Posted by: atarimonos | August 1, 2009

August 1st and a Hand-basket

August first denotes the twilight for my career as an ESL teacher with Gloria. I’ve five more weeks of employment, then a couple months of travel. Is it bad that I’m counting days? The past 11 months have taught me numerous things about life, cultures, and all that rot. Here are some highlights:

1) In Taiwan, traffic laws really are suggestions. You never know when a bus will pull a u-ey in the middle of an intersection, regardless of oncoming traffic. Also, you never know when a scooter decides that a pedestrian walkway (i.e. sidewalk) is an extension of the main drag.

2) Face matters and, as you’re a foreigner, it matters less. In Taiwan, I’ve made “friends” and friends. The former smile, nod, and politely inquire as to your well-being all the while plotting your demise when you’re out of ear shot (or even in ear shot). The later are honest to goodness friends, perhaps not confidants but since when have I been a trusting sort?

3) Boiling water plus vegetables, meats, and nameless edibles is delicious.

4) Dan-bing: part-quesadilla part-omelet … ALL TASTE-SENSATION

5) Kids: love ‘em or hate ‘em, you still have to deal with them. Ugh … I want to thank all my Elementary/Middle school teachers, I now understand, in part what you went through. Thanks for being good (and not so good) sports about it all.

6) It takes two to Tango and a common language to keep it going.

7) I ride with Ma-tzu.

8) Working 6 days a week for an entire year sucks. Remind me never to do that again.

9) Being paid in cash, on time, and every day rules.

10) Living in one place for more than 8 months is a bad thing.

11) Taiwan: a charming companion who has everything except family.

So there are my cliff notes, 11 points for 11 months. The list will expand later. In other news, I’ve purchased my ticket to Thailand and hope to be out on the next adventure soon. Take care. Cheers.



  1. Heyyyy Buddy! I thought I’d check in on you and your blog instead of email this time. You abroad now? It is Aug 28th and you should be finishing up with Taiwan.

    Get back at me whenevs. I’m in Philly and start work on the 8th. I’ll be in my own place by late Sept. Right now I’m just crashing with Lynette and Charlotte.


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