May 11th update

I have gotten quite a few subbing hours this week and next week at various locations around Taichung. It will keep me fairly busy and should hopefully pay most of our living costs for this month. One thing I like about TW is that there isn’t a lot of red tape and nonsensical hoops to jump here to get a living wage (for a foreigner anyways- it is harder if you are local as my wife can testify- probably the same for me in Canada.)

I will probably be posting less in the next couple weeks as I work more irregular hours. But we have been busy teaching Ariel lots of tricks and words, and cleaning up the house, getting various government ARC items, license re-issuing and re-testing for the scooter license, and bank related things set up and visiting doctors and dentists, so we haven’t been slacking at all.

I now have a lovely office in the house after we finished the final haul of heavy items and clutter to the recycle depot and various charities and the garbage dump got its fair share of stuff from our friend’s mothers items. (We had been holding them for a few weeks while we waited for our contact to go through the stuff to decide which to keep and which to toss, they came and picked up the stuff a couple weeks ago and then we have been slowly working out the heavy items and organizing which stuff can be recycled and which stuff must be tossed/donated. It has been done now for about 1 week. I have been focusing on getting as many sub hours as possible and have a pretty full plate the next 2 weeks. If this amount of work keeps up I should be pretty OK by the time my job starts, most likely in July.

I am hoping things will be back to a routine economically by August and I can start saving up cash again, but most likely we will be relocating to an upgraded apartment 1 more time once I have a permanent full time position and I will move close to it into a better quality environment if possible. The current place is roomy (now that we cleared many piles of clutter), cheap, and has a lot of amenities included, but the outdoor environment is rather dangerous (a popular short-cut lane near a busy road that has no sidewalks, making walking with a child a riskier thing than I like) and no good quality parks near us. There are schools near us but their facilities are old and worn down, not really very good quality, and getting to them as a pedestrian with a baby cart isn’t a very good time at all. V and I also are not terribly fond of the kitchen in our current apartment- it only has room for 1 person to work and corrugated sheet metal floors that are tacked onto a balcony space (it strikes me as a possibly illegal add on to the structure of the apartment…) It shakes a bit and is quite noisy to walk on. Ariel loves it because of the noise, but we are not fond of letting her in there for obvious reasons. I suspect we will be in this location until September or October while I rebuild our finances to the point we can pay a couple months rent for a

different fully furnished location in Taichung.

Anyways I am now super-legal for TW. New ARC good for 3 years, shiny new drivers licence good for 5 years, and a shiny new scooter license meaning that I am legally able to drive the shiny new 125cc scooter that I now own. It is the best scooter I have ever owned, and I am very happy with it. (Built in hooks, drink holders, key controlled storage and gas tank, light, maneuverable, easy to park and good power for holding all of us.) Even after I get a car (at some unspecified point in the future) I plan to use the scooter for my daily inner-city needs, and give the car to V to use with Ariel during the days– but we will have to locate a new apartment and rebuild our finances to get that.

I haven’t cleared my phone camera of pics for quite a long time: here is a few pics from my phone. Some of it might be from Canada, most of it will be from our re-arrival in TW.