I arrived in Taipei, Taiwan a week ago this evening. It has been a whirlwind introduction to this island Republic of China.
The predominantly Mandarin speaking Western Pacific Island has a thriving expat culture and over the last seven days I have been taken into its buzzing busy lifestyle. Taipei is a mecca of English native speakers teaching English, South Africans, Canadians, French and others working across the employment realm and boy does this community know how to live.
On first impressions Tawain has a very supportive expat community and this is a country where if you want to do something – you can make it happen – from setting up a design studio to running a highly successful burlesque troupe that performs to crowds of up to 30,000.
The costs of living here are half the price of New Zealand and that is across the board from apartments to food, clothing and utilities. And to be honest the variety here is also larger if not strictly “western” in taste or clothing size. Going on wages as well, teaching English ,once I find a job (and there are plenty to go round), will also mean earning about the same money as home, if not a little better. Pretty good incentive for this woman to find a job and live here for a while.
As some of you may recall I have come to Taiwan to learn the in’s and out’s of video production as part of my education towards making documentaries with The Storyteller Project.
I went out on my first shoot last week with my mentor Tobie Openshaw of Big Nose Productions and I loved every minute of it. I am starting at the very beginning and I am grateful for that. But what I can say is that I feel very comfortable behind the camera and setting up rudimentary lighting and soaking in the work environment that is film. I have begun and I feel I am exactly where I am meant to be in my life. It feels pretty humbling to have this sensation and knowing on some level everything in this busy ignore the light change traffic mentality city is clicking into place for me. (Yay!)
How else can I explain Taipei. 7 Eleven is where you can do everything, from buying asparagus juice (!), getting a sim card (if you have all the red tape boxes ticked and there are many – i’ve been here a week and it is still a work in progress – I need a sim card stat!!!) to buying wine , photocopying and paying your bills. You can even buy dinner there but I’m skeptical on that front.
This city is also a foodies delight with everything from insanely good burritos at Mucho Nacho, Poutine , a plethora of Japanese and traditional Tawainese fair. I really need to get to back to the yoga studio immediately!
A big thanks to my divine friends here who have totally hooked me up and introduced me to some great new friends, places and experiences since my arrival. I am grateful beyond words. A big thanks to my mentors and friends back home and across this little spinning planet who have helped me get here – you know who you are – I am so lucky to have you in my life!
This week my focus is getting a job, starting the process for my Alien Resident Card, I’ve always wanted to be an alien, following up on some apartments and orientating myself on my new bike Dolly to this city and its vaguely mentalist traffic. (It’s not Nepal crazy but boy you have to be paying attention!)
So this is it, the beginning and I am loving it.
Ummmm and on another note can anyone send me some spokies for my bike???? hehehehehe!