Merry Chrimbo!!!

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SteveW
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Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby SteveW » Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:51 am

As you'll see from the pic my own special celebrations are about to start so just enough time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016! Enjoyed meeting most of you during 2015 and with a bit of luck might get to do it again next year.

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eujin
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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby eujin » Fri Dec 25, 2015 7:43 pm

Thanks for the pic Steve, looks like you're having a good time. All the best guys!

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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby nzfooty » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:46 pm

All the best to everyone in 2016!!

If you are passing through Taipei, please drop me a line.We shall have excellent adventures. There isn't much good football on display but given that often all the league matches are played at the same (moving) venue on a particular day, it can be made into an excuse for having more than what-the-doctor-ordered in terms of drinks.Sometimes you can watch up to 4 matches at the same venue.

My understanding is that this has some resemblance to how the K-League operated in the early days,

What else can I say? The are many beautiful women here. They combine their good looks with a friendly, fairly laid-back attitude. If I don't get married here than I have truly missed the boat (not that I necessarily think marriage should be the ultimate goal in one's life).

It's a liberal society, probably more than South Korea and Japan. Part of the reason for this might be that they really try hard to contrast themselves with the Mainland.

The negatives are the weather (29.1 on winter solstice, December 22) and my insane working schedule. Perhaps once I get better at what I'm doing I will be able to enjoy the country more: but at the moment it feels like I am sitting at a table with a beautiful meal in front of me and I can't taste it, can't eat it...

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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby eujin » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:30 pm

I can only recommend Taiwan as a destination. I had a great time when I visited, especially at Alishan. The sea of clouds was pretty stunning. I also had a sea of clouds when I went up the 101 building, but we were in it, not above it.

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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby SteveW » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:26 pm

Taiwan is one of those places that is always on the list but never quite makes the top. I'm hoping if I find a new job in 2016 I can get back to globetrotting at someone else's expense!
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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby nzfooty » Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:02 pm

Eujin, glad you liked it. The country has taken me a bit by surprise.

Steve, yeah, I know what you mean. I always wanted to visit Taiwan but by itself it never motivated me. Having friends here (who studied in NZ) made me visit on the way back to NZ in May. Now I am working here (that has more to do with the fact that company Asia-Pacific HQ is here) but I am glad it worked out that way. It is a really good country to live in: a good balance of city and country.

If you have any experience dealing with medical contracts and can handle talking to pharma people, we might have an opening soon. Salary is what you would get in the West. The only thing I should stress is that this is not a football country (though plenty of bars that show EPL).

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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby Holyjoe » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:32 pm

Taipei is probably the biggest 'what if' that I can look back on, when I was dating the missus it was somewhere I was seriously planning moving on to from Korea as they were offering comparable packages to those Korean schools were offering at the time (return air fare, salary etc) and my grand plan even before moving to Korea was to country hop a fair bit through teaching. Got very close to going but decided against it, ended up marrying the missus and now three kids later we're not going anywhere in a hurry. At least until the youngest turns 16 and I boot her out like I'll have done the other two to get our freedom back. Or that's the theory anyway, they'll still be living with us when they're in their 30s no doubt given the way things are heading in the UK ..

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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby MipoFanatic » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:15 am

I also had often given thought to living to Taiwan, as I had studied Mandarin at uni, and most people I knew who had been there only had good things to say about it.

There was a low-budget doco on Canadian TV about teaching English in Taiwan that didn't exactly sell the notion of going there very well, though. I suppose in hindsight they were looking for "drama cases" to feature as they would make for more eventful TV, and I'm sure the scene editing process helped to over-emphasize the negatives.

Like HJ, I ended up not going to Taiwan primarily because of a woman. Just think how much better their economy would be if they could have all young, globetrotting, Western men sterilized! :smt079

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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby paquebot » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:26 am

Looks like Taiwan has the forum's stamp of approval. I've been there four or five (or was it six?) times and at one point was thinking about moving there from Korea. Like Mipo I also studied a bit of Mandarin in university (only two semesters though!) so that would have been a slight help.

Most of my trips involved going to the area around Taichung but I also enjoyed visiting Tamkang / Danshui / New Taipei City and the Dutch fort that's located up that way.
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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby nzfooty » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:56 am

Interesting re the positive consensus because among my friends in NZ who had worked in Taiwan the same holds. No one had anything bad to say about the country. There was a lot of afterglow of course, but that is not to say that the country does not have its problems (I suppose that goes without saying).

Economically, I wonder if the the packages Holyjoe referred to are still here (when originally compared to South Korea). I know they existed because my first stop in Asia was supposed to be Taiwan. Some delays followed and when Korea came I up, I jumped on the opportunity (esp with the 2002 World Cup around the corner).

However, of the Four Asian Tigers the growth in Taiwan has been the worst (though it did not produce the inequality seen in HK which I think is a positive - I think most Taiwanese would prefer to live here than there). Still wage/salary growth has not kept up with the inflation in the real estate market.

Things will potentially get worse. Taiwan is only days away from electing Tsai Ing-wen. Unlike the ruling Kuomintang, she is not particularly chummy with the leadership in the Mainland. Given the amount of trade between the two countries, that could have an impact on Taiwan.

But perhaps this is an indicator why Taiwan is the place it is. While NZers a few years ago protested to have some of their hard earned rights (labour laws) removed so that Holywood studios could continue filming there ("NZ is Middle Earth" said one protester's sign , or however the fuck you spell that), most Taiwanese are actually willing to risk their livelihoods / incomes by protesting (and now voting) to obtain a particular political goal.
That takes a lot of courage (and perhaps some misplaced confidence). Last time Europe had that much courage it was 1945,our grandparents generation.

But lets drop this nonsense and revisit this 2006 classic (also educational on all issues Taiwanese). Those with no patience for rap, forward to 2:50 and then keep your eye to the left at around 2:58 (don't blink because you may miss it) -- the video is nice, would've been much better with more of that though.


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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby MipoFanatic » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:44 pm

For some reason, Taiwan wasn't even on my radar in late 2002/early 2003 when I was weighing up options in East Asia. Japan was my first choice, but the requirement to pay for your own flights, sort out your own accommodation, and the high cost of living all helped to tip the scale in favour of Korea.

Were most Taiwanese jobs offering free flights and sorted accommodation back then? If so, and had I known that, I might very well have chosen there.

As for the upcoming elections, I'm actually hoping the DPP wins. Chen Shui-bian didn't fare too badly when he was president. The Guomindang have been too Mainland-friendly, which arguably jeopardizes Taiwan's independence. The pro-business deals also are of questionable valuable for the average Taiwanese person, as they allow for the Mainland production of goods for Taiwanese companies, which results in lower wages for Taiwanese labour and a flood of cheap Mainland goods into Taiwan. You mentioned earlier that Taiwan has avoided the inequality seen in South Korea; I reckon bringing down trade and labour barriers with the Mainland may jeopardize that.

I don't expect any actual confrontation between the Mainland and Taiwan if the DPP gets back into power. The Chinese government is now wily enough to know how this game works; there are alternating phases of Guomindang and DPP being in power, and the Mainland takes maximum advantage when the GMD is in. China's government has already learned that attempting to threaten Taiwanese voters usually backfires, so I don't expect too many scare tactics from Beijing this time around.

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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby nzfooty » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:32 am

MipoFanatic wrote:For some reason, Taiwan wasn't even on my radar in late 2002/early 2003 when I was weighing up options in East Asia. Japan was my first choice, but the requirement to pay for your own flights, sort out your own accommodation, and the high cost of living all helped to tip the scale in favour of Korea.

Were most Taiwanese jobs offering free flights and sorted accommodation back then? If so, and had I known that, I might very well have chosen there.


At the time I just wanted to get out of the country ghetto which was (and still is) NZ. If you had offered me a bowl of miso and an alternative experience, I would've ripped your arm off. As a result I actually did not pay too much attention to the salaries. Holyjoe will state things with more authority but from memory, they were very similar, almost identical actually from my memory. Perhaps there were differences: all my friends who have worked in Taipei had to find their own apartments (with the school's assistance). So perhaps some clever wording in the papers did make a difference. On the face of it I do remember destructing anything significant.

MipoFanatic wrote:As for the upcoming elections, I'm actually hoping the DPP wins. Chen Shui-bian didn't fare too badly when he was president. The Guomindang have been too Mainland-friendly, which arguably jeopardizes Taiwan's independence. The pro-business deals also are of questionable valuable for the average Taiwanese person, as they allow for the Mainland production of goods for Taiwanese companies, which results in lower wages for Taiwanese labour and a flood of cheap Mainland goods into Taiwan. You mentioned earlier that Taiwan has avoided the inequality seen in South Korea; I reckon bringing down trade and labour barriers with the Mainland may jeopardize that.
MipoFanatic wrote:


Mmmm... you are not wrong based on where you have started with this argument. However, you have started the argument at a wrong point. China is not just a producer but also a huge consumer. And that is especially true with regards to Taiwan --- Taiwanese chick is popular too.

That said, I would like to see Tsai Ing-wen win. It's clearly the will of the people.

MipoFanatic wrote:I don't expect any actual confrontation between the Mainland and Taiwan if the DPP gets back into power. The Chinese government is now wily enough to know how this game works; there are alternating phases of Guomindang and DPP being in power, and the Mainland takes maximum advantage when the GMD is in. China's government has already learned that attempting to threaten Taiwanese voters usually backfires, so I don't expect too many scare tactics from Beijing this time around.

I don't quite see it that way but I definitely hope you are right.

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Re: Merry Chrimbo!!!

Postby Holyjoe » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:03 am

nzfooty wrote:
MipoFanatic wrote:For some reason, Taiwan wasn't even on my radar in late 2002/early 2003 when I was weighing up options in East Asia. Japan was my first choice, but the requirement to pay for your own flights, sort out your own accommodation, and the high cost of living all helped to tip the scale in favour of Korea.

Were most Taiwanese jobs offering free flights and sorted accommodation back then? If so, and had I known that, I might very well have chosen there.


At the time I just wanted to get out of the country ghetto which was (and still is) NZ. If you had offered me a bowl of miso and an alternative experience, I would've ripped your arm off. As a result I actually did not pay too much attention to the salaries. Holyjoe will state things with more authority but from memory, they were very similar, almost identical actually from my memory. Perhaps there were differences: all my friends who have worked in Taipei had to find their own apartments (with the school's assistance). So perhaps some clever wording in the papers did make a difference. On the face of it I do remember destructing anything significant.


I was pretty much the same as you Mipo when deciding between Korea and Japan.. I'd initially considered Eastern Europe as an initial destination for teaching overseas but then looking a bit more in to it I thought if I was going to go for it then I might as well go for somewhere completely different.. South America sounded way too dangerous (a horrible generalisation, I know) so Asia became the target and then it was the forthcoming World Cup that drew me to consider either Korea or Japan. Like you, Taiwan just wasn't on the radar when making that decision but it gradually became an option as a future destination when I got to know some people who were about to head there.

I won't pretend to remember whether things were directly comparable regarding accommodation (as nzfooty says it may well have been the case that rather than providing housing a monthly allowance would have been paid towards that but you'd have had to have found your own apartment) but I'm positive salary and airfare reimbursement were comparable to what was on offer in Korea. I do remember liking the fact that financially, just like jobs in Korea, it was a relatively safe bet in that you wouldn't be shelling out for plane tickets or rent, and that would have built up enough savings and travel & teaching experience to then have gone on to countryhop around some South East Asian countries to loaf about and really have fun.

Ah, the best laid plans... :|


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