© 2008 Catherine. All rights reserved.

A blogless 2007, 2008 baby I’m back

Me, St. Andrews, New Brunswick

2007 proved to be a real test of character for all aspects of my life. My love life, work life, Taiwan life all suffered some major ups and downs. And somewhere in the midst of it I stopped typing. It’s really sad because of how much I really got out of my site, how it really kept me moving artistically, and how it kept Taiwan forever new and fresh for me.

At some point this site had regular traffic that scared me, a modest number of visits by some people’s standards but much more than I ever expected to get and then I started hearing more and more about how people in Taiwan and their friends were looking at my site. That kind of ruined things for me. As cool as it was the original intent of writing about Taiwan at all was to amuse my family and friends back home as well as other Westerners. I hadn’t really thought or dreamed that people living in Taiwan and seeing the same things I was seeing would be spending any time at my site. So I started to worry about everything I wanted to write about. “Too many people in Taiwan have written about this, why blog about something everyone else already has??”, “Everyone has already seen this, why put a picture up of this, it’ll be boring!!”. bla bla bla

Irving Nature Park, Saints Rest, Saint John, New Brunswick

Aside from that working 44 hours a week before I went home this summer didn’t even leave me with time to check my e-mail.

Now I’m a lot less busy and don’t care so much about who’s reading or why. I’m grateful for anyone who gives me their time. It’s cool to know that people are there. First and foremost I write for myself and for my family. A kind of visual scrapbook since I’m so bad at keeping a written diary or photo album, and why bother?

Irving Nature Park, Saints Rest, Saint John, New Brunswick

So where have I been? I spent the summer home in Canada. It wasn’t what it should have been, I suffered a major betrayal before heading home and it soured the whole visit for me. I spent way too much time alone and miserable. I’m sorry for the family and friends I didn’t see and grateful to the ones who I did see and were able to put up with me.

Since I’ve been back in Taiwan I FINALLY started taking Chinese classes. It’s incredibly embarrassing that I’ve been living in Taiwan more than 2 years and hadn’t studied at all. According to another ex-pat I met this is a very “Canadian” thing to do. It made me cringe but at the same time I can’t feel offended. It seems in Taiwan Canadians are at the butt end of the joke and are criticized and joked about for the same things we are guilty of joking and criticizing Americans for back home. There are some nice, wonderful, talented, and motivated Canadians in Taiwan but there are unfortunately a good number of thoughtless, drunk, greedy, horny jerks (male and female) too. I used to feel proud to tell people I was from Canada when I first came to Taiwan until I started meeting the kind of Canadians who will head to work to teach kindergarten kids still drunk from the night before. argh.

Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

Unfortunately my work hours have picked up again so I haven’t had as much time as I’ve wanted to again and I’ve had to drop the Chinese classes but I intend to start some 1 on 1 classes soon. Having Han has helped me “cheat” a lot and live a much richer life in Taiwan that I could’ve without him but I’m an independent girl and always have been so it’s really important to me.

I’m sneaking up on my 3 year anniversary in Taiwan and with that I seem to have hit a new milestone which involves everyone I never thought would ever leave Taiwan leaving. It’s been heartbreaking. Sure I’ve heard them say they were planning on leaving at some point but denial kicked in and I didn’t believe it. It’s another reason I’ve resolved to study Chinese harder. It’s great to have other ex-pat friends but in a way I don’t want to make anymore friends in the ex-pat community. It becomes too heartbreaking. Meanwhile, I feel like the only thing that’s changed about me in 3 years is my hair and everyone back home is having babies, buying houses and cars, and getting married. Thankfully I still have a few friends and a big sister who is content to live outside the norm so I don’t feel so weird.

Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

So how about the new year? Han and I decided to brave the fireworks since we’ve heard this year will be the last year they do them off of 101. I’ve moved to the Xinhai area and there is a little field of grass we pass sometimes when we are driving towards 101. We decided to try to make it there on the scooter on new year night because it has the most clear and perfect view of 101. Seriously, anyone wanting to get a good shot of 101 should setup their tripod here. If I can figure out where it is on the map I’ll post the google map location. I have no idea what the place is called. I’m sure it’s called a park even though there is seriously nothing there but a big triangle of grass but even a 6 ping square of grass with a rock on it is a park with an official name in Taipei :).

My favorite place on earth, St.Martins, New Brunswick

We never ended up making it to the field. We were so deadlocked in traffic we couldn’t move for almost 2 hours. We ended up about 10 meters away from it with the most clear and perfect view of 101 imaginable. I’m glad we didn’t make it because if we had we’d be standing with a bunch of people with their arms raised in the air trying to capture the fireworks on their cellphones or digital cameras but elevated on the scooter there was nothing to block our view. I didn’t bother bringing a camera because I was lazy and didn’t feel like lugging it along and because I knew there would be at least a dozen videos posted to youtube. Here’s one for anyone who missed out:

This month also marked or 2 year anniversary together! We had a quiet night and celebrated with our tradition of returning to the spot of or first date (the giant ferris wheel in Neihu). We got in one of the two new ferris wheel cars that have glass bottoms. The glass was so scuffed up it was hard to see through but thankfully the seats were clear too (unnerving when you’re in a skirt). It was pretty neat. Worth the wait since it was a special night.

My favorite place on earth, St. Martins, New Brunswick

I have some things to write about now and Rafael has helped me modify the template so it’s more photo post friendly so I’m hoping to be putting up posts or photos at least twice a week. Kick my butt if I don’t, please!

My favorite place on earth, St.Martins, New Brunswick

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