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Report from
Taiwan



Wednesday, November 14th 2001 

Wow, Long time no hear! Okay, I was actually pushed by Nathalie Whythe (now Mrs. Harbord, (congratulations) so I'm writing. Sorry! Here we are again and it's November speeding at breakneck speed toward December, so this year, I've already written to my family to save myself the headache of searching for stuff for Christmas. Happy birthdays, by the way, to Mum and brother, Mitch.

For those not in the know hey, I made it back to Taiwan after 3 months of doing pretty much nothing but hanging around different geographical locations. I haven't done much to keep up to date with what's been happening and I do apologise for that. So far all I've done is my two weeks in Thailand and a few days in Dubai. For those of you not in the know I also spent a month back in the UK catching up with friends and family (congratulations Kim & Mitch on your expected second bundle of joy) (Steve and Carol - hope you get a good, long holiday soon) and (Marine Devan, Congratulations again.)

So, after leaving the UK in July I took a cheap flight (23gbp) with Ryanair to Sweden, where I caught up with Sigvald, a good friend of mine since 1991 when we met travelling in Switzerland. I stayed at his place a week and he showed me around and showed me a great time in Stockholm and around, Thanks Siggy!

Soon enough it was time to move on and I trekked through Estonia, Latvia (by night), Lithuania and Minsk before getting to base camp two, Ukraine. I'd arranged with Suzanne Palm, another Swedish friend, this time from Taipei to meet up at the guest house of an international Charity Siloam, where we met with Vadim, a selfless guy who does so much for so many people. More about him to come, that's for sure.

Due to some visa problems (my fault - bad planning) we overstayed in Ukraine by about five days and instead of going through Russia we flew to Uzbekistan. Fantastic - a country that really has so much to offer.

Time was running short but we made it by bus through Kazhakstan and to Urumqi in mainland China. By this time, time was really running short. Suzanne and I parted ways, she to Shanghai, I staying in Urumqi some more time.

After having to fly to Guangzhou because of my short (ten day) visa I made it through to Hong Kong (yay!) and back to Taiwan with no problems.

So hey, since getting back I started looking for work on TV, rather than be another cog solely in the teaching mechanism of Taipei, and recently I was on two TV talk shows, was in one commercial and one music video for a new Taiwanese teen-singer (the latter two were very brief appearances). The first TV talk show was a week ago on Monday night, chatting, get this, in Chinese about getting naked at home. I had a few friends (Gina, Jeff, Rob, Craig & Taiwei) around for beer and TV and then we went to Karaoke afterwards. Good night, thanks guys!!

I have two regular jobs now, one teaching at two branches of my former school where I worked for before for the past two years (part-time) I have two hour-long classes at an elementary school teaching five-year olds. Last month I taught a month of French to help prepare Jennifer, a young Taiwanese student, for the big move to France, and this month I hope to start a new course for ten weeks teaching Spanish for three hours on Tuesday evenings. Although I'm only teaching about ten hours a week now my jobs are better paid so I can afford to be a bit more relaxed. (So why aren't I getting on with my website, you may ask.)

After getting back to Taiwan I stood in for Suzanne in the play 'Decadence' put on by Thalie theatre, and instead of wearing her costume of a skirt with the back cut out revealing her underwear I went the whole hog (or a 90% monty) and just wore a G-string and apron. Photos by request only! Now I'm preparing for another part in the Samuel Becket play 'Endgame' which is scheduled to be out the last week in December with a run of eight shows. More to come as it hits the press.

In October, at Gary Yungerman's birthday party, I met Dan, a member of the Taiwan Water skiing association and he invited some of us to join him so I did a couple of weeks ago. It was great but it took me about ten or so attempts to actually get up out of the water and stay up.

Taiwan, the land where anything can happen! Who'da Thunkit?

Have fun!

Rob.


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