Teaching in Hsinchu, Taiwan [3]

Tomorrow marks my third week in Taiwan, and wow has it flown by! It feels like I’ve been here for months already.

I’ve finally found some places to eat safely, I’ve discovered more great coffee shops and I’ve even made a few friends!

I’m happy here so far and there’s no chance of being bored. Having said that, this week has been tough.

  • Hardly anything is vegan. If it’s vegetarian it’s loaded with cheese, egg, milk or mayonnaise. I spent two days being sick because after asking for no cream or ice cream, I got a cream filled waffle. But no cream on top, so it’s ok right??

  • The noise. The constant god damn noise. At 4am. At 11am. And 6pm. I have a horrible earache from how much I’ve been wearing earplugs. Oh how I miss Wales.
  • Some of the kids are absolute demons. I’m really struggling with how badly behaved some of them are. They’re so rude and precocious.

I know it’s all part of the settling in stage and the only thing I’ll really struggle with is the noise. I wonder if I’ll ever to be able to settle in Asia unless I’m living the typical expat life? (Big house, no noise, swimming pool, etc 😂)

Hsinchu is strangely quiet for a city in terms of evening activities / nightlife. Most places shut at 9 or 10 and there aren’t many bars, which means if I’m late finishing work (9-10) I struggle to get some food on the way home unless it’s McDonalds. I’m way too tired to cook by the time I get home.

So this week I’ve found some wonderful coffee shops (a separate coffee post is in the works…), the street cart next to the school makes veggie rice or noodle dishes for £2 and they’re delicious!

Local noodle shop in Hsinchu, Taiwan

And I also had my hair chemically straightened so I no longer have to battle the humidity-induced lions mane of mine. RIP curls, for a year or so anyway.

On another funny note, I had to write a note home to one of the boy’s parents because he was constantly messing about, not doing homework and being really immature. His mum came in the following day with a huge bag of fruit for me, saying how sorry she was and how he won’t do it again. He even hand-wrote me an apology and he was much better behaved after that. It was strangely quite sweet.

This apple was possible 75% of the size of my face… I had to eat it with two hands!

What else? I’ve really struggled this week. I’ve found it so tough to wake up and give it my best every day, but I’ve been exercising, eating loads of healthy foods and forcing myself to read and write. I’m noticing better skin and a bit of weight loss yay!

To help me stay on track, I’ve been reading Matt Haig’s Notes on a nervous planet. It’s taken me a while because it really hits hard, but he writes as if he understands every single one of us and it really helps me feel less alone. I’m in awe of this man, and his wife. The way they battle through together is amazing.

So if you have, or know someone who has, a mental health ‘issue’ / ‘problem’ / ‘thing’ (whatever people are calling it these days) I’m urging you to read it.

Matt Haig notes on a nervous planet

Looking forward to my weekend, I’m off to Taipei! So I’ll leave you with some photos…

Chemically straightened hairProphecy cafe hsinchu

Happy weekend everyone xo

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