Climbing Mountains

Lately, we’ve been trying to figure out what will come out this little adventure of ours. To sum it up, after you quit your job, give away most of your stuff and move to the other side of the world (yeah, sure not literally, but close enough), at some point you just have to start making plans about your future. And if anything ever, it really feels like we’ve started climbing up this mountain and the ascend is slowly getting steeper.


As for me, I’ve realized that since I’m here in Taiwan and currently in between jobs and really without an exact plan about what I want to do, I might just as well see if I could get into a university here. Getting a Master’s Degree wasn’t part of my original plan, I rather hoped I  could just maybe study Chinese here until someone gives me a job. But as it happens, you need a work permit for that, and one source informed me that getting a Master’s Degree from a local university would be the best way to a) get the permit and b) find a job. So, I put together the paperwork, applied and just earlier this week had my first ever university interview. Naturally, I had also booked an IELTS exam for the previous weekend (I totally fucked up the written part, which is a bit ironic…), and the next day after the interview I had the registration day for the the Mandarin Training Centre, which included a spoken and written test on Chinese. The four days I spent on being tested and interview, and all the preparation I put into them, showed me things are getting more serious and it is really time to do something about the future. The enginerd is still working on his enginerd stuff, which may one day bring us some income, but meanwhile we’re really counting our pennies.

After all the hassle (I had to google how to prepare for a university interview, and then actually prepare for it…) of getting everything done, it was time to go see some nature. As Taipei is surrounded by mountains and trekking parks, it wasn’t exactly difficult to find an easy to reach piece of nature near us. The Elephant Mountain seemed like a good choice, since the red line metro and bus number 22 go very close to it. Unfortunately, the first attempt turned into stay at home and drink beer day when it all of a sudden started raining like 5 minutes before we were about to leave. When you see a rain frontier size of China swarming over you, and the forecast says it’ll take a week for the sun to shine again, you turn around, take off your outdoor clothes and start downloading movies.

Hundreds and hundreds of stairs, a beginning of training for that climb on Mount Kilimanjaro, maybe?

Next day, the second attempt went just fine, we left in a light drizzle (the rain won’t actually stop for several days), climbed and walked the tracks and just admired the view. We probably took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up at a mountain wall where the track continued as two ropes and some knots straight up the rock, until you cold see the path continuing three meters higher. We decided not to accept the challenge, turned around and trespassed through a Buddhist monastery and some backyards and went home. We totally recommend the hiking track, as long as you follow the signs instead of your instincts.

The view wasn’t actually this Hobbit-y…

My school will start in less than a week, and in a month or two the university will inform me about the application results. Until then, we continue climbing up the mental hill made of obstacles we were made for winning.

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