A very small, rushed post about some very big changes that are about to take place in my life. On Saturday I’m off to the island of Kinmen for a two-day project and I fly directly to Vietnam for a two-week trip with my family (Vietnam, Cambodia and a bit of Thailand). So needless to say, there’s going to be another dramatic slowdown over here (guest bloggers interested in putting up posts in my absence can send me an email).

But the real changes take place when I get back on October 16. Bottom line is I will start working part-time so I can study Chinese five days a week. This is something I’ve dreamed of doing for a long time, and I am incredibly grateful to my company for allowing me to do it. How long this situation will last I can’t say, but my guess is I’ll be sticking around Taiwan until winter ends. And then…and then… Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. But I definitely have some ideas. And so does my company. More as the situation unfolds.

The Discussion: 13 Comments

Have a great trip with your family, and good luck with the Chinese lessons when you return. After 13 years of Korean and Chinese, I now have to chuck those languages out the window as my current job requires proficiency in Spanish. Like most college-educated Americans, I studied the language for a few years in high school, but that was a long time ago. I bought some self-study books and CDs and have been spending an hour a night working through them.

September 25, 2006 @ 9:10 pm | Comment

Good luck to you. Spanish is so blissfully easy compared to Chinese – I became semi-fluent after just a few months in El Salvador many years ago, and I still can speak pretty well. Chinese, on the other hand, slips out of my head in a few days if I don’t keep practicing.

September 25, 2006 @ 10:20 pm | Comment

I envy you, “My Company” – it sounds so warm and full of fellowship. Working for a good or even great employer is worth more than money so often – I’ve rarely had the opportunity…

I too have struggled with bits and pieces of Chinese (my daughter lives in Beijing as you may recall from an earlier request for ‘Name The Baby’ – his name by the way is Michael River Zhao). I lived in Mexico City for my formative high school years (our 35th annual reunion just past last month) and spanish is a cake walk comparitively. But it’s gotta be done as we plan to move to Beijing sooner than later (although I prefer Dalian where I worked briefly as a wedding photographer). I’m struggling away with a copy of Rosetta Stone. It’s all a bit of a stretch for a 25 year Boilermaker!

Enjoy your time off! Thanks for all you work on our (your vast audience) behalf – I’ve been a fervent fan of your site for several years. Keep in touch, eh?!

September 26, 2006 @ 6:05 am | Comment

Have a great trip, and enjoy the break. Even more, congratulations on learning Chinese: it may be worthless, as Ivan and my paychecks would suggest, but I’ve gotten more pleasure from my studies than from anything else I’ve ever done, and that ain’t nothing.

Will probably not be up for much in the way of guest-blogging ’til I get back to The Motherland on 10/2, but if you still need people then, there are certainly enough interesting things going on out there to blog about…

September 27, 2006 @ 1:03 am | Comment

From Richard: Jessica, this is really disgusting, giving your name as Shanghai Slim. Please don’t ever do this again.

September 27, 2006 @ 2:48 am | Comment

Cool! Great news, Richard!

– The Original Shanghai Slim

September 27, 2006 @ 7:26 am | Comment

Thanks Brendan – I’ve actually been studying hard for a year now, but twice a week just doesn’t cut it. I’ll email you about guest blogging.

Slim, my aspologies for the imposter.

September 27, 2006 @ 7:31 am | Comment

Have fun. We could use you in Beijing. And so could your company ๐Ÿ˜‰


September 28, 2006 @ 1:02 pm | Comment

Thanks Phil. Maybe you noticed, but removed your blog and several others from my blogroll because there were no posts for more than a month. If you start it again, let me know!

September 28, 2006 @ 1:22 pm | Comment

Richard, the imposters and trolls are merely tribute to your influence and popularity. ๐Ÿ˜€

While you are away I want to suggest to OtherLisa that she start a a post (or a thread in the DuckPond) for advice for you (and the rest of us) in learning Chinese – we will all benefit.

Have a great trip!

September 28, 2006 @ 2:06 pm | Comment

:-0 Sorry for that embarassing typo above! Richard or Lisa, *please* edit it for me!

September 28, 2006 @ 2:31 pm | Comment

And what a typo it was! What would Freud have to say…?

Thanks for the nice words, typos aside.

September 28, 2006 @ 4:05 pm | Comment

Freud would probably say that maybe lately I’ve been reading a little too much about Duck Cheney. ๐Ÿ˜‰

September 29, 2006 @ 1:32 pm | Comment

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