Tuesday, September 14, 2010
But I am pretty happy to be here. And though I came to the island repeating the mantra "this is a temporary arrangement", a few things have happened to make me feel more settled. They're blurring the lines between for me between expat living and just living.
1. Learning to love a scooter. Like a lot of Asia, the roads of Taiwan teem with motorbikes-- and in moving back here, I knew I'd have to be joining the speeding throngs. I never learned to ride a bicycle as a child, so the idea of now getting on a heavy motorized bicycle and speeding it into traffic seemed a little terrifying. So through a year living in Asia and two visits to Taiwan, I never even attempted to climb on. But when we moved here I decided I would have to make an effort. Within an hour of working up the nerve to try it, I had found that not only was it not that hard-- but that actually, it was pretty fun. I've now got my own Yamaha Vino, a handsome black retro-styled model, that I love finding excuses for zipping around town on.
2. Moving in. The search for an apartment in Taiwan was... depressing. We saw tiny new places with no space and no character, massive damp caverns plugged with heavy ugly furniture... and little else. So I'm still feeling incredibly lucky that Bordeaux found a cute old-fashioned apartment with green tile floors and some built in kitchen cupboards. It's within walking distance of several parks (good for item #3), near cafes and breakfast shops, and almost equidistant between our workplaces. Now if we could just bring in some non-florescent lighting...
3. Japie. My husband is not into dogs, and I'm not really into pets, but we've always had a weakness for French Bulldogs. So when on our first weekend in town we met someone who was looking for a home for her little Frenchie, it seemed too fated to question. So we agreed, tentatively, to foster him for awhile. But within an hour of Japie (pronounced Ya-pee, pictured above) crashing around at our feet and looking up at us (in two directions), we knew we weren't going to be giving him back.