Welcome to my new blog! (Gua ai kia Kadacha!)
Updated: Apr 30
. . . Okay . . .
Where do we start? This is going to be a really long entry because it is the first one on my revised website. (How many times have I redone this site?) Before we get started, I think we should break this post into sections to help make it easier for me to write about myself and for you to follow along. I am not good at blogging, and if you haven't noticed, this is my first post. [Insert spelling errors, here!] Below is a list of the topics we will cover in this post:
What are you?
How long have I been in Taiwan, and what have I been up to?
What do I do here?
Why are we moving to Taitung?
What are my interests?
What is the future?
Why this blog thingy?
Hopefully, we will keep the bullet list down to seven. If more appear, I am sorry. You can blame the editor or the lack of one. To be fair, I am a little bit dyslexic and have a learning disability ('difference' for the politically correct).
1. What are you? Hmmm. That's a good question. I am an AI of course! ;-)
2. We're not finished with number one... (Apparently, I can't do the strike through text thingy... I knew I should of went with Square Space. By the way, did you know???? that if you use the special promo code "skillup", you can save up to [redacted] on your first purchase of Square Space. Thank you!)
1. I was born in Summerville, South Carolina. It is a place in the United States for those of you who don't know where that is. It just so happens to be one of those states that no one knows about or cares about. Whenever someone in Taiwan asks where I am from, they are always confused by the answer. However, if I say it is near Florida, I always get an, "Ohhhhhhh!" response. I guess for better or worse everyone knows where Florida is.
I spent my entire childhood in South Carolina. My adolescent years were quite normal and boring. I ended up going to college in Boston. I student Elementary Chinese for a few years and had a lot of fun writing Chinese characters thousands of times for hours on end. (Sarcasm... More like a sadist...) After I graduated, I had no idea what I was going to do with a Philosophy degree and kindergarten level Chinese abilities, so I decided to go to Taiwan. I enrolled into National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) and started studying Chinese there at the age of 23.
2. How long have I been in Taiwan, and what have I been up to? I have been in Taiwan for more than 14 years. I started as a student enrolled in the Mandarin Training Center (MTC). I can say that those years were probably the best in my life. I woke up every morning, went to class, then road my fixed gear to my friend's bike shop and then spoke broken Chinese to a whole bunch of Taiwanese dudes! We road brakeless bikes in the city, up mountains, and around the country. It was amazing (maybe more on that in a future post). I did that for a few years before realizing it was time to grow up and get a job. I had one problem though... I didn't want to leave Taiwan. My Chinese was a lot better and after spending the last two years studying my ass off, I did what any rational person would do... I decided to teach English.
3. What do I do here?
All jokes aside. Teaching English was the best and only option there really was. I also discovered that Taiwanese people could speak English quite well, which meant it was hard to find work using English and Chinese because there was no need for it here. It still amazes me that when I was a student, I somehow managed to find the only group of Taiwanese people in Taipei that couldn't speak English and became friends with them. This in return gave me the assumption that I thought being bilingual was special, but it wasn't. The problem though was that since Taiwanese people could speak English, oversea companies preferred to hire a "local guide" over a foreigner because they cost less and well, they are from Taiwan. I have been teaching for more than a decade. Teaching can be awesome, but it can also be horrific. It all depends on who you are teaching and where you work.
4. Why are we moving to Taitung? Over the 14 years I have been here, a lot has changed. I have noticed a trend in the weather not being as stable as it used to be especially in the north (Taipei). The winds have changed making some months quite windy thus making biking terrible. The rainy season has progressively gotten longer. It started out as a "winter fling". It would begin in December and go on until February. We sometimes would get a monsoon season around March that would last only for a couple of weeks. After that, we were free! The sun was out and the rest of the year was great except for the occasional Typhoon. Unfortunately, things have started to change. Whether you believe in climate change or not, isn't really the point. There is a trend in Taiwan that the weather is changing. The data is there, and I don't care about arguing about it. All I know is that we can no longer achieve long time periods of no rain. Over the past five years, it continuously got worse. The glory periods of sunshine have been reduced to a few months. We only get two to three week breaks between rainy weather before it returns. This also doesn't include the pollution issues. The Bladerunner days have begun. If you are lost and have no idea what I am talking about, I'll explain. In the movie, Bladerunner, the pollution is so bad that it is in a perpetual state of cloudiness. The fog in Taipei is so bad you can't see your hand when you hold it out in front of you. It isn't really that bad, yet... It is getting worse though. Between the bad weather and the pollution, we don't really get a lot of blue skies anymore. That is one of the main reasons why I want to move to Taitung. Taitung has rain but not as frequently. It also has better air quality. The other reason is because there is so much cycling and nature. I will get more into that in other posts. For now, we will leave it at that because this entry is already getting longer.
5. What are my interests? My girl Penny, ofc! If you haven't figured it out already, I like riding bicycles a lot. Most people who discover this website have probably come from my YouTube or Twitch. I like streaming my bike rides. I also enjoy playing video games, reading, movies, and music. I have a Shiba Inu named Koushi. He sometimes makes some guest appearances on stream. I love making videos and also doing photography. Most of this stuff will be documented in this blog. More on that later... (How many times have I said that?)
6. What plans do I have for the future? Well, we have quite a few plans in the near and far future. Unfortunately, with the weather being bad and the world still trying to move on from covid (I mean Taiwan because everyone else has stopped caring like years ago), I have gained a lot of weight. The biggest plan is to get out on my bicycle and be outside more in Taitung. I need to lose weight, and so I will use this site to help keep me motivated. I want to get back into filming and photography as well!
7. Why this blog thingy? Wow! We made it to the last section! The main purpose of this blog is to follow my adventures in Taiwan. I don't want to say I'm 14 years too late because I am just now making my blog, but I guess it is better now than never. Moving to Taitung is a big change in my life, so I might as well start documenting it. I am hoping to share more information about riding bicycles in south eastern Taiwan. I feel like the roads in Taitung are more scenic and adventurous, so I want to share them with everyone. I also want to just have a place to share my thoughts and record what I am up to. This website will help me with that!
Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed hanging out with my words and thoughts. I will try to continuously update this blog. If you have any questions, don't be shy. You are more than welcome to start a conversation and hang out with us. I also stream on Twitch and have a YouTube channel if you want to see more of me.