About Me

My photo
Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tainan Bound!

Once I made the decision to go to Taiwan, doors started to open so fast! Now I have plane tickets, a teaching contract, and a furnished apartment with ocean views waiting for us in Tainan.

I shopped for the best flights and the best teaching offer.

I had several offers in Tainan and was able to bargain for the best contract. I have never had to haggle for a job before, which was a new and somewhat uncomfortable experience. So I have a good salary, the lowest tuition for Zenaida I could find in a school I work at that is a 15 minute walk from my apartment. Incidentally, the school I will work for (Share Fun) also is renting out their space to a church that is both English and Chinese speaking. I will definitely check this out, seems too coincidental.

I am not looking forward to the flights!!! It’s hard enough alone, but with Zenaida (deep sigh) we will take it one moment at a time. My aunt and uncle in LA have been kind enough to let me spend a day and night there before we fly from LAX to Taipei. I thought I would have stayed there 2 days, but I wasn’t thinking straight when I booked the Thursday 1:40am flight. I thought 1 am would mean an extra day…anyway.

After the 21 hour flight to Taipei I have to go through immigration and find a bus to the Taoyuan High speed rail station and take a 3 hour bullet train south along the west coast to Tainan. That means I have to be able to pack everything so that I am mobile enough to carry, or push Zenaida. So I am wondering to myself, do I need to bring a stroller? Zenaida might eb too exhausted to walk. One carry-on, 2 luggage pieces, (a duffel bag I can strap around myself and a big suitcase with wheels. ) The 2 airlines I am flying with (SouthWest and Malaysia Air) don’t charge extra for luggage and I could bring 2 extra luggage pieces but would have no way to carry them alone.) So I have started to pack now, down-sizing, getting rid of clothes and books and storing our winter clothes (winters are mild in Tainan). Ive begun rolling our clothes up military style and stuffing them in zip-lock bags (which I will re-use of course) and packing my 2 pieces.

Yesterday, I took Zenaida to her appointment with Dr. Alba (homeopath, naturopath, nutrionist) anyway she had some great reccomendations for our flight, which I will definitely adhere too. Long flights disrupt my system, Im too sensitive and wilt by the end of the flight. So I know what supplements to take and not to take as well as for Zenaida.

I am so looking forward to the adventure, of discovering a different part of Taiwan. I cant wait to see old friends in Taipei, get settled in. I am definitely scared about Zenaida adjusting. Dr. Alba said her eczema (on her wrists) will be exacerbated the first month as she adjusts to the heat and humidity, but I know what to do to help her body adjust. I also am anxious to take her away from her grand-parents, uncles and her only male role models.

So what about Tainan? Ive read up on it, and from what my friend in Taipei have told me, that Tainan is notorious for its great cuisine, its hot, tropical climate, mild winters and old, very active temples. It’s the original capitol city of Taiwan, the Han Chinese oldest settlement.

Tainan City is located in the southwest of Taiwan on the rich and fertile Jianan Plain, with a population of about 740,000 people. Rente and Yongkang townships of Tainan County are to its east. Taiwan Strait and Penghu across the strait are to its west. Tainan has a straight coastline in the west next to the Taiwan Strait. Landscapes along this nearly 20km long coastline are manifold. The northern coastline of the city is located in the Sihcao wetlands in the northwest of Yanshwei River. As the area is covered with a rare mangrove forest, it has become the paradise of birds. Statistics indicated that over one million birds live in Sihcao every year, including over 20 endangered species of migratory birds from other parts of Asia and Australia and over half of the 400 species or so of native wild birds. The fabulous Golden Coast is located to the south of the city. It has a flat and extensive beach of about 2 to 3km long. The blue sky, clear water and golden beach have attracted many people playing and listening to the waves there. As the beach is extensive, we are planning a compound recreational center that combines swimming, bird watching, fishing, camping and accommodation functions in the area

Tainan has been historically regarded as one of the oldest cities in Taiwan, and its former name, Tayoan, has been claimed to be the source of the name Taiwan. It is also one of Taiwan's cultural capitals, as it houses the First Confucian School/Temple built 1665 on the island, the remains of the Northern and Southern gates of the old city, and countless other historical monuments. Tainan claims more Buddhist and Taoist temples than any city in Taiwan. Tainan City is administratively a municipality of Taiwan Province of the Republic of China. It is surrounded by Tainan County to the north and east and the South China Sea to the west and south. Tainan's complex history of comebacks, redefinitions and renewals inspired its popular nickname "City of the Phoenix."

Tainan City is located in south of Tropic of Cancer and easy to be influenced by seacoast and warm current; belongs to the subtropics monsoon climate; yearly average temperature is 24.2 degrees of Celsius. January has the lowest temperature around 17.5 degrees and July has the highest temperature around 29.1 degrees; yearly average rainfall amount is 1675.3 millimeters. May to July is the main rainy season; the rainfall amount is around 75% of whole year and most of the rain is fallen in June. Yearly average sunshine time is 2301.8 hours-- 52% of possible sunshine.

Did I mention I fly to LA July 15th and fly to Taipei the 17th? Today I will give my notice to my boss (yoga instructor). I just started in May, so I feel kinda funny about quitting but everything happened so fast! I have to also turn down a key volunteer opportunity to do security all 4days of the Democratic Nat’l Convention. I really wanted to be apart of history. They have so many volunteers from all over the country, they cant use them all, but I had a friend who has a friends…and I got this great opening to be there from 2-10 pm. So that kind of bites, but that life I suppose.

No comments: