Archive for the ‘apartment’ Category

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Is it really almost December already?

November 30, 2006

We’ve got some construction going on at the kindergarten this week, so this morning when I walked into the building there was sawdust covering the floor and I couldn’t hear my co-workers over the noise of pneumatic tools being used to construct a small stage.  In other words, it finally seemed like the sort of place where I would work.

I got caught sneaking some recycling in with the trash on Tuesday.  I recycle to an extent, but I have such a difficult time with the whole trash/recycling system here that sometimes I just don’t bother.  The way it works is that when the trash and recycling trucks drive by they play a song like the ice cream truck back home, and you have to run out and bring them your bags.  I am almost always at work when the recycling truck comes by so if I don’t want to have an apartment totally full of recyclables, I have to throw them away now and then.

 Anyway, I could have gotten a big fine for that but I played the dumb foreigner (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t know I couldn’t throw it away…)  and only got a scolding.

One thing that I really have a hard time with here is the bugs.  I can’t get rid of them.  I keep the place so clean (not an easy feat for someone as typically messy as me) and I have tried all sorts of traps and insecticides but as soon as I exterminate one pest another one seems to take its place.  I had a revolting experience with maggots recently which will haunt me for a long time.

At least (knock on wood) so far the roaches have left my apartment alone. However, they occasionally decide to go scampering across my students desks, which I can’t say does much for my classroom management.

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It does exist!

September 25, 2006

Last night I spent a few hours in the “foreign ghetto”, Tianmu.  Tianmu is an area of Taipei known for its large population of foreigners, including westerners as well as people from other parts of Asia.  It was amazing, there were foreigners everywhere!  And the Taiwanese people didn’t seem particularly interested in me, which was a big change from Luzhou.  I didn’t have any real reason for going, so I didn’t do much while I was there, but at least now when the time comes that I crave certain comforts of my homeland, I know which bus to get on.

Teaching has been going a little more smoothly, although I still have at least two classes that frustrate me for every one that goes well.  Kindergarten especially is a roller coaster ride.  Some days I can’t believe that anyone would pay me to play a bunch of games and sing songs with cute kids, and some days the little brats just about drive me up a wall.

Soon my already busy schedule will get worse since I’ll start doing some subbing.  It will be stressful, but my holiday will come in due time, and anyhow, I’ve got a long list on the fridge of things I want to buy and I’ve learned that money helps with that.

My apartment is being taken over by ants.  This is war, and I will not back down until the floor is littered with ant corpses.  Oh wait, it already is, and I still seem to be losing.  Any advice?

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Home Sweet Home

September 18, 2006

Welcome to my new apartment.

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Have a seat!

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And watch some TV.

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What could be down this narrow corridor?

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Take a peek into the “2nd bedroom”, otherwise known as storage.

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 My unmade bed

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Why are all of my clothes blue?

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My cluttered kitchen.

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Itsy bitsy bathroom.

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And last but certainly not least, the “laundry room”.

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I hope you enjoyed the tour. Come back any time!

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Kaitlin’s Big Day

September 13, 2006

Today was a very big day for me, both stressful and exciting.  I taught my first three classes today.  None of them went all that well, but I don’t think they were complete disasters either.  When it was over, I felt like all life had been sucked out of me, but everyone keeps telling me that it will get easier and I can see that it’s true.  Even between my first and second class yesterday I felt like things got a bit better.

The exciting part of my day was moving into my new apartment!  Maybe I’ll post some pictures in the future.  I got an amazing deal on this place and I love it. 

Maybe I should back up a bit, since my lack of internet access the last few days has prevented me from delivering the important details of my life to you.  I moved out of Taipei City to Luzhou, a suburb of Taipei.  Although geographically close, Luzhou is very different from Taipei.  Less English, more blatant staring at the unbelievably tall white girl. I’m very happy to be here though, where it’s less commercial and where I might actually have to remember a few Chinese characters to get by.  And Taipei is just a short bus or cab ride away, so I can go there in my free time if I so choose.

Everyone I work with seems really cool, and helpful too.  From what I hear I think I got pretty lucky being placed at this branch.  Also, the kindergarten is super nice, with an outdoor playground and track and large classrooms with lofts.

If I decide to stay here forever, blame it on the dumplings.

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Training Days

September 5, 2006

I’m quickly becoming accostomed to shoving unfamiliar food objects into my mouth and bracing for the surprise.  There’s some amazing food here, but there are also those moments when I wonder if someone is toying with me and feeding me an eraser to see what I do.

I got my health exam taken here today.  It was probably one of the most efficient encounters with the medical world I’ve ever had.  American hospitals might place a bit more emphasis on being private and personable, but this sure was fast.

My last two days have been spent at training.  The days are long and draining but I think my actual job, which I start next Wednesday, should be manageable.  Basically all the curriculum is provided to us.

Sunday I’ll move out to Luzhou, the suburb of Taipei where my school is located.  I have a few options for housing, all of which sound perfectly decent, and one of which sounds especially attractive. I’m sure I’ll let you know when I actually have a place.