Tuesday, 23 February 2010

motorcycle to work

You can't get around in Xin Zhu without a car or motorcycle. The mass transportation in this city, or I should say, little town, is intolerably shabby. There are only two route bus passing by the Uni I work at, and there's no such thing as Metro in Taipei or Tube in London. Therefore most college students or people who can't afford a car would chose the later one. The roads are filled with cars and an incredible amount of motorcycles, which is indeed a spectacle to a foreigner. Basically, Xin Zhu is, like any other cities in Taiwan, a motorcycle-based city in terms of its transportation development.

I am so used to living in a convenient like Taipei or London that I felt like as if I am disabled in the first few weeks in Xin Zhu. When I studied in the Uni, I lived in the campus, literally, and constantly take subway to get around Taipei. In London, where has one of the best mass transportation in the world, I used to walk and take bus or tube. This is also why I don't have any driver's licence until last week. To me, it is totally outrageous that in some places of Xin Zhu (and my hometown Taichung as well) there's no pedestrian at all. How do people survive?

It looks like that they adjust it rather well. And I have to be one of them no matter what.

If I walk to the Uni to work, I need to pass at least three interchanges (to highway) without any crosswalk. I tried twice and gave up. I took the exam and got my ever first licence--motorcyclist licence and began commuting by motorcycle. Unfortunately (or, I should say, fortunatly), my first ride in Xin Zhu was a disaster, though a minor one. Apparently I was too nervous to keep the balance and fall on the road. Not a single person was hurt, fortunately.

I was a walking disaster and now I became a 'running disaster', if I am on the motorcycle.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

10 days after

I don't want to fill my blog with shitty things about my boss and my work. But if this is my life and there's nothing left (no cute guys nor pleasant scenery nor interesting musicals or performance) This, I hope, would be the second as well as the last one.

After ten days trying to sort out a means to get along with my boss, I realised that there's something never changes: personality. She's not evil. It's just that she is utterly incapable of being sympathetic to others, and constantly egocentric without self-awareness. That's all. (WOW, sounds like my ex, but he's not as evil though)

Details skipped. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if the problem is not her but me. Is is because that I stay in the Ivory tower too long that I am overly protected by everyone around me? Am I that vulnerable to the reality and the society? In the old days, well like my parent's 20s or 30s, people were so used to work overtime without pay and obey their boss no matter how unreasonable it was. It's different now. Probably the rising human rights and that sort of things refute it or it simply because time changes.

Time changes and so do values. Values of working moral, hierarchy and so on.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with working overtime and not being paid. It's about being respected or not.

It's somewhere near the place I lived in London. Oh, I miss London.

First Job

There are always angels around me in my life, either in London or the Uni days in Taipei. But this time's different. My boss, a recently promoted female associate professor, is a pretty young lady (or, as James said, 'a babe') but she's actually not as sweet to her employee.

I arrived at the airport at 22 Jan night, then my family picked me up and drove me to Xing Zhu in the midnight, because my boss asked me to start to work the next morning. The workload (translating a book from Chinese to English) is overwhelmingly heavy. That is also why I was willing to start to do it when I was in London, few days before my flight. Yet there's still a lot left. I have to work overtime everyday and night to catch up with her 'deadline'. When I almost finished half of the book translation, she said she'll start to pay me from 1 Feb, which means everything I did was not paid at all. Because of some 'bureaucratic issues'. She said it 'makes sense' because there's going to be a 9 days Chinese New Year's break in mid Feb, which is her way of 'making up' my 10 days hard work. And the monthly payment turned out to be less than it said on the website, because of some 'misunderstanding'.

Everyone told me to quit while my family want me to tolerate it, which is quite Asian way to deal with thing of this kind. It's a critical time, it's really lucky to have a job, they said.

I did neither anyway.

Indeed I did bear it for the first two days. That sucks. As if I have no choice but to do whatever she asked. In the fourth day I negotiated with her and we sort it out in a complicated way. At least I got paid. The amount of payment's fixed, so there's noting I can do about it. All right I'll stay, just for a while.

I started job hunting again on the third day of the first work. That's quite a good beginning. I hate working.

Everything and nothing

(I wrote the following weeks, perhaps months ago. It happens, shit happens. Complaining and reviving and exhausting, again and again. That's life. Ce'st la vie, as the French said.)

It's been a long week.

I kinda recall the Caribbean guy I met in Brick Lane last week. I asked him where he's from. He said 'everywhere'. That's creative. I knew he's joking around. And 'What do you do?'

'Everything and noting.'

I raised my eye brow. But after roughly 20 mins chit-chat I reckon he's right in a sense. He went on and explained to me the way leads his life, well, quite the way he pleases. He's a fashion designer and it seems that he's making trading and collecting antiques, stuff like that, too trivial to recall.

'I've done everything and nothing.'

And then a week after, here in front of my laptop, his words make sense about everything that happened these days, the months and weeks after the diss was done. I've been doing everything to prepare the next stage of my life. I am open to any possibilities in academia, considering taking another MA or going for PhD studies, pondering on at least 3 different approachs for the subject matter and being ambitious to work on an independent research on Scotland's identity. I had plans, or, precisely, many options, for the next stage of my life. I applied to some MA programmes and volunteering works, consulting several professors at King's about my studies and anxiously taking

Not long ago the symptoms of ambitiously aspiration began to developed and turned into confusion of life.


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