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Sep 4, 2007

The bounty that is Kaohsiung

Being here in Kaohsiung has been like being at a vacation home, more or less. The air is heavy with the organic smell of the forest and the lungs appreciate every second of it. Every day I wake up feeling well-rested and healthy, regardless of how long I've slept. A few early guests have been shocked we don't have the air conditioning on -- even in temperatures of 34C (93F) in the city, we simply open the windows and let the wind, forest and elevation keep us cool. Anyway, I'll put pictures of the place online Thursday or Friday once our internet is installed.

Moving was slightly painful -- it took two different all-nighters of packing and going back and forth, but all our belongings are now here. We have managed to isolate the unpacked items to one room alone, helping to clear up our space and make is feel we live in even more luxury.
The food so far has been plentiful, cheap, and varied. Lunch today included pork with kimchi, apple slices, cherries, miso soup, a rich rice with mushrooms, and a nice after dinner cigarette.

I am in no hurry to do anything, ever. I simply do whatever chores are necessary, sit around for a while, listen to the radio, watch sunsets and read on the back porch, and occasionally watch the few television channels we have -- no cable yet. I have fallen in love with the back porch most of all. I just sit in my chair out there, feet hanging off the balcony, watching and listening to the forest.

For fun, I can always go sing karaoke, hit the batting cages, use our community gym, have a swim, go shrimp fishing or ride a horse -- all without driving 10 minutes from my place.
There's never any rush here. Some people even walk much more slowly than in Taipei. As my friend Hal said when he saw my watch: "You won't be needing that around here."

Speaking of Hal, my co-worker and technical boss, we've been hanging out most nights. Been watching Family Guy, talking a little about work and enjoying the view from his place too. His 8th floor view of the forest roof contrasts sharply with my view of the forest floor on 2nd-3rd floor). Over all, we've been having a great time.

Work so far is great too. Although I'm mostly just learning the basics of trade, metals, steel and our company's procedures, everyone has been friendly and people seem to be in no particular hurry in the office, either. And the commute is only 10-15 minutes!

The ONLY downside so far is that people are a little more humored by and unaccustomed to a foreigner hanging around, so I get a lot more people trying to practice English with me. Still, it's been great.

The cats love the new place too. They can actually run around and hide in the room that's so filled with boxes, a person can't walk in!

I'll start posting again more regularly once the internet is in my place.


Tim said...


I just wanted to let you know that your blog was featured today on the beta version of TrippinTV a new video based website focused on Taiwan.



Tim Brown
Exec Producer

阿牛 said...

Oh wow, I didn't know about that Tim. Thanks a lot. I'll keep an eye on your site.