Well, I’ve decided to take a stab at this blog again.
Today is my birthday. I know it may sound a bit conceited or a strange to actually mention it, but this is a milestone birthday, in my opinion.
50. If this was a marriage number, it would be ‘golden’. So, I guess this is my GOLDEN BIRTHDAY. Haha.
I remember in my childhood years, one of my parents friends, Doug, was celebrating his 40th birthday. My mother had made a cake, and on it she wrote, “So Life Begins at 40”. I think I may even have an old movie clip from my dad that shows the cake. This quote stuck in my head all these years.
I’ve been thinking how I will be celebrating this day. For most people, I suppose, this would be a day to take off work, relax, maybe go out for dinner with your friends… For me, I think it will be ‘business as usual’. I recently got another kitten. Crazy. Back to six cats. This little one’s name is Qadan (KAY-dan). To begin my day, I had six cats snuggled around me.
A typical Tuesday for me is: wake up, feed the ‘kids’, make the coffee, check my e-mail, catch up on the Facebook stuffs, do some stuff around the apartment, then off to classes for the afternoon and evening. The only thing that may change today, is birthday wishes on Facebook and Skype from family and friends. Perhaps a bit of celebration at my cram school this evening.
The past year has been a busy time. Moving to a new apartment, having to renew my passport, renew my ARC, have my birth certificate reprinted, going through a lawsuit (which is still ongoing)… From the get-go, 2011 was not a particularly great year. Truth be told, I was actually quite glad when I saw the ball in New York’s Time Square drop and 2012 began. Sure, Taiwan was already a half day into the new year when this happened, but I am an EASTERN TIME ZONE person!
Since 2012 started, things started getting better. I got my reprint of my birth certificate, my passport was renewed and delivered in record time, and my ARC has been renewed. Things are looking up.
I moved into a new apartment in November. It took about a month to get the place up to snuff, or at least looking the way I wanted. It is an ongoing process, and even now, I’m only about half way through the renovations. I’ve been posting the pictures of the process on my Facebook account. Now, I am not an expert in any stretch of the imagination, when it comes to renovating a home. However, taking my time, and having help from my best friend in Canada, as well as a couple of people assisting me here, I think the place is coming along fine.
I actually rented two apartments. When I first heard about this place, I was under the impression it was a lot smaller. The way people refer to apartments (number of rooms) is different than in Canada. Since the other places I’ve rented here in Tainan, having the help of friends to translate, I got to see the place before agreeing to rent. This new place, or rather places, is owned by the parents of a teacher I work with. I was told how many rooms each apartment had, and after a bit of negotiating, I agreed. Then I went to see it. Let’s just say, it was a lot bigger than I had imagined!
I was told, and this isn’t a mistake, that each apartment as a 3-room apartment. I figured, bedroom living room, kitchen. Bathrooms are always a given, and in Canada are only counted as a 1/2 room. Nonetheless, the apartments are next to each other, and taking both, meant I would have 6 rooms. All I had to do was figure out how to get 8 rooms of furnishings into a 6 room dwelling.
Then I had the opportunity to see one of the apartments, as the other was being repaired or painted or something. That’s when I realized that these places were a tad larger than I had thought. Oh, there were 3 rooms alright – 3 BEDROOMS! There was also a kitchen, 2 bathrooms, living room, and a ‘dining room’ area. Figure it out. I now have 6 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, 2 kitchens, 4 bathrooms, and 2 dining rooms. Not even to mention 6 balconies (not very big, but…)
Once I got the keys, then I was able to begin the renovating I wanted to do, and the landlord agreed I could do. In my free time, weekends, holidays, all I’ve really been up to is painting, wallpapering, designing – and even though it is taking a while, and since I’m not really in a hurry, it is coming along great.
Aside from a bit of help with the initial painting, and creation of a couple of pieces of art, the remainder of the work has been done by me. My friend Gary and I, via Skype, discuss design. Gary has done a lot of work in providing ideas – his own as well as inspiration from the internet. Looking at dozens and dozens of pictures, has inspired a lot of my work.
I still feel like I’m living in a mess, but the cats don’t seem to mind too much, and I’m having fun doing the work. Sure, it is definitely not easy, and as I do have the freedom to create what I want, spending the money on supplies is all for me anyway. Perhaps, if and when the day comes that I move out of these apartments and someone else moves in, they might be appalled or upset, but for me, I think it is incredible. Have a look in my Facebook album to see the work from start to what is already accomplished.
So, back to the 50th thing. I don’t feel 50. I don’t think I really act 50. I don’t even think I look 50 (or at least my vision of what 50 should be). I’m enjoying my life here in Taiwan, I enjoy my work, I’m having a great time designing and decorating my new place, I’ve got my health, I’ve got good friends… what else do I really need? Well… I could use 2,000,000nt by winning the receipt lottery, or a vacation, but I’m patient.
All in all, I’d have to say that the first 50 years have been good. Ups, downs, but good. Let’s just hope the next 50 are just as eventful.
That’s it, that’s all…