Expat Moms

:slight_smile:
Hi there
This is our 2nd relocation - currently in HK and we’re anxious about our next move to Taiwan w/ 2 toddlers.
Most probably be in Taichung - Is there much to do for expat families there? How do you find the kindergartens? Are there any expat ones? What about extra mural activities for 1 1/2 and 4yr olds - anything like ballet/art/tumbletots/kindermusiek etc? Would you send your kids to local kindergartens? But heard atrocious stories about them being filthy?

Are there any expat moms out there with playgroups running? I’d like to join/ start one if not…

What about housing - is there an expat district at all? Is it easier to buy all our furniture (decent) there or to ship our own? What about kid’s toys - are there department stores/ToysRus etc?

Is it easy getting a local driving license? I’ve read that some families have drivers - is that necessary?

What about maids - is it easy to bring our Filipina helper with? How long does it take to apply for a work visa for her from Taiwan?

Please, would love any tips before we take the plunge?

Babies
Cai Niao

Joined: 19 Aug 2003
Posts: 2

Guanxi: 4
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Chops

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Posted: Today at 23:01 Post subject: Expat Moms 1


Hi there
We’re South Africans currently living in Discovery Bay, HK and about to relocate to Taiwan.
Anxious about our move to Taichung (Taizhong) w/ 2 toddlers. Is there much to do for them? How do you find the kindergartens? Are there any expat ones? What about extra mural activities for 1 1/2 and 4yr olds - anything like ballet/art/tumbletots/kindermusiek etc?
Are there any expat moms out there with playgroups running? I’d like to join/ start one if not…

What about housing - is there an expat district at all?

Is it easy getting a local driving license?

Please, would love any tips before we take the plunge?

Both posts are similar, but both contain some different information so I putting them together.

Most foreigners in Taiwan are not on expat packages, so your questions seem pretty pretentious, you’ll see what I mean when you get here, but I can speak Hong Kong expat, so here you go:

  1. Don’t send them to the local kindergartens. Look up Morrison Academy or Lincoln American School, if they are still open, and get schooling info from them. Hook up with play groups through this.

  2. Yes, there is lots to do: taiwanfun.com/central/taichung/
    but forget about ballet classes for a foreign toddler in Taichung.

  3. Take your furniture if hubby’s company will pay for it. Because of visa hassles, you might not be able to take your maid, so plan on getting a new one here. Buy electronics here if none of your appliances are 110. There are lots of dept. stores with toys. Even a Chanel store for you when it comes time to replace your handbag.

  4. Get a driver if you’ve got two small kids, unless you are the type that enjoys motor derby. Plan on taxis until you can get over the initial shock of the traffic.

  5. Your safety and the safety of your children are imperative. Do not get the false impression that just because you are in an expat area or a gated community that you are safer. Taichung does not have the low crime rate that expat HKG has. One expat wife learned this the hard way a few years back. The thieves spared her children, thank God.

[quote=“Babies”]:slight_smile:

Are there any expat moms out there with playgroups running?[/quote]

What’s a playgroup?

[quote=“Durins Bane”][quote=“Babies”]:slight_smile:

Are there any expat moms out there with playgroups running?[/quote]

What’s a playgroup?[/quote]

Carnegies on wednesday night.

Chou

Welcome to Forumosa Babies, happy to see you hear. I told you that Forumosa members would be able to help. :smile:
Well, the cracks about playgroups, ahhh, just boys having some fun.

I remember a while ago another forumosa member suggested those expats in the Taichung area with young kids should get together and let the kids play together. I was the only one who replied. It was good getting together with that other family. However, if your kids aren’t half Taiwanese it could be confusing as our kids mix up English, Chinese, and Taiwanese.

I most sincerely apologize for attempting to hijack your thread. Truth is I do not know the scene in Taichung, if Boss Hogg and his ragmuffins are not to your liking try starting here http://www.mca.org.tw/cf/myweb/index.cfm?

Chou

Ok, about Morrisson.

How much?
Different cost for expats and locals?
Pros and cons?

How much? Different cost for expats and locals? Pros and cons?

:shock: Don’t shoot the messenger. I have no idea. The link was only a reference for finding tumbling tots type programs.

Good luck.

Chou

Hmm, I know quite a few people in Taipei on expat packages…but I guess it’s unheard of in Taichung?
It may seem pretentious to Flicka but totally relevant/pertinent to our family. What’s wrong w/ trying to find friends of similar background who speak the same language for my little 4yr old girl?

By the way, being 3rd-generation overseas born chinese - we’re bananas and after being in the Far East for 10yrs, even though I can speak cantonese - I’m too white for the chinese and my face is too yellow for some westermers. At the end of the day - we’re hoping that we won’t encounter as much rascism or narrow mindedness as in HK. Ironic seeing that we’re S.Africans. Believe me, I received very different treatment until I opened my mouth and they realised I was a foreigner - an alien in disguise. They’d treat me w/ total disdain. They refused to believe/failed to understand that just because I look chinese doesn’t mean I can speak/ read or write chinese.

On the other hand, foreigners avoid/don’t speak to us as they think we’re locals - but it makes it more difficult for us to find friends and a support network which all white expats automatically have. Locals automatically are more friendly and better mannered towards them. Speaking from experience, my status in the eyes of other chinese in the east as a chinese woman is nothing - I am meant to listen to my father as a child, my husband when I’m married and my son when I’m old. So much for 5000yrs of chinese culture having not evolved.

Anyway, those are all off the major topic, thanks for the tips Flicka. Hmm… my cheap knapsack for a Chanel handbag?

To all the boys who really don’t know:
Playgroups are where a group of mums rotate get-togethers at each others homes so that all their preschool kids (scary) can play and the moms are able to have some adult conversation. Never had dads join - but we can set a precedent. Something like what you guys did - Bassman - has the no. of expat families grown at all?

Are there any chinese-lineage expats that can’t speak the lingo in Taiwan? How do you find it?

Babies,

Might be useful to contact:

American Chamber of Commerce Taichung at 04-205-0443. Their website is www.amchamtaichung.org, but isn’t very good.

Taichung International Women’s Association at 461-7458 (Susan Curtis) or 461-4642 (Patti Garrido).

If they can’t help you, they may know who can.

[quote=“Babies”]
What’s wrong w/ trying to find friends of similar background who speak the same language for my little 4yr old girl?[/quote]

Absolutely nothing. Bring her to Taipie. My 4 y.o Zoe needs a playmate.

Of course we know. But people like me can not resist taking the jhoke when its fed to us like that. What expat famlies list?! Where do I sign up.

Chou

I suggest that you get in touch with Michael Turton via his website (just type his name into your browser and it will come up). He also posts here as Vorksogian. He is very knowledgable about the things you are asking about, a good dad, and a helluva nice guy to boot.

Hey babies, you’re welcome in my town anytime. I’m not o/s chinese and my wife is Taiwanese, we welcome anyone. It’s a shame that not everyone is as welcoming of our type of family. :smiling_imp: I do get some strange looks around the city, but that is THEIR problem, NOT mine. However, my son is SUPER cute.

What about kid’s toys - are there department stores/ToysRus etc?

—I have a 7yr old daughter and frankly, we find the selection of toys in either ToysRUs or the department stores sadly lacking. The stores here carry alot of the japanese toys (zoids, hello kitty, digimon), a few Barbie dolls, etc. But if you are looking for the newer toys then you most probably have to buy it elsewhere.

What about maids - is it easy to bring our Filipina helper with? How long does it take to apply for a work visa for her from Taiwan?

—Your helper will probably have to return to the Phils first before she comes over cuz you will have to file an application with the Labor Office to bring her in. There are 5 conditions for the application of a domestic helper and you just have to satisfy 1. The whole process takes about 2 months from the time you file your application. You can email me if you want more information on this.

Hey - thanks to everyone for all the advice and info - this site and everyone on it are fantastic!
What would we do w/out internet? :smiley:

[quote=“Babies”]Hey - thanks to everyone for all the advice and info - this site and everyone on it are fantastic!
What would we do w/out internet? :smiley:[/quote]Have more babies ? :blush: