New guy on the forum. I’ve spent the last 5 hours or so reading through what seem like the most salient threads around here, and decided to throw up a post and introduce myself.
I’m planning to move to Taiwan in May, right after I finish my last two courses at university here in Victoria, BC, Canada.
My major is “Pacific and Asian Studies”, and I studied Mandarin for a few years.
In summer '06, I lived in Kaohsiung for a couple months on a language exchange at NSYSU.
I bought a scooter for  NT$4000(CAD) from a random Scandinavian guy who was on his way out, toured around to Taipei, Kending, and Hualian, and utterly fell in love with the island.
I’ve been wanting to head back to Kaohsiung to teach English since my return here two years ago.
That said, after reading around this forum for a few hours, I have to admit, I’m feeling incredibly discouraged.
It seems like 90% of the posts I read are sad/bitter/dissatisfied/disgruntled about wages, working conditions, living conditions, weather, friendships, and so on.
Is it really that bad over there?
I’m hoping this is a skewed sample; you folks seem like you have a pretty tight community, and people who are familiar with each other tend to spend a decent amount of their time bitching because the good stuff is taken for granted. That’s human nature. =)
I was hoping I could ask you guys to take a step back from your usual mindsets for a moment and consider your life and times in Taiwan as they stand in the grand scheme of things. You guys must be there for a reason (those of you who are still there). What were you looking for when you went there? What did you find that kept you there?
I have a few reasons for wanting to move there:
- It’s staggeringly beautiful, even in some of the urban areas
- I’ve been a conversation partner at a private ESL school for a year and a half, and I really love teaching eager students
- I want to continue learning Mandarin (and eventually Japanese and Korean as well)
- I really like the free lifestyle; traffic lights as guidelines, police leaving you alone unless you’re causing real trouble, no coffee cups warning idiots not to burn themselves on hot coffee, and so on
- I want to save a couple hundred dollars a month for travel. I don’t really drink much, and I can rather enjoy myself without buying new toys all the time
Do you think I’ll be disappointed?
Thanks in advance for all your wit and wisdom,