In the interests of finally getting this post up and published, I have decided to split it into two parts. Our trip to Hong Kong actually took place over a weekend in late July, but we’ve been so busy with traveling, working, and moving (!) that we’ve not given as much attention to writing as we should have. So, dear readers, without further ado, let’s get you all caught up on what we’ve been up to the in the past (almost) month.
I don’t know what it is about me, but when I get sick, I get sick to win. It’s very rare that I’ll come down with anything resembling a minor cold; even seasonal allergies have been known to cause mild fevers and fatigue in me.
I’ve been on the tail end of my training time as a new teacher for a week or so now. My classes will be handed over to me full time soon. I’m stoked. I’ve found that I really enjoy the challenge of working with the kids, and the kids themselves can be really entertaining, insightful, and just awesome to be around. They’ve made me laugh everyday. My teaching still has many flaws, but I’m really excited to keep practicing and ironing out those flaws.
However, one problem that comes from working with kids is that they seem to have a knack for carrying ridiculous amounts of germs. With Corin working with one set of kids, and I another, germs seem to be running wild between the two of us. Continue reading
Tonight me and the boy decided that’d we’d venture out into Tamsui, the city closest to our home. The heart of Tamsui is a mere five minute train ride from our home, and lays just beside the waterfront, where the Tamsui River meets the Pacific Ocean. It reminds me a bit of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, but much larger, and with a greater mix of tourist attractions and local fare. Although we’d visited a great many times before, this is the first time we had ventured out on the suggestion of locals to a particular eatery.
Enter Kooks. An American style eatery complete with English speaking staff, full English menus, and an incredibly charming mix of eastern and western decor. Continue reading
Hello everyone! It’s been a while since my last post; I’ve been busy getting oriented at my new job. I, along with Corin, have both taken jobs at the (in?)famous Hess language school based out of Taiwan.
Before coming to Taiwan, I did a lot of research on the ESL market and what the going advice was on both the country and the job market. I quickly discovered the wealth of disparaging information online about Hess, and decided quickly that I would avoid it at all costs, as per the going advice. Long hours with no pay and questionable legal practices? Count me out!
And yet, here we are.
As we’ve settled into our new country, we have become more and more familiar with many of the nuances of every day life. Here are some things we’ve found to be intriguing and/or surprising during our first month here:
I first heard about cat cafes a few years back and have wanted to visit one ever since. Two of my favorite things in life are coffee and animals, so when I found out that there was one right off route from our commute into the city, I had to stop by and check it out!
A collection of some of our favorite resources! With time we hope to add to and improve upon this list, but for now, we think it’s a great start for anyone thinking about coming to Taiwan.
Last night we made a trip out to Ximending, often referred to as the Harajuku of Taipei. This area is particularly popular with high school aged locals and tourists, and is the largest pedestrian only area on the island. The smog and traffic from scooters and cars in other popular, street side, shopping areas can be dense and oppressive, and the exclusion of these vehicles really does lend it to a much more pleasant experience.
Annnnd so on to the food!
This place is a Asian food lovers paradise. Chinese, Korean, and Japanese is absolutely everywhere, with a sprinkling of Thai, Indian, and even American food readily available.
Seafood is huge, and you can get a whole fried squid almost anywhere you go. The one pictured below is from a mall food court.
It’s been a crazy last three days.