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Last updated
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This page created using
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Back to SixAroundTheWorld.tripod.com 
 Report from
***Taiwan***
October 10th 2000

No excuses this time! Just the hard facts. And get ready to cancel all leave - this time it's a long one.

I guess the last time I wrote of any substance was just before my trip back to the UK via various Asian 
countries in June. Well as you can read by clicking here it wasn't an uneventful trip. I had a great time and 
caught up with a few old friends and made a few new ones.

I did eventually get back to the UK and then after finding out how much it was going to cost me to fly back to 
Taiwan I decided I'd better make some extra cash. This I did by going to see Erin at Quality Personnel back 
home in Grimsby. Funny thing is that only thirty minutes after I'd called in she called back asking if I could 
come back into the office. I was to start work the next day at 8:45 at QEK, a car distributorship, just dealing with 
paperwork and the odd errand. At GBP5 p/h I wasn't complaining too much. 

So I stayed home for a couple of weeks and got back in touch with my old buddy from Junior school through to 
secondary school,Mark Devan. Good luck with the job hunting, mate.?Also I caught up with Steve Goodman a 
couple of times. Hope you had a good weekend the week after I left, Steve and Carole. 

On the first Monday back home I bumped into Natalie Whythe, an old friend from about ten years or so ago and 
we got together a few times and hung out.

It was really good to be back home but this year I really didn't have enough time to spend there, with travelling 
three weeks before my arrival. Next year I plan to spend more time at home. I have a ticket that'll take me back 
to Bangkok and from then I have a ticket that'll take me back to the UK via Dubai again. Is it just me or does 
that sound like a huge opportunity to do some more travelling?

So what's happened since my return? I stayed at Dan's, Richard's and Peter's for about a month while looking 
for a place of my own. Thanks guys, you may think I stayed too long and I could've gotten out a lot sooner but I 
have to tell you that the place I have now (found after a month's looking) was well worth the wait. In that month I must 
have seen about fifteen, or so, places and they ranged from 'nice, but living with an eighty-five year old landlady 
(in the next room)' to 'yuk!' I wasn't going to commit myself to any of these in a hurry.

A lot of these were sorted and introduced to me from Shui Ma Ma, an accomodation agency here in Taipei. 
Jesse at work helped me get the info on the places and set up times to see the places. She helped a lot.

So I eventually found the place I wanted and moved in about late July. It's about 30 years old (so we have 
something in common - although it has more cockroaches and gecko lizards than I do - I hope!) It's only about 
four subway stops away from the stop closest to where I work (although it's quite a way out of town so late 
night trips by taxi will probably add up over time. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and and one tennant. Moi!
It's so cool and even better since I hosed the kitchen down and decorated my room and the front room. 
That's all the decorating that I'm going to be doing for a while because I'm usually flat out busy and on top of 
that I've had enough of going up and down ladders for the past couple of weeks. I'm happy with the result 
though. I'm quite fond of the colour scheme I chose as well. I tried to explain the choice of colours to Richard from 
Canada in 99's one night. The conversation was fairly brief as it went along the lines of...

Me. So I've been decorating because the colour's pretty nasty.

Richard. What've you got?

Me. The wall's are a kind of pastel creamy yellow and the ceiling's a kind of soft pastel green.

Richard. Oh, yeah. you want to get rid of that...

Me. But... that's what I've decorated it to.

Richard. Ah,

Well it did have a nasty 'institution blue' that apparently was painted on by dynamite being set off inside the 
paint pot. The colour before was really quite gloomy but now, da-daaa, is really quite cheery and makes it 
easier (a little) to get up in the morning.

And seeing as for the first time in my entire life I'm making the effort to get up really early so I have more daylight time (well heck, I don't get home now until ten-ish) having a nice ambience to wake up to is quite an important thing. It's not just that I want to get up in the morning. Now I really have to. A couple of months ago I covered for Dan Huk at his kindergarten while he was on holiday in Thailand. It's well paid so I decided (after a lot of deliberation) to take a job there for myself. It's cool and I love the kids - but I start work at 9:00 so I have to take the underground from Nan Shi Chiau (my new address and then pick up my bike from four stations away, where I leave it every night after my evening job. Then I cycle the thirty minutes or so to the opposite corner of the city. It keeps me fit.

One thing that I realised from my actual savings last year, was that I was going nowhere fast. I hadn't made that much and what I had made went on things like rent, Chinese lessons etc... This year something 
was going to have to change. I was going to have to buckle down and make something worth saving. In order to do that I have to work more hours, and that's where the kindy job comes in. I've set myself a goal to save a certain amount by June next year, and even though I'm only working at the kindy until next January I'll hit that target with ease. (I say with ease, but I'm knackered most of the time.)

Today, time of writing is the tenth of the tenth, or as the Chinese call it, double ten. This is a public holiday here in Taiwan so no work and I'm relaxing in the sunshine on the roof of my apartment building listening to Maaza, a guy from North America, who I first heard play at the Witchhouse. His music mixes English and Chinese (but mostly Chinese) and is great to listen to while, say, decorating and apartment for two weeks. I saw him out for the first time since the Witchhouse (and recognised him, he wears a zorro style face mask while playing in public - government scholarships don't allow to earn while studying, apparently.) I went to a Korean restaurant in Shida with Ben Peipert, his girlfriend Emily and her friend, Charlene.  Sounds stupid but I thanked him for his music keeping me company while decorating - and helping me do a good job of it. He's going to be playing in Da An Park on the 21st of October along with other artists in a free concert. Cool. If you're in Taipei on the 21st I definitely suggest going.

So yesterday, as I was finishing my kindergarten job I had just made a phone call and arranged to have a washing machine delivered (handwashing clothes sucks!) when Dan Huk called me on my mobile to ask what plans I had for last night, seeing as today's a holiday and all. I had just agreed to go out when I remembered that my washing machine was coming. Dan then suggested we get together at my place. Lo and behold my first party at my new place was arranged. With less than ten hours to go I had to figure out how to invite people, so I made some phone calls from my other school and drew up a map to fax to some of my friends' schools. My evening classes dragged out and I had a really long lasting oral test for one of my lower level classes. After finishing work I rushed like a madman (on my bike) back to Nan Shi Chiau, met up with Stephen who was picking up and delivering my washing machine and had the machine delivered (while picking up beer and munchies for the gathering. I'm not saying party because it was a small affair but I think that people enjoyed it. Next time I'll have a lot more advance warning. First to arrive was Roseanne, followed by Richard and Marc. Next was Sarah followed by Dave and Michelle and finally Dan himself came. Thanks to all you guys, I'm happy you all came and hope you enjoyed it. 

A while ago Dave had been meeting up with a local Taiwanese pin up model who plays the violin. I'd mentioned to him that last year I got a free pin up girl calendar that came free with something or other - I conveniently forget what that product was. Anyhow, in this calendar there was a photo of a naked chick (oh so politically incorrect) with a violin. I'd told Dave about this photo and he'd wanted to see it because he reckoned it could be the same girl. So this was the first time that Dave (or pretty much anybody) had come to my house, and of course I had to get out the calendar. Hey presto! Violin girl and Dave's girl are the same. I had to wind Dave up of course by telling him that I wasn't going to let him have the photo. Ha!

About one-ish (two maybe) people started to hui jia (go home) and Dan, Roseanne and I had a guitar jamming session-ette. Dan played and I just made it up on the spot. Dang cool. After this it was time to head elsewhere - the plan was for Roseanne and I to go to Julianna's and then I would phone Dan to find out where the party he was going to was. Unfortunately there was no connection to his phone when it was time to move on from Julianna's.

Have to tell you why Roseanne has a new phone. It has to do with Julianna's. I don't think she'll mind too much if I divulge. She was at Julianna's one night and had her old phone stolen. That's not too funny but when Roseanne checked her messages she had the guy who stole it telling her that her phone sucked. Eric and Gary reckon that Roseanne's life could be a Seinfeld episode. 
 

So today after cleaning up, which took a lot less time than my last party, I'm chilling on the roof, writing this. Later I'll take it to the internet cafe around the corner and upload it. Then I reckon I'll start to sort out the 'fa piao' I've been collecting over the last few months and still haven't made the time to check the lottery numbers on them. 

This Sunday we say goodbye to Michelle Chen for a few months (five possibly) as she jets to Madrid to study Spanish. That's so cool and I really wish her well with that. If more people had the courage to go after what they want... Buena suerte, Michelle.

In the next couple of weeks we have my friend, Sonia Leon's first photo exhibition in Ren Ai road, Taipei. I'll supply a link to the scanned invite for all who want to go. That starts on Saturday 20th and I'll be there for sure.

As mentioned earlier there's a free concert in Da An Park, I think it starts at around 7 on the 21st. That's going to be a busy weekend. Cool.

I think, although it's really belated, I've waffled enough for one update so for now I'll say TTFN!! Ciao a tutti!
 

Rob.
 



Postal address:
Hess Language School
Hoping E.Rd. Sec.2 No.49-1,Fl.2,
106, Taipei, Republic of China.
rob@sixatw.zzn.com
Mobile phone (Taipei) +886 926 122293
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