Hi I'm new in Town


#1

Well amlost new. I’m actually not on Taiwan soil yet, but by this time next week I will be. I’ve been lurking for a few months trying to get the low down and just officially joined recently. I just wanted to say hi and hope to get to know some of you.

A bit about myself. I’m from the US and will be here for a year to teach English. After I was laid off this summer from Worldcom I wanted a change and wasn’t ready to go back to the 9-5 rat race rut. I love to travel so I figured this would be a way to see some of the world and make a little money while doing it (paying off credit card debt), so here I am.

I’m a newbie to the teaching scene although I do come from a long line of educators including my mother, uncle, and 6 of my aunts so I don’t think the classroom will be too foreign to me. Well that’s all for now I’m looking forward to living and learning here.

Oh one question (if anyone reads this). What is one thing you wish you had known about Taiwan that may have shocked or surprised you before you arrived? Thanks.


#2

I wish I had known how to teach in Taiwan before I came, it would have saved a lot of headaches, although then again it has become a skill I won’t forget. And looking back on it now, it’s pretty funny. Good luck!


#3

The large number of ex-Telco employees trying to pass themselves off as teachers.


#4

[quote]What is one thing you wish you had known about Taiwan that may have shocked or surprised you before you arrived? [/quote]The 711’s don’t have petrol bowsers out the front :sunglasses:


#5

I guess I would have liked someone to tell me: “The place looks like a mess. Hell, it is a mess. And its dirty. But the people are great and you’ll have a wild time.”

Also, look out for the pollution. A lot is hidden in the air. Be careful when and where you do your exercise. Its probably not a good idea to jog outside in the city.


#6

Don’t tell anyone if you’re new in town.
Last time they were robbed because they were…

ax


#7

That they didn’t check credit cards. Remembered this when you mentioned your debt. 13 years ago they were only taken at a few restaurants and department stores. my friends card was dead beyond any hope of salvation, decked out our room with TV, vcr, air conditioner :slight_smile::):slight_smile:


#8

[quote=“ax”]Don’t tell anyone if you’re new in town.
Last time they were robbed because they were…

ax[/quote]My advice is the opposite. Let everyone know that you’re new in town, and you will be treated like a king. The locals love foreigners. :slight_smile:


#9

That you can’t ship a 20’ container directly to your apartment in Taipei City.


#10

DreamWarrior,
Where were you working form Worldcom? Not the headquarters by chance.


#11

For me, it might have helped to know that Taiwan isn’t simply a different culture. It’s a different universe. This isn’t a bad thing.

As for teaching, you’ll be well-served to be open to the idea that much of what you know about teaching in the United States doesn’t apply here. At the very least, you are going to have to adjust the way you teach to fit very different circumstances. If you’re smart and stay curious about what’s going on around you, you’ll be fine.

T.


#12

Thanks everyone for the advise.

[quote] DreamWarrior,
Where were you working form Worldcom? Not the headquarters by chance. [/quote]

Chainsmoker, I worked in Hunt Valley, MD (7 yrs). I still have a friend who works in DC.


#13

Hi DreamWarrior, and welcome. OK, here’s what myself and others here thought that they should have known:

-bring lots of underwear (and bras if you’re female) as the quality and sizes just aren’t…western.
-try to pick up at least a few mandarin phrases and basics, as not everyone will know English (though if you’re in Taipei, as most seem to be, it appears to me that EVERYONE speaks at least a bit of English)
-go places on your days off; there are some beautiful things to see
-watch out for psycho-bin-lan taxi/truck/bus drivers. They either didn’t see you or just don’t care.
-don’t let the disorganisation get to you. You will get used to it eventually, and though it’s frustrating, it’s not the end of the world.
-people will lie to you to save face. be practical when listening to claims/promises as they may not be entirely true.

G’luck!


#14

What is one thing you wish you had known about Taiwan that may have shocked or surprised you before you arrived?

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

But if we tell you, you won’t have your own Taiwan experience! Shhhh, everyone, don’t tell. Let him/her have his/her own Taiwan experience.