Forgetting that it is Ghost Month, and forgetting further that I am in Taiwan, I mentioned jokingly to a friend:
"I think I have a ghost in my apartment."
"Oh!" he said in all seriousness. "Do you need to come stay at our place?"
I can't seem to adapt my sarcastically playful personality to the local culture. Every time I try to make a joke, even a small one, I end up freaking someone out.
In further news (I mean further than its being the second lunar July, which I'm very sure everyone at home cares about) I finally started school this week. I am overjoyed, because having nothing to occupy my mind was getting slightly dangerous. I was actually originally placed in far too low a class - whether it was due to some administrative mix-up or my own incompetence on the placement test I'm not really sure - and I've had to spend the past three days changing classes and filling out paperwork and negotiating with teachers and etc. etc. etc. trying to get in a class that was more suited to my level. It's been exhausting, but it's keeping me busy, which at this point is the general idea. The class I ended up in will still be a little easy for me, but I think it's just at that right level where I can review a little without being too bored.