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Well, it’s all done.

This morning I signed my contract with Kojen Corporation to become their newest ESP teacher, yes, that’s right, I’m an ESPer! And I know what you’re thinking (ha ha), what the heck does ESP stand for? English for Specific Purposes, or in this case for office workers and other government and corporate employees.

The contract requires that I be available Monday-Saturday, Mornings to Evenings and work at least 18 hours a week, although I’m told the person whose hours I’m probably getting is working around 25 hours/week right now. For those hours, I get paid roughly double what the locals are getting, so realistically I’m getting the equivalent of full-time pay for a working half the time at a job where I have no office hours and don’t have to even report to the office except to check-in once or twice a week. Plus, I get up to a month of vacation time any time I want it, and can even take it in pieces, and that doesn’t include my sick leave.

Now the bad news, I can’t use any of that vacation time during July or August, since they are holiday months and it seems everyone wants to learn English then. I am also obligated to work 30 hours a week during those months, but I’m told I will be assigned temporarily to a school where the clients will come to my air-conditioned self for most of those extra hours.

On the apartment front, I just accepted a recently (5 months ago) renovated apartment, fully furnished, with free TV, fridge, air conditioning, utilities, ADSL high-speed internet and washer and dryer which I’m getting at a steal of a price. (Roughly 1/4 my monthly salary, which is good for Taipei.) It’s next to a major mall/movie theatre complex and one bus stop away in either direction from major shopping and eating areas. The catches? Well, there’s no kitchen, so I will have to eat out a lot (which is normal here, buying and making food and eating out cost almost the same) or use Connie’s family kitchen to prepare things. The other catch is that the place is about the size of a University residence room, which for those who know me means it’s the size of my bedroom back in London, a residence room in Saugeen Hall at UWO, or your typical single bedroom. I figure I will hardly be there, and the area is filled with coffee shops and parks, so I should be able to keep from going stir-crazy. But, if I do, you’ll probably know pretty quick.

I’m taking over another person’s lease, so instead of a year, I just have a 5 month lease, so if it’s not working out I can always find another place. I will admit I am a tiny bit hesitant because of the size of the place, but it won’t be the first time I lived in a residence room type place. We’ll see how it goes.

So, that’s it then. Rob is now a resident of Taipei, employed and housed. I will pass along my address and phone numbers (residence and cell) when I have them. I start teaching my first class next Thursday at noon, and I’m looking forward to it.

Oh, and in other news this is a holiday weekend here, a nice 3 day weekend. I guess I will be spending it moving in and setting up, so many little things to buy and I’ll have to see what the girl before me left behind. She wasn’t a neat freak, but it looks like she was pretty clean.

Rob