I woke up the other day and realized that I have been in this country for almost eight months. This marks the longest I have lived in any one place since graduating college, a feat which I'm not sure if I should take pride in or be slightly ashamed about. Am I adventurous or fickle? Probably a little of both. My transient nature has begun to inform me that yes, it will soon be time to move on to the next chapter in this crazy novel that is my life, and therefore my time in Taiwan is limited and quickly waning. Where will I go, you ask? At this point it seems like Saint Louis is the logical choice (with a pit-stop of undetermined length in Texas to see the family, of course); almost all my friends and half my family live there, I love St. Louis sports, and let's face it, the low cost-of-living in the Midwest makes it ideal for a struggling....um....whatever I will be when I return. But rest assured, I WILL be struggling.
But the point here is that, in eight months, I have seem almost NONE of this beautiful country. Part of the reason for this is because, for the last 5 months, it has rained literally every other day, making planning a sight-seeing trip nearly impossible. Part of the reason is that my school, along with every other school and institution in Taiwan, doesn't believe in Holidays. In the Sates, I remember we used to get off school for EVERYTHING. ("Happy '3rd Tuesday in September Day!' Stay home!") However, the parents in this country would never stand being around their children this much (because they actually HATE their children), and so here we are required to go to school ALWAYS, even during typhoons, earthquakes, and sometimes even on Saturdays. And lastly, part of the reason I have been nowhere is because, as with any routine, complacency tends to arise after time and repetition. I get stuck in a rut, and happy (or content) with being just...there. Sometimes it takes a push to get me out.
So here's the push...
I've got four months left here. That's 16 weekends and possibly a week off in July if the scheduling cooperates. My goal is to see as much of beautiful Formosa as time and money will allow, and hopefully blogument much of it for your reading pleasure. (I will do my best to be as un-educational as possible, and in all likelihood will probably make up a lot of what I don't immediately know off the top of my head. You can get your facts from Wikipedia...I'm here to entertain.)
Let the Taiwandering begin.
(On the next episode of Taiwandering: Taichung ("no, I don't know what it is. eat it anyway.")