An American makes plans to move to Taiwan.


Feng Chia Night Market

Jess came from Taipei today and we went to the night market. I felt bad she needs to travel so long just to see me for a short time. She told me my house is a garage and looks silly. I guess so but actually I like it. Anyway she showed me some new foods and fruits so I can eat them again in the future.

Maria has been looking for jobs for me a lot I think. I still need to print my scanned diploma, and now I think I need my transcripts too- not sure if I can have them sent here directly or if my mom will need to send it.

Well I think my internet and phone should be installed on Friday, thats good. I plan to meet another friend on Friday evening, maybe go and eat something close to my house. I saw some nice looking restraunts when I was walking around, wonder how good is the food.

Okay, I am going back to MSN now - post more later!

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Things are going well!

I gotta type fast because I have limited time on the internet, I am at the internet cafe again.
I can edit this later. I applied for internet yesterday from Chong-Hwa telecom. Lucky for me they didn't ask for an ARC, just Passport and Drivers license. I will have the guy out to install on Friday afternoon. I am really happy about that because most of my favorite things to do are on the internet!

Hmm- its about $30 USD a month, and I think its going to be a highspeed cable connection, they said it was not available in all areas.

My lessor, Maria and Ben, along with her daughter and the rest of their family have been treating me really well, feeding me and helping me with things like getting internet. The girl who helped me check the apartment, Anna and her friend Alisa came over and we ate with Maria and them, then we played wii. I have bad chinese and they have limited english so it was hard but using the wii seems to be international so its still fun!

Okay - I will post more later- friday I can post like crazy!

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Feeling better!

Today I ate a lot! I ATE TOO MUCH! I ate with my lessor's family. Maria, her daughter, and the 2 grandchildren were there, they took me to lunch and then later cooked at home. I talked with them for a long time. They are really nice. I also met another French resident named diane, she is nice, here studying chinese.

Well they fed me till i am ready to burst, haha! I think on monday they plan to try to help me with getting an internet connection. Maria owns the building so I think she can apply for internet in whatever rooms she wants.

Once I have internet I will be really happy~! Haha!

Oh I need to mention Google Earth. Google Earth savd my life this week. It was downloaded on my PC so I didn't need an internet connection to use it. I was able to get ben to mark off a lot of useful places for me on the map and then I walked there later, its really helpful!

I have a queen sized bed here but for some reason they don't sell sheets that big in Taiwan, I need to ask my mom or dad to send me some proper sheets, right now I am borrowing a sleeping bag.

Well, I may go to the night market again tonight, try to buy something this time!

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Feeling a little sick today.

Not to worry anyone but I am feeling sick.

I think I am just not used to the different time (jet lag) the different air quality (dirty, haha) and the food (i am not eating cereal for once in my life)

I feel a little better now that it rained, I can just walk and breath the fresh cold air.

I will make sure to drink a lot of liquids and keep hydrated and all that.

The food is really cheap and tastes good. There is a local market that my Lessor took me to, she is so nice to me, that is Benjamin's Mom Maria. Now some of the vendors know me. One of them gave me some extra food today too- that was sweet. I need to remember those kind of things, makes me feel more happy.

Even though I don't speak much chinese I think people are really helpful to me! I didn't know my chinese still sucks so bad though, haha!

Feeling Depressed

I guess it's natural, but I am feeling super home-sick and depressed. It's funny really because I was so excited to come here. I guess I just need to keep myself busy. Starting to write this I feel a little better actually.

I really miss all my friends in America, I really love you all so much. I will surely come back soon to visit at least! I can work hard to make the money I need to visit. Haha!

My dad is sending me my diploma so then i can apply for jobs. In the mean time I guess i just need to keep busy doing my own things. I can document Taiwan with my camcorder, work on my animation, and play Wii and stuff. But I guess I just get depressed when I can't show that stuff to my friends right away.

I need to get some way to call others, like a phone card or cell phone.

I don't know how I can do that yet but I need to figure it out. I have some of my MSN Taiwan friend's numbers so I need to write them down and try to call them.

Okay, well, once I get a job I will be busy, I can meet more people, improve my chinese, and get more settled. I know others warned me that the first few months can be hell but I didn't know it will be this stressful.

Ok - I won't freak out on you guys anymore - thanks for reading!

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I'm In Taiwan

Hey everyone. I am in a internet cafe right now. I typed up a big post about my trip on the thumb drive, but I can't use it here, so I'll post that another time.

Anyway I can't apply for internet until I have a job, so it might be a while before I am up and running normally.

I'll try to post that up soon using a friend's computer.

Please keep reading as I progress.


Just completed packing.

I'm done packing now. I'll leave in the morning. I'll try to sleep for 2 hours, then I will have plenty of time to sleep on the plane.

I'll go look and make sure I know how the e-ticket works too, before I sleep.

Next time I talk you all, my Taiwan Dream will be starting to come true.

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1 more day...

One more day in the USA. I am almost done packing. I keep adding and removing things from my luggage. I need to make sure the weight is okay. Also don't want to put things in the wrong bag.

You can't carry one any sharp objects or liquids these days. I also need to make sure I don't wear too much metal things, easier to not wear a belt, don't carry change or keys in your pocket, keep it in your bag.

My step-sister gave me some Taiwanese currency for my Christmas gift, it is a really wonderful thing because I can use that to pay for taxi and maybe the bus too, really useful!

Well I gave my TV to my grandma today. She will get my computer monitor as well after I leave. I am glad I got to see most of my friends and relatives before leaving to Taiwan.

I have been inputting many of my Online Taiwanese friend's adresses in my google maps. I saved their locations along with their phone numbers, that will make it easy for me to contact them if i need some help.

Well I better sleep soon. Here is a cute music video for you to watch, makes me feel happy when i am tired:

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Oh man Oh man Oh man...

It's 4:21 am. I am still awake. Talking to people in taiwan, watching Mordeth13's videos on I was looking at my apartment on google maps- looking at the distance to other people's places. To get out to the county area on the scooter is about 30 - 50 mins I think depending on where you are. Probably 30 mins to get across the downtown part of taichung, just estimating.

If it's really that quick on a 50cc then I think getting around is really easy. I can drive a scooter to work and for errands and then take buses or trains to other cities. Not needing a license is great, the I can get around right away!

For 50cc Scooters you don't need a license, well thats what some people said. I guess there is only a written test for them, but I was told that since I have a US Drivers license I don't need the Taiwanese license. If you want to drive a bigger scooter you need to take the written and road tests and get the Taiwanese license.

So I am thinking I can get a used 50cc scooter for a few hundred bucks maybe like 300 - 500 USD, not sure about that yet. Then once I learn to drive it better, and see if I want a bigger one, I can upgrade and also get the proper license. Seems getting around should be pretty easy.

If you are wondering why this is titled as it is, it's because I can't sleep because I have too much on my mind, going insane! The good thing is when I arrive in Taiwan I won't be jet-lagged, haha!

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Seeing Friends

I'll be seeing many of my friends this week before I go. I saw my friends from Greenbelt on Sunday, tomorrow I will see my old college roommate and my former supervisor. I'll also see some of my friends from UMD. I need to see my grandma before I go and help her with the computer. Saturday and Sunday I need to finish packing. Tonight I completed the update to so I don't need to worry about that. I am still waiting for payment on my Logo design project that I completed as well. Lots on my mind. The worst thing about packing is you have to do it mostly last minute because you are using everything until the last second...

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DVD Camcorder

Video mode, VR mode, DV, DVD, Finalization, Capturing, Editing, USB Cords, DVD Ram Drives!!!!

Sometimes I really hate technology. I mean, my friend's dinky little camera-phone can get videos up on youtube but my fancy DVD Camcorder won't work with editing programs, and its format doesn't seem to be compatable with anything... GRAR!!!

Well I know I can make it work eventually. I found I can't use it in VR mode, I need to use Video mode, since VR Mode only works with DVD RAM Drives... I hope I can find some editing program that will work with this thing, pinnicle doesn't work so far...

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7 Days left!

Okay, I found out a little more about the apartment. It is on the 1st floor. That's really cool because with a large space I am going to want to jump around, with nobody living under me I won't need to worry about pissing them off. I typed in the address for the building on Google Earth, an awesome program by the way, go download it, it's free. So on the map I can see that it is right next to a school, I think it's a elementary school or high school. There is also another school pretty close by in the north. Two schools means a lot of students living close by, and that means more Buxibans (cram schools,) and that means more jobs for me.

On another Subject, three of my friends from Highschool came over today to hang out before I leave. It was really fun, we played Wii and the good 'ol PS2. I still think Capcom vs SNK and Tekken Tag are awesome! I let Kevin borrow some of my newer games so we didn't have those to chose from. Sean took a bunch of photos so I'll be posting them up later, I also took some video clips. I don't think those would be super interesting to most people but I'm glad I got some of the memories on tape.

Sylvia is supposed to get a Hamster so I will go with her to pick one out. I used to own hamsters so I gave her my old equipment. Tuesday I am going to see Annie and Kevin for dinner. Wednesday I think I will visit my old supervisor Karlos, and then pick up my college buddy Mike in Baltimore. We can hang out on Thursday. Friday and Saturday I need to finish up packing. Sunday I will return the car to my mom and say goodbye. Monday morning I am getting on the plane!

I feel super busy- I've been feeling really nervous every time I have a second to be quiet and think. I guess in this situation its better to keep busy. Keep packing, keep planning, when you have free time, meet with your friends. I am glad I am able to meet up with a lot of my friends before I go.

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Stressing Out!

I think I've been grinding my teeth in my sleep or something, my jaw is all sore. This has happened in the past when I had something big coming up. I guess I get overly nervous. I have about 10 days left before I leave the US. I've started to pack in the hopes I could get most of it over with so I can stop worrying if everything can fit. I got rid of a lot of things, I have some more clothes to donate, and I got a lot packed into my 3 bags. I'll mainly be bringing clothes, DVDs, Games, a few books, and other odds and ends. I'm not planning to take any big items.

Now, partly as a way to stop stressing, I decided to take some video of myself packing and explaining how I am preparing. I am also working out in my head how I want to create my Taiwan Dreamin' Show. I plan to start with random people cut together saying "This is Taiwan Dreamin'" Then the intro credit thing will roll, followed by me introducing the show and segments. Each show should have about 3 or 4 segments and last between 10 and 20 mins. The footage I took today was about 11 mins long. I think I can edit it down to about 5 or 6 mins and add some other things along with it. I'd like to have segments such as, Describing why I want to live in Taiwan, how I prepared for the trip, with tips for others, visits to night markets, interviews with my family and friends about their opinions. I'd also like to show interesting places and events in Taiwan.

When I arrive, as Nathan, of BicycleSidewalk, has pointed out in the comments, it will be Chinese New Years time. This year is my year, the year of the Rat, so I hope that brings me good luck. So I am sure there will be a lot of things going on that I can show because of that.

So I mentioned I want to host it and have an intro, make it professional and so forth. I think this will be a fun time to show off my After Effects skills, here is an example of a Movie Intro I made. Keep in mind, I picked the music, drew all the slashes, cut out the japanese prints, and animated it all. You can see it here:

For my Taiwan dreamin' intro I want to make a mix of silouetted cityscapes, and other unique taiwan images, along with typography, set to music. I think It should last about 15 to 30 seconds. If you have any ideas let me know.

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1 Ping = 3.5 sq. Meters = 36 sq. Feet

Well I think the title says it all. Many of the rooms I found were about 10 Ping. The place I have reserved is 50.
Thats about 175 sq. Meters or 1800 sq. Feet. I need to ask my parents what is the size of their homes so I can compare. Anyway, I know its not small, haha!

On another subject I need to have a card made up to express my allergy. My friend Kevin wrote it out for me in simplified chinese, but in Taiwan they use traditional. Here it is:

I am allergic to 'legumes' and beans.

This includes peanuts, tofu, and soy.

I can have the oil, but not the protein.

I need to print this out I guess. I also need somebody to type up my full adress where I will be staying so I can show it to Taxi drivers and such people.

When I arrive in Taiwan I will take a bus or the High-Speed Train from the airort to Taichung. There are places to buy bus tickets right inside the Airport, for a 2 Hour ride to Taichung it's about $7 US. For the Train its about $30 but takes like 40 mins, something like that. The bus terminal is open until 1:00 am.
Taiwan is practically a 24 Hours Open culture so I think I can travel easily in the night.

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Taiwan Dreamin' - The SHOW !?!

I bought a Canon DC220 Camcorder and I plan to record small segments and piece them together into a show. It will be an extension of this blog and I will try to make it as professional as possible! I hope I can get it all together and make something interesting. I want to present Taiwan to my family and friends as well as the general public. I know it has been done before in other video blogs but instead of minutes of rambling I hope to edit it down to key points, interesting, entertaining, and hopefully full of things you haven't seen before.

We will have to see if I can deliver on this, haha!

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Well, looks like I have an apartment in Taiwan reserved. It's only two weeks before I leave. My friend in Taiwan went to look at the apartment for me, I am really happy she could do that for me. This is the 50 Ping apartment which is about 166 square meters. It's in Beitun district in Taichung. Basically it's right in the area I was hoping to go to. I will arrive in Taipei around 8 at night, then take a Bus to Taichung directly from the airport, I think its about an hour drive, so maybe I will arrive in Taichung around 9 or 10. Then I just need to get over to the apartment, pay the 1 month rent and deposit, then I will be all set!

I don't think I will have internet right away, I need to call and have it set up. There are many internet cafe places in Taiwan so I think I can use the internet there in the mean time. I'll need to get a cell phone and other things as well. But as long as I have a home to go back to I think I will feel safe and comfortable.

My uncle and aunt are here now, we will go to the Zoo tomorrow in DC. It should be fun and we will bring the video camera also so I hope we can post that video online for others to see!

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DVD Collection - Packing for Taiwan.

I have hundreds of DVDs to take to Taiwan. My suggestion to anyone traveling with 25 or more DVDs is to buy a case. Keep the boxes at a friend or relatives house, or if you are not really a collector, just throw them away. With about 100 DVDs I filled a small case, about 1ft x 8in x 8in, and the boxes filled a large black trash bag, the boxes are heavy too. With 2 disc movies you can stick them together in one sleeve as well. With 100 movies, many of them are 2 disc sets so that makes the collection even bigger.

Another thing you can do is use DVD-Spools to keep DVDs, this is also an economical way to save space and also re-use DVD-Spools.

Kevin, and Sylvia playing Wii, Jennie as pectator.

I have many videogames as well, most fit into these kinds of cases too, however the mini-dvd Gamecube games are giving me a bit of trouble, I will have to see if I can buy a mini-dvd case. I also have a small collection of books, comic books, and graphic novels. I plan to box these up and have them shipped overseas if I can't fit them in my luggage.

Jennie and I playing Wii, Kevin as spectator.

Other than those things I don't have that much stuff to take. Just my entertainment items, computer stuff, some clothes, I don't have any large items or furniture to worry about. I think packing should be pretty easy. I know I can easily pack everything I need.

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