Friday, July 3, 2015

Nǐ Hǎo, y'all!


Alrighty then, I've been meaning to update this blog on the regular, but life gets in the way.  So here I am with nothing to do for hours and no excuses as to why I can't update.  I think I'll follow the same format as last time and begin with an agenda:

1.  I Moved to Taiwan
2.  Short-Term Goals
3.  Long-Term Goals
4.  Chicks
5.  Miscellaneous



Ok, that needs some serious explanation.  I get it.  When last we left our intrepid heroes I was teaching English in Selawik, Alaska and having issues with my job.  The decision was made for me to move on with my life and seek career opportunities elsewhere.  One of my fellow teachers told me about her experience with a company in Taiwan that teaches English to non-English speakers.  The job would afford me the opportunity to travel, to experience a different kind of teaching, and to earn a TEFL certification.  So I figured, "Why not?" and went for it.  I'm now elbow-deep in Yilan City, Taiwan.  Yay!

Taiwan is a very different place than what I'm used to.  First of all, it's hotter than the Devil's ding-a-ling (you know she has one!).  Even though I went from Alaska to NJ to Taiwan, I am not ready for this heat.  Heat is way better than cold because cold hurts, but come on now, everything I do causes me to sweat! Use the toilet?  Sweat! Dry off after a shower?  Sweat! Have a really intense thought?  Sweat! Give me a break!

The language barrier is difficult and intimidating, and very different than my experience in Germany.  When I went to Germany I had studied the language in middle school, freshman year of high school, and a little bit in college.  The language is related to English and shares an alphabet.  Chinese is utterly alien, and even when it's written out using characters I recognize, I have no frame of reference to use to puzzle things out.  This brings me to my next topic...


I need to learn Mandarin.  I signed a one-year contract with HESS and I should be looking for an apartment to rent this weekend.  There's no backing out now.  If I don't learn to understand the langauge around me I'm not going to have a very good experience in Taiwan, and that's unacceptable.  I've downloaded ChineseSkill and Mango on my iPad.  ChineseSkill works a lot like DuoLingo, which is nice.  Mango seems better, but I need a library card in order to fully utilize it.  I've also been reading up on programs like Rosetta Stone, and HESS has worked out a deal where I can get a discount on an online course.  I have options.

My other short-term goal is to become proficient at my new job.  The way HESS does things is completely different than what I was taught when I studied secondary ed.  I'm dealing with much younger kids, so the focus here is on edutainment.  I'm excited to learn this new system.  I'm told it gets easier after a month or two.


One of the things that HESS offers is "more free time."  I'm guaranteed 20 hours per week, and even if I sink in another 10 hours per week for planning and grading, I'm still working a minimum of 10 hours per week less than what I did in Selawik (and actually significantly more than that when you count in all the time I spent planning and grading there).  I've been talking to other teachers here and it seems that, while the schedule is pretty heavy, they all do have free time.  Time to travel, time to join drum circles, time to surf, time to learn Kung-Fu, time for personal growth.

That's great, because I came here with a To-Do List longer than my [censored]:  completion of M.A.I.D.S. [season 2], revision of M.A.I.D.S. [season 1] and Song of Power, getting Fornever RPG ready for Kickstarter, improve my Latin skills, learn a musical instrument, learn how to create a video game (I've got two amazing ideas for this), record an album, get back into shape, and did I mention that Taiwan has professional wrestling?  Yeah, that too.

I'm not sure how many of these LTGs I can get through in a year, but I reckon I can put a serious dent in some of them.


(Author's note:  for those of you who are new here, I use the terms "chicks" and "dudes" to refer to women and men.  There is no disrespect intended; if you're offended, please mentally replace "chicks" with "women" or "dudettes" or whatever you'd prefer.  Thanks!)

I find Taiwanese women attractive.  Some of the teachers I've met are also attractive.  None of the dudes here have struck my fancy, though.  I'm a grown man and I enjoy certain adult activities.  Beyond that, I would really like to be in a relationship again.  I don't have anything to report on this as of yet, but I would be open to a relationship here.

Of course, after my recent string of luck (being cheated on/replaced/divorced, being left in the cold) I'm not about to dive headfirst into a serious LTR at this point.  What will be will be.


I'm still homeless.  I spend $45/month on my storage unit in Laramie, and now I have about 7 totes worth of stuff at my older sister's house.  I would someday like to have a place of my own so I can consolidate all of my belongings and actually enjoy them for a bitsy, but it's going to have to wait.  Taiwan is a full year, and if I like it I'll sign up for another full year.  If not, I'd like to teach in Europe so I can be closer to my progeny.

My son will be 7 years old in September.  I haven't seen him in almost three years now.  If I think too much about that fact I'll have to run to the corner store and load up on alcohol, so let's move on.

My Wii U, 3DS, and Alienware Alpha came with me, but the PS4 will follow later.  I also have recently acquired two other interesting items:  a GameStick and a PlayStation TV.  I bought the former as a way to explore the microconsole concept, as well as giving myself one method to explore for game development.  The latter I purchased to replace my PS Vita, as I will use it mostly to play older titles.

Ok, that's all for now.  Tschüss! I mean, um, 再見


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