Sunday, October 08, 2006


Work Blog

In general, I never talk about work on my blog. Maybe this is because I consider blogs (and the internet in general) to be a source of and outlet for entertainment and leisure. Work in Taiwan, however, is worth mentioning, because if you're reading this, you could very well be interested in living vicariously through my very average internet ramblings.

Writing very average ramblings on the internet suits me, because I am, in fact, a very average person, a very average person typing out a post, happily buzzed on some fine German and Tasmanian lagers on a Sunday afternoon.

I've been at my new job at YMCA Taichung for three weeks now, although the last week was the first week where all my paid work was done through teaching as opposed to observing. The differences between my new job and my old job at Shane English Schools Taiwan are quite interesting, as follows:

So you can see how YMCA is a step in the right direction for me. I particularly like the fact that the YMCA work environment encourages collaboration and teamwork. After all, a weekly staff meeting is paid, so that counts for something. I also like the 4 weeks holiday. It means it actually becomes worth it for me to return to Vancouver in the summer.

Heck, I'd stay at the YMCA for 2 years or more, just so I can say that I got a Chinese New Year bonus while working in Taiwan. Most organizations here don't offer such gratitude to foreigners because they figure our hourly wage is already high enough as it is.

I ain't gonna be a teacher forever, but this is good for now. I'd rather be a poor man paying off student loans in Taichung than in Vancouver. In Taichung, I'm happy to report that even when I "don't have any money", I still have enough money to eat great food and zip around on a scooter, and it's almost always sunny.

I can forecast when I'm going to be broke and accordingly buy cheap, fresh dumplings just around the corner to stockpile in the freezer when the going gets thin. Add sweet brown Taiwanese-style soy sauce to the cheap dumplings and add a glass of wheat tea that my gf makes and this makes the best poor man's meal I've ever had. It only takes less than 10 minutes to make.

In Vancouver I don't enjoy these privileges. Even the proudest Vancouverite should be able to admit that the city just ain't cheap, and it just ain't sunny. This is not to suggest that come July and August there's no other place I'd rather be than Vancouver! It's a great place to live, with two obligatory caveats: it's great IN THE SUMMER, and IF YOU HAVE MONEY.

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