About Me

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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, November 13, 2015

Getting My House In Order

new view, new apartment

My landlady gave a 2 week notice to find a new place to live about 3 weeks ago, her father was sick and was going to be living back in the apartment (ya right, she's selling). It was a miracle I found a place  over a year ago, as friends and I were scouring the internet for 6 months when I was moving from Tainan to Yilan. We couldn't find anything back then. We had to stay a month in a ghetto studio by the train station until I found my awesome new apartment across from the Yilan County Government park. This time around I would have preferred to live in Yuanshan or Weiyuanshan closer to my work, some place I could have a few chickens or a goat but I had no time to be choosy. My friend in Tainan Tony Coolidge is connected everywhere and knew of a place in Yilan City. I wasted no time.
new view, new apartment

I was lucky to find this when I did. Its the same price and size as the apartment I had, with an extra bedroom. It has better views of the mountains is slightly closer (not much) to my work, just between 
Piggy's and the sport's park. The previous owner was a North American who lived in it for 8 years and took good care of it. He painted all the rooms mellow colors, I welcome the change from asylum white walls.  The only downsides are there is no underground parking, no protected courtyard Zen can run around and play with the kids in our building, and the place is unfurnished. Basically I spent my paycheck and deposit on furniture and a used TV (that broke after 3 days).

We moved house last weekend. It was a struggle boxing everything after dinner for 2 weeks, I was scrambling to finish when the movers showed up. Last Saturday, they efficiently packed and moved everything in a few hours, but I was still taking things and cleaning up until dinner time.


new living room


Meeting my previous landlady was extremely uncomfortable. She had 2 friends and a  notebook and they were noting every detail, turning over every nook and cranny, I really expected them to not give me some of my deposit. And this after making them wait for an hour (the restaurant we went to was weeded, it took a while and I had sent her several messages we would be late, which she didn't seem to regard.) After a very tense inspection I got back my deposit except for the price of water and electric, which I had to negotiate. I was happy to leave, I even left my washing machine because  my priority list is that big.

Formosan Blue Magpie  台灣藍鵲.


Zen had a great first day at her new school on Monday. It's small by Taiwanese standards, only 94 students (her first elementary school in Tainan had 2000 students.) Each kid has their own laptop and she had time to watch She-Ra and AFV, play kickball, start a new traditional wind instrument and is now the best one in math in her class. She will be starting a wood carving project next week. 


Its at such a beautiful spot in the mountains, next to a lake, gorgeous in any kind of weather. A bit of a drive, but I work in the area anyways. I am hoping this principal has fine tuned the balance between academics and fun. He is for an alternative, hands on approach but with using technology, literacy, which seems more practical in Taiwan. Her first week she saw a family of macaques outside her window (her teacher told me 10 or 11 of them), and the indigenous Formosan Blue Magpie  台灣藍鵲.  When I picked her up after lunch (she has a half day), she and her teacher were catching lizards, always good fun. Her teacher takes the class hiking once a week during PE class time in one of the 3 trails outside their campus. They also run around the lake once a week.
Zen happy at her new school

The school bus conveniently drops her off at my work 3 days a week while she finishes her homework in my office. After I clock out, we head to the cantina and enjoy a complimentary dinner. Its a godsend not having to scramble my brain, and resources to come up with dinner after a long day at work. 

I am just about all done unpacking, just a few more boxes; this weekend I have 2 massive loads of laundry, the TV man coming tonight and cable guy in the morning. All in the process of getting our house in order.



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