I have been on the small[ish] island of Taiwan (or the Republic of China, as China likes to call it) since, oh, the end of last AUGUST and have written exactly zero posts about it. This needs to be fixed immediately!!!I can’t believe five months in Taiwan have already passed. Time always seems to move really slowly when you try to live in the moment and the day to day, accomplishing this or that–lesson planning, writing evaluations, exploring, making friends, etc.,–then all of a sudden, it’s whooshing past, like a great torrent of scooters on one of Taipei’s busy streets. Oh dear. There’s just so much to share. I’ll begin at the beginning…
A Brief Recap (5 months in Taiwan)
On August 19th, I arrived bright and early in Taipei’s main international airport. My travel flight itinerary when flying from the U.S. to another country actually went according to plan, so that was nice for a change, and already different from my last arrival in Taiwan. Apart from being dog tired from all of that airport waiting and flying, driving from the airport into Taipei and glimpsing the familiar Taipei 101 skyscraper in the distance forced a gigantic smile on my face. The experience was all so surreal.
The organization, Reach to Teach, which helped me find my ESL teaching job before I arrived, informed me that my school would have a taxi waiting for me to take me to my temporary accommodations as I was, once again, technically “homeless”. I was deposited at my temporary stay, an apartment with several rooms that other teachers of the same school were staying at until they found a more permanent home, yet I only met one of them during my time there in the first week. The Internet was not working when I arrived, and I had no idea where I was. To top it all off, I already had a letter from my school saying that I had to check-in with them the following day and to bring this and that with me. As I landed in typhoon season, rain and winds started pounding Taipei a few days later, and I had to find a place to rent within a week or begin to start paying money where I was currently staying. The other teacher and I found head office, I discovered how easy the Taipei MRT (metro) is to use, and I got a little more comfortable with my bearings. I was filling in what would become my class two days later, and I started teaching on my own the following Monday.