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My First Paid Writing Piece

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By Joshua Dent

I announced a few weeks ago that I have been earning some money writing freelance articles for Yahoo Contributor. I love to spend hours writing funny and insightful posts. I am still slowly breaking Yahoo into my more direct style. But, this was the first one that I received a paycheck on. It has nothing to do with Taiwan, travel, or any of my other antics.

I hope you enjoy the business side of me. Give it a read and let me know what you think in the comments:)

http://voices.yahoo.com/4-out-box-customer-service-tips-12580470.html?cat=35

Lights Camera Socks

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By Joshua Dent

The big day came. The camera man at my commercial audition goes “Lights, Camera..”

What I felt like!
What I felt like!

Shit! I have two different socks on.

My first commercial audition the other day was quite the flop of course. ha ha..

They asked me to take my shoes off when they started taking my pictures. Much to their surprise, I had two completely different socks on..

Then, they asked me to do a one minute video about myself, and somebody’s cell phone went off in the middle of it, which caused me to start stuttering like a prick.

So with two different socks on, and 40 seconds of stuttering on video, the girl running the audition said “You do stand up. Let’s hear your act.”

Asking a comedian to perform without a stage, an audience, or let’s see a Comedy SHOW, is about the equivalent to asking Tiger Woods to play 9 holes of golf with you without his clubs, or a course.

I reluctantly agreed. I warned her in advance that my jokes are a bit offensive.

I proceeded to stutter again through my only racist against Taiwanese joke I have, in a room full of Taiwanese people that I am not even sure if they spoke English.

I didn’t even have to make eye contact with anyone after the joke was done. I could just feel the awkward silence had already been taken to a whole new level.

Before I even put my shoes back on, the lady was very clear that “She will call me if a good fit becomes available.”

Needles to say, that is not a call I am waiting for.

Most Interesting Job of The Week

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By Joshua Dent

Life After Sticky Ball
Life After Sticky Ball

Most Interesting Taiwan Job of The Week!

We all need hope that there is LIFE AFTER STICKY BALL!

An interesting analysis about the first job to make the job of the week cut.

The ad was actually removed from Craigslist as I was writing the article. It is still useful to know what opportunities are out there.

It was for a client relations specialist for Resume Companion LLC, in the Da An district in Taipei.

Pros:

  1. Three weeks of paid vacation– Most buxibans would pretty much murder you before you get a few weeks of paid vacation.
  2. Company Lunches– Free grub! Enough said.
  3. 3.       No Saturdays and No Evenings- Working on Saturday is a fact of life in “The Taiwan.” It SUCKS!!
  4. 4.      Useful Skills to Learn- Resume writing, SEO optimization, and Social Media Marketing are all great skills to learn.

 

Cons:

1.“If accepted for the position, you must pass the CPRW exam prior to your start date.”  I am leery of anybody who wants me to do work for them before I even start. Why is that not a part of paid training?

2.  “ Being a client success advocate.”– This line reeks of you better come ready to slurp down the “Company Kool-Aid.”

3.  “Compensation 0-99,000 NTD-” It makes me think it is a commission only position

4.   “Don’t apply if you are not 110% dedicated to your career.”-  I would be cautious that this means round the clock unpaid mandatory overtime.

                

Facebook Groups About Living in Taiwan

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By Joshua Dent

Thanks so much for following these lists of information. Here is another list of groups generously lumped into one category “Living in Taiwan Stuff.”

Taiwan Travelers- https://www.facebook.com/groups/282795421812482/  A great place to find a travel buddy, share stories, etc.

Langveler= Language + Traveler- https://www.facebook.com/groups/524620774283509/  A new group formed with the aim of sharing different languages, and traveling.

Taipei Potluck- https://www.facebook.com/groups/taipeipotluck – This is a one stop shop for all of the info you need about the monthly potluck at Da’An park. The potluck is 6 years old now. It was even featured in Lonely Planet magazine.

Guanxi Mag – https://www.facebook.com/groups/206686419350784/  general info about life in Taichung

Taipei Buy Sell Trade- https://www.facebook.com/groups/taipeibuyselltrade/ – 9788 members doing exactly what it says, buying, selling, and trading stuff in Taiwan.

Foreign Expats in Taouyuan- https://www.facebook.com/groups/135075213352793/  Group has been slow to get off the ground. It has about 50-75 members. But, there hasn’t really been any organized activities.

Taiwanease- https://www.facebook.com/groups/taiwaneasians/ This group is pretty well done for getting more information than just promotional interests.

Foreigners in Taiwan- https://www.facebook.com/groups/29399609213/ This group has a wide range of info including blog posts, tips on writing Chinese, and many upcoming events.

Drinks in Taipei- https://www.facebook.com/groups/341081145979282/ A large group with a mission of having a  1) tight knit group of friends, 2) happy hours, 3) weekend trips out of Taipei, and 4) and meeting people from different walks of life abroad.

I hope this helps!

Facebook Groups about Food in Taiwan

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By Joshua Dent

Eating is one of the favorite things for many people to do in Taiwan. Here is a list of some Facebook groups revolving around eating in Taiwan.

Food Stuff

Delicious Taipei- https://www.facebook.com/groups/privatedining/ – This group has breakdowns on restaurants, grocery store shopping, and some fun recipes for cooking at home.

Taipei Eat & Drink Club- https://www.facebook.com/groups/426178777444168/ – This is mostly just restaurant advertisements.

Oh no I can’t eat gluten in Taipei- https://www.facebook.com/groups/169820153218103/ – A great spot to find about non-gluten alternatives.

Facebook Groups Related to Writing, Blogging, and Film-Making in Taiwan

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Don't let writing be lonely. Share the joy with others
Don’t let writing be lonely. Share the joy with others.

Taiwan Facebook groups and pages cover  almost every area of interest. The next analysis is on the writing/arts-related groups.

Taiwan Travel Blogs- //www.facebook.com/groups/1384957995088757/ They do a good job keeping it well-organized. It is only one “post of the day,” and it must revolve around traveling. This is more a FB page than group.

Taiwan Comedy Writers- https://www.facebook.com/groups/328055547222234/ Taiwan comedy writers, talking comedy, and upcoming shows. This is also a good spot to connect with people if you are interested in performing in a show.

Taiwan Blogs- https://www.facebook.com/groups/1414585738765230 Bloggers come here to post their blogs and comment and share on others work. An opportunity definitely exists here to all help one another grow each other’s blogs.

Taiwan Writers- https://www.facebook.com/groups/taiwanwriters/ A place for people to promote books, blogs, and some occasional sharing or critiquing of work.

Facebook Center Taipei- Non-profit https://www.facebook.com/TheCenterTaipei  Non-profit group catering towards the needs of foreigners. It’s always a good idea for writers to be around non-profit groups. They always have plenty of worthwhile causes to write about.

Formosan Bloggers- https://www.facebook.com/groups/415017728611273/ Very small group of Taiwan bloggers. Only a handful of posts so far.

Taiwan Filmmakers- https://www.facebook.com/twfilmgroup This is a very active group. Most of the posts are in Chinese. But, they seem to be revolving around a wide variety of industry-related information.

Attention! Did I miss a facebook group for writers that you are aware of? Please drop a comment with the name of the group, the link, and any additional info you know about the group. I will be glad to add it.

Hiking and Other Sports-Related Facebook Groups in Taiwan

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By Joshua Dent

ridge

This is a short list of sport-related Facebook groups I am aware of in “The Taiwan.”

Don’t sit your lazy ass in bed, and get ACTIVE!

Hiking Stuff/Outdoor Activity/Yoga-Meditation/ Sports

Taiwan Adventure Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/293037870801884/  This is an excellent group of friendly and adventurous people organizing day hikes, and even some overnight trips. They hold events almost every weekend.

523 Mountainerering Association- https://www.facebook.com/groups/523MountaineeringAssociation/  This is one of the more active groups I have seen. Guided and free trips occurring on a regular basis.

Taiwan Adventures- https://www.facebook.com/groups/TaiwanAdventures/  I personally shy away from this group. I know they offer great service on some overnight hikes. But, the prices always seem a bit high.

Hiking and Riding in Taipei –https://www.facebook.com/groups/44517786437/ This is a great place to join well-organized hiking and biking trips. The only problem is it seems to go long periods of time without any advertised activities.

Taiwan Camping- https://www.facebook.com/taiwancamping This page houses some basic English and Chinese pictures about places to camp in Taiwan.

Taiwan Mixed Martial Arts https://www.facebook.com/groups/408377755864499/  So, you have been in Taiwan and don’t want to worry about some grizzly no-teethed mafia SOB stomping you outside a KTV. Here is your chance to educate yourself on MMA.

Southern Taiwan Ultimate Frisbee- https://www.facebook.com/groups/kaohsiungultimatefrisbee/ This is a group of people getting together to play ultimate frisbee in the Kaoushiung area.

Kampa Meditation Center- http://www.meetup.com/Kadampa-Meditation-Centre-Taiwan/  They seem to be having weekly Wednesday night meetups in Taipei.  I have no personal experience with the group.

Street Workout Taiwan- https://www.facebook.com/StreetworkoutTaiwan This site’s info is in Chinese despite the English name. However, the pictures look like it  gets a group of people together to workout at parks, and other outdoor venues.

Silat Combative Group- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Silat-Combatives-Group-Silat-Taiwan The group is run by an English speaking native. They offer MMA training. Again, my info is limited due to lack of personal experience.

Once again, these events and groups are normally run out of the kindness of somebody’s heart. Nobody is doing this to make substantial profits, if any at all. I am not PERFECT by any means. I have made some of these mistakes myself.

Here are some basic DO’s and DONT’S

DO show up on time! Shit happens for sure. But, do take every necessary precaution to make sure you get there on time. And, at least call if you are late.

DO ask before inviting friends. This depends on the group leader preference for that day.

DO bring proper attire. Some guy you never met is going to look at you extremely funny if you show up to a hike including sections of rope-climbing in a pair of flip flops.

DON’T say you are coming to an event unless you are a definite. These events normally have a maximum. You are taking somebody’s spot if you say you are coming and you aren’t even sure.

DON’T forget to respect your own fitness level. If you are going to an event that looks difficult for you, contact the event leader for their thoughts and suggestions regarding your desired event.

Assistance needed- I am certain I am missing  a ton of groups. Please comment with the name, link, and short description of the group if you are aware of one. Also, please either share or like if you think this might be able to help out somebody you know.This is for hiking/sports/outdoor/ yoga-meditation/ stuff.

List of Facebook Job-Seeker Groups And ESL Information in Taiwan

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By Joshua Dent

“Facebook job-seeker groups” are becoming an excellent way to get that next job. The groups are all extremely easy to join and usually run by genuinely friendly and caring people.

Fear no longer if whiny kids, re-inventing sticky ball for the 783rd time, and never-ending unpaid lesson planning has got you singing “The Taiwan” blues.

One of these groups is sure to help you land a better quality of life.

Jobs in Taiwan Stuff

Working in Taiwan- https://www.facebook.com/groups/314956505317716/ With 3980 members, you can find anything from job postings, to people selling random stuff. It’s not necessarily a solely dedicated to finding work group. But, the sheer quantity of people should give you a chance to connect with someone.

Reach to Teach- https://www.facebook.com/ReachToTeach– This is a recruiting agency with an outstanding reputation. In my opinion, they are more useful if you are looking to secure a job before you actually arrive in Taiwan.

Need a sub or Want to Sub in Taiwan- https://www.facebook.com/groups/7582330765/-  We all know subbing is the best paid gig out there. You walk in the class, play your best games, and you get to leave the kids for good after they only see your best material. Let the little suckers think you are just “that good” every day before they get a chance too see you when you are beating your head off the desk 5 minutes before class scrambling for one more game.  This is also a guilt-free way to bail on your job for the day.

Taiwan English Teacher Job Openingshttps://www.facebook.com/groups/TaiwanTeachingJobs/-  The 3 page advertisements on www.tealit.com from the big schools like American Eagle, Hess, Shane, and Kid Castle can be a bit nauseating.  They tell miraculous tales of 16 year old kids skipping into your 3 hour Saturday night class bringing you chocolates, fruits, and  unlimited hugs for your daily dose of pleasure. We all know it is more than a stretch of the truth.

This is my personal favorite group for jobs. That is because a large majority of these jobs are other teachers posting for their employers. That tells you right away that the chances of the school actually giving a shit about you, and its students are greatly increased.

Xpats Living and Teaching in Taiwan- https://www.facebook.com/groups/taiwanxpats/  This group offers information from 2866 expats living and teaching in Taiwan, lots of info about things to do, a little bit about jobs, and good for people thinking about coming here.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/EnglishProfiESL/ ESL teachers from all over the world. You can find a few useful posts to scrape together some info for your ESL class.

Orseek Jobs- https://www.facebook.com/orseekjobs – With teaching salaries generally staying at the same rate of pay for over a decade, any “knuckle-head” with intentions of staying in Taiwan for more than one year will probably face the “What am I doing with my life?” crisis sooner or later. Not to worry, orseek  gives you hope at the end of the whiny children for something more “adult-like” if that’s what you want.

Taipei Craigslist- http://taipei.craigslist.com.tw/- Don’t forget that Craigslist has more than just a “casual encounters” section. They also have an employment section with random jobs that often pop up. I have seen editing, tutoring jobs, copy editor jobs, and lots of extremely cool shit that you never would know is out there.

Common Sense Warnings!

1. Don’t be a douche, and think “Oh man, this group about living and working in Taiwan would be the perfect place for shameless self-promotion.  The group admins do this all on a volunteer basis. They don’t need to be having to scold grown adults about being appropriate.

I am certain that your blog post about going to the night market and trying delicious foods for the first time is amazingly insightful. This combined with a killer  recap of when you smelled stinky tofu is certainly priceless.  I also have no doubts that your E-book about becoming fluent in Chinese in 45 days or your $2.99 back is fantastic. However, there is a time and a place for that information.

2. Abuse is not tolerated!- Trust me on one thing. Nothing bothers me more than seeing a post from some school that you know is complete shit. And, you see some poor guy in America eating up the bullshit sauce he is being fed by the recruiter. If you have ever worked at a terrible school, you wish you could jump through the screen of your laptop and strangle the little lying recruiter. But, you still have to be professional. They still have a right to advertise on the site. Send a PM to somebody if you feel the need to get them information to help with any decisions.

3. It is a JOB group-  Did you get wasted on Friday night and get a picture of  yourself motor-boating the chunky English chick with the biggest boobs you have seen since being in Asia? That is absolutely fantastic and I would give you a big high-five. Before you make that your profile picture for so long you have forgotten it is there, don’t forget that this is a new world of limited privacy. Now, you are having potential employers looking right at that “head on boob” shot when you tell your epic-sized lies about how professional you are.

Missing Groups

Did I miss one? Remember, this post is only about “job-related stuff.” I am compiling a list of sports related, general life in Taiwan ones,  food related, and writing related groups.

If you are aware of a “JOB-RELATED” Facebook  group, please list a link, and a small description of the group in the comments.  I will keep updating this list.

My only request is DON”T LIE!!! If you run a group that hasn’t posted a job since June, I don’t want to see “The number one job source in Taiwan.”

Just tell the truth, and let us know things are going slow for now.

“Could you be pissed off in Paradise?”

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By Joshua Dent

I realized the real challenge in life is not creating the life you want. But, it is maintaining the highest level of acceptance, gratitude, and motivation for the live “you have.”

Every person I have ever met that is associated with the “Dent Family Tree” wants to live on an island. This never comes more apparent than during the winter.

This ideological idea was never  more firmly implanted in my head forever roughly 10 years ago. I hadn’t  seen my older brother Ryan in probably 3 years.

He had been in San Diego, and he came out of the back room of his tiny beach-side two bedroom apartment with bleached blonde dreadlocks down to his ass practically, blasting Costa Rican reggae music.

I was quite confused to his absurd excitement of the fact that he just took a nap.

And after he popped his mouth with red vines, he proceeded to vividly detail how he is going to live in Costa Rica next year.

This was no different than any other Dent family interaction. We have always had this exact same dream of simplicity and eternal happiness.

The Dent family consists of an eclectic mix of CEO’s of SEO startups, independently wealthy businessmen, and even people that made a career as an athletic trainer in MLB, and I discovered yesterday that I had achieved what EVERY one of them would probably kill for.

I was walking into work on a Tuesday afternoon wearing a bathing suit, and flip flops on an 80 degree January afternoon on a tropical island to play sticky ball with 9 year olds, and sing songs about “stinky tofu.” It couldn’t POSSIBLY get any easier.

So, when I realized I actively had the balls to surpass what every single person in our family proclaimed to truly want and I was still having these nagging feelings of darkness and solitude.  I conceptualized that anybody can dream up a life that they feel they want.

The challenge and the fun comes once “you’re there,” by continuing to elevate yourself in every area.Image

Taiwanese Cradle of Love

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By Joshua Dent

My hands were nestled in each pocket of my USATF Nike gray hoodie last Friday morning. This is one of the few hoodies I could find without some velvety crap, or a smorgasbord of random words, and bright ugly colors draped across it.

The weather was sunny but cold. This was the reason my hands were locked to the old gray USATF hoodie.

That was when I spotted what appeared to be just a random and disorganized Taiwanese grandma out of the corner of my left eye as I headed west on Zhongshan Road in Chungli, “The Taiwan.”

This 65 year old slightly curled hair and messy looking woman was walking with her back tilted slightly backwards. 

Although, I was kind of in what I like to call “Robot/Rainman – must get to the gym mode,” she quickly got my attention.

Some further people-watching, let me realize that her left pant leg appeared to be coming down, and her right pant leg was somehow propped up a bit. She was just a discombobulated mess. And, I was already “all in” to figure out why she was so clumsy looking.

That was when I realized this bizarre looking lady was manning the controls of  carrying a 2 year old baby down the street.

Her own disgruntled mess was coupled with the fact that she was carrying this baby in one of the most awkward holds I have ever seen.

The baby was facing foreword.

As she under-hooked her right arm under his tiny little “baby balls,” she managed to have him hoisted about 18 inches above shoulder length on her five foot two estimated frame.

An under-hook to the baby balls seemed to be the least of this little dude’s worries.  The crooked walking lady had a free left arm that she could use to manipulate this baby into even further discomfort.

She turned it up a notch in the discomfort factor by draping her free left elbow and forearm across his chest. She proceeded to smear her left hand across his face.

It looked like some sort of bizarre cross of a very strange game of grammy-inflicted hide and seek, and her using her fingers to manipulate an ugly face on him.

I was suddenly stopped dead in my tracks however as I continued my stroll along Zhongshan Road. After a quick glance, I heard a noise that sounded quite special. I actually heard this old lady singing to her baby. It sounded great to me!

In a land where most people cover their mouth with their hands when they smile.

In a land where people smile without showing their teeth.

In a land where talking above a whisper on public transportation can be seen by many as outlandish and rude behavior.

In a land dominated by collectivism versus the celebration and uniqueness of every individual.

In a land where kids can’t catch a ball if their life depended on it so they can study “The English,” and they still suck at it!

In a land where every single fucking person you talk to says “Taiwan has lots of delicious foods you must try,” and it all just tastes like noodles and rice to me.

In a land where all of this can drive a foreigner completely crazy. 

I think my senses  had  been starving to hear somebody willing to stick out even just the slightest bit. 

The note, the melody, nor the voice mattered one bit. Her willingness, and bravery to stand out even the slightest bit gave me a rush of peace and solitude that I hadn’t felt in a long time.

The even better part was that the baby was smiling from ear to ear, and you could tell the little dude was laughing despite his balls being cradled, and his face being smeared with pruney grammy hands. 

Is it possible at 35 this story was a male version of a state of panic about not having any offspring yet? 

I don’t honestly have that answer yet. 

But, I will still take it for an amazingly surprising and spectacular moment. 

I assure you these moments are everywhere!

Cheers to the little dude, grammy, and cheers to many more random moments of awesomeness.

 

This is about as awkward as the lady looked.

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