Happy Anniversary To Me!

Guess what?

Today is my 6th year anniversary in Taiwan.

Wow, right?

Almost a year left and I can apply to be a permanent Taiwan resident!

The benefit of which is, I can then apply for a credit card so I can spend more NTD! Yeah, for 6 freaking years, this woman has been credit card free.

Debt free, yay!

Not able to buy stuff or movie tickets online, nay.

But boy oh boy, how time flies.

From my Shida days to a small potato in a multinational firm, wow, how much has changed.

I used to remember when we were counting pennies as students.

A regular lunch meal cost NTD100 at most, and anything beyond that was already considered luxurious.

Nowadays, NTD100 won’t even buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks, nor is it enough if you want to eat at the nearby Xinyi area.

Heck, NTD100 won’t even buy you 1/3 a glass of cocktails at any bar save for Roxy 99 when they have their buy-one-take-one toxic tequila specials at midnights.

Needless to say, it was funny that I was able to survive on NTD25,000 a month as part of my government scholarship. Jeez, at that time, I was truly anonymous and it was great! I could hang around outside 7-Eleven with a beer and some friends at 3AM and nobody cared. Life was too innocent then.

Nowadays, I go and eat, and BAM! You bump into someone you know. In parties, you find mutual friends and don’t even meet anyone new. It’s so hard to date because you feel so naked.

Two months ago, I attended a professional event. Two days later, my good friend calls me and asks excitedly, “Hey Bonita, I heard that you were dating someone! Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Huh?” I asked. “Since when have I been dating, and if I was, you’d be one of the first few people to know.”

Turns out, someone saw me leaving with a guy and blabbed about it. Little did she know but we were merely sharing a cab because we lived in the same area. He dropped me off and went home. Obviously, she smartly put two and two together and told people that we were dating.

*slaps forehead*

Okay, so privacy gone. I relish the days when nobody knew me — Despite my outgoing social self, in actuality, am quite a private person.

I like doing my own stuff, and maintaining my close circle of friends.

I like sipping a good cup of cappuccino in a cafe, while solving problems.

I like others not talking about me. I like other people to mind their own business.

But alas, history has placed me somehow on 2.5 years of limelight, and t’is the consequence — when other people know you, they can start talking about you. And there’s nothing exciting other than talking about other people.


Blame my gregariousness on my dad, who taught us children to be social leaders.

If you met him, you’dunderstand.

That man is just at the heart of any party if he’s in the mood, and I’m light years away from being such a charismatic person like him.

Not that I idolize him. 😉

Physically, I grew fatter, then thinner, then because Alexander closed down, fatter once again.

Blame it on my hectic work schedules, but my climbing schedule has now been limited to a once-a-week activity.

Sucks big time man, but what choice do I have?

Religion-wise, jeez… that’s almost 5 years of not going to church religously.

Shame on me, right?

My friends tell me that I’m being punished for my temporary atheism (not true!) by not finding The One for me.

They say that only someone from church could understand my hidden conservativeness and traditional beliefs.

Sigh, whatever.

Hasn’t anybody heard of God’s Will?

Maybe it’s God’s Will to keep me single for an even greater plan. Who knows and who are we to question him? 🙂

But yes, 6 years has come and gone. Today.

Here’s to the next X number of months in glorious Taiwan!

How long will I stay?

Time will tell… till then, yay yay yay!

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7 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary To Me!

  1. You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, Ive spent most of my time here just lurking and reading, but today for some reason I just felt compelled to say this.

  2. Remember what Oscar Wilde said: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” 🙂

    You definitely racked up quite some achievements in those six years! Gods and Ones aside, there’s a lot for you to be proud of. The big question, though, is… at the end of next year, can you see yourself applying for that permanent residentship? I have a sense that you might get bored if you leave after this much time…

    X = a number that tends to infinity but never reaches it

  3. Happy Anniversary

    PR – It is easy if you have no breaks in your resident visa during your time in Taiwan, otherwise the clock sets back to zero at the break. The security and convenience provided by it are worth having as long as one remembers that it is only valid as long as you stay here. Permanent here is a rather fluid and entertainingly impermanent concept, perhaps influenced by the very undefined nature of Taiwan itself.

    Credit card – There is no reason for you not to have one now. Only an ARC and an income are required, though the validity of the card is generally limited to one year. It is renewed automatically, although the bank will usually request a new photocopy of your ARC along with bank statements, pay slips, and sometimes your tax receipt. There is no reason not to have a credit rating.

    Anonymity – This is a personal choice. You have the Asian/OC advantage in that you are an undercover foreigner in Taiwan. This makes you much less visible in your haunts as you are not the ghost. Still, people talk about what is in front of them and in your many activities you are… This is sadly true even if there is nothing worth talking about. My life is my own, and I zealously keep it that way. When and if I choose to share it with someone again, it will still be private.

    I leave you with one thought / location. Instead of Barcode try some place like this for a tea, though you will need to bring that tea or a picnic with you. http://www.panoramio.com/photo/362792


  4. Thanks DragonS! We always think grass is greener on other side. The exposed want to stay hidden, while those in the shadows yearn the sun. Human nature, I guess!

    But nope, think this will be my last year in Taiwan. As AIT mentioned, there’s a lot of conditions in having a permanent residency, and it’s only when you fulfill them can you keep it. Let’s play it by ear. Who knows when I leave, yes? 🙂

    AIT, how do you keep your life private? Wanna learn. I’ve kept out of the social scene for awhile, and yet, people talk even more. “She is probably dating,” they then say. Aiya… why do people assume that? Argh.

    Actually, it’s been 3 months since I’ve ever been to Barcode! Been awhile. I like this lighthouse. Where’s this, and is it convenient? Boy, wish have the time these days to go and have a nice picnic. That’ll be a real treat!

  5. There is always time in life for what matters. It is up to you to decide what those things are.

    As to privacy, I hide in plain sight. It’s surprisingly uncomplicated.

    Got dragged to barcode once last year. I looked around, thought about it, and left. I am too aware that there is always a lighthouse or its like out there. Decisions like that keep my life much simpler.

    Suggestion: Stop thinking about how long you’ve been here. It’s not where you are necessarily, but what you’re doing and where you’re going with that. Your 5-year plan so far seems to have been to work hard and have that take you places. It has worked; stick to that. It’s much more of a winning plan than saying you want to rule a small sub-Saharan country or something by age 35. In finance opportunity comes to those who work and perform.

    I hope that you find your lighthouse.

  6. Out tonight. Delete this if you wish.

    The tinge of sadness was that I passed up the opportunity for a great conversation or two. That is a rare opportunity that I passed up.

    Ah, irony.

    Carnigie’s with overseas friend later as Wed so somewhat necessary.


  7. Hey, thought my night life isnt’ the same as yours! Would love to. Carnegies rocks on Wed nights. But just got home late today from work, been working for 12+ hours and totally pooped. A few more days of these long days, and project’s almost done! Helltime will soon pass, and partying once again soon! But for tonight, I rest.

    And yeah, you passed up a chance for great conversation. Then again, who knows? Great convo comes when least expected, and there’ll always be next time. 🙂

    Agree with your suggestion, and staying true to that. Worked well for me so far, and crossing fingers rewards to fall soon. Is it bad though that look at others beside me and see their life as way much easier. Argh, wish I had an Ivy League educ. Life would’ve been easier! Aiyo. Nonetheless, focus on what works. Work hard. Get results. Be happy with results.

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

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