Yesterday was a hurricane of events. Training for my job had come to a close, so all of us were being sent off to our branches. Some people (like me) are staying in Taipei, others are headed all over the island. My branch supervisor picked me up at the hotel around 10 am so it was time for me to finish my apartment hunt and try to find a home. There were some interesting ones….one was an apartment in a very farm like area, where I would be living with the landladies relatives (I’d have my own room/bathroom.) Another was NT$6900 a month but was about the size of a janitor closet. The room contained a twin bed, a desk, and about 2 feet to stand up in. Not exactly my dream apartment.
After a few hours of hunting, I decided on the first one that we had looked at that morning. I have to sign the lease tomorrow, but for an NT$5000 deposit, I was able to get the keys and move in that day. The apartment is a 5th-floor walk up, most older apartments in the city don't have elevators; I share a hallway and washing machine with about 5 other apartments. The apartment is still fairly small, but a lot larger than most I looked at. It comes furnished which is a plus, bed, mini fridge, and desk. So that saves a bit on the setup costs. There's plenty of storage too, as the bed lifts up, and has storage area underneath it. My neighbors are a mystery, but there is a man, who sits outside in the morning and prepares his food cart for the day, he is a very cheery Whistler.
By the time we finished arranging for the apartment we had just enough time to run back to my school and grab my luggage, by a few staples at the local store, drag my bags up five flights of stairs, throw them into my apartment, and turn around to go back to work. Since this is my first day at the branch, I just observed classes. Some are ones I’ll be taking over from the teacher who's leaving, others are teachers who have a lot of experience so I can pick things up from them. There is a national holiday here on Monday (my first week and already no school!) so I won’t be doing any teaching until Tuesday afternoon. The people at my branch are pretty nice. They’ve been giving me tips, taking me for coffee, and inviting me out for drinks. So now I just have to worry about my students.
Today was all about set up, I don't have to be at school until the afternoon, so I got most of my bags unpacked. Then I headed over to Taipei 101 and its shopping center. It's actually only a 15-minute walk from my apartment, so I'm in the heart of the city. I bought a new novel to read and some Chinese language books...hopefully, I can pick up some language quickly.