We have an apartment! It’s about halfway between Jen’s and my work. It’s also across the street from a Carrefour and a block away from the Living Mall, which has a movie theater too. Prime location, indeed.
We’re paying $18000NT a month, not counting utilities, which translates to $575USD a month so that equals about $300 apiece with utilities. As you can tell, Taiwan is very affordable. You can get a meal for about $30-50NT, which is about $1-2USD. A can of coke is $15NT, which is 50cents. And to put it into perspective, as of now, I work 13.5 hours a week and I get paid $620NT ($20USD) an hour.
We’ve found a couple of furniture/house sales online where some English teachers are moving back home. Our apartment already comes with a sofa, TV cabinet, full size bed, desk, fridge, air conditioning, and a washing machine. (Fridges, AC, and washing machines do not usually come with places, and dryers do not even exist. You hang clothes up to dry.) There are two bedrooms: one’s a regular size bedroom, and the other is probably half the size of that and does not quite fit in. I’m taking the big one for now, and Jen and I will switch halfway through the year. Anyways, we’re trying to sparsely furnish our place since we’re not staying long anyway. Jen needs a bed, and we need a TV.
We’ve met tons of Americans/non-Taiwanese people who’ve been here for 3, 4, 8, 12 and such years. The interesting thing is that most of them intended to come and teach English for a year and ended up staying for much longer. They say that life is too comfortable here, which we can see why, since everything is so much more affordable and teaching English is quite a lucrative job. Jen and I are a bit scared that that may happen to us. What if we never want to leave?
My older cousin, Maggie, tried to take us to the Millet exhibition, but when we got there, the line was down about three blocks and looped back around. I wasn’t that excited about seeing paintings on a wall to wait that long; besides Jen had already seen them in France, which is probably the real deal. That’s definitely one thing I’ve noticed about the people here: they like to wait in lines for pretty much everything. And they’re so patient about it too. The last time I saw a line like this back in the States was when the Apple iPhone first came out or something.
We’ve been to two night markets thus far, which are amazing, since you can buy pretty much anything and everything there for cheap. The food is amazing, of course. I’ve eaten so much fruit since I’ve been here. Every day, I’ve had at least a cup of fresh-squeezed of something, mostly mangoes and guavas.
(Jen has pictures up, so go see them for a bit of satisfaction. I promise, promise, I’ll put more up when I don’t have to share the internet cable every 10 minutes.)