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 Openings– https://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.
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.
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.
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.
By Joshua Dent
Introduction of Key Terms/Characters
Planet Josh= my brain
Taxi Random old driver that picked me up this morning
MRT= Taipei’s mind-blowingly easy to navigate subway system
On a warmer than average Taipei winter morning, with a line of partially gray sky above, I begrudgingly set foot in a cab with checkered stickers plastered across the windows.
I was not exactly a bucket of fucking sunshine due to the fact that I somehow had already managed to get on the wrong MRT a bewildering 4 times in a row in an effort to get to The Taipei Zoo MRT Station.
I was 10 minutes past the agreed upon meeting time for our hiking trip.
With four miscues behind me, I felt like bashing my head against the wall in disgust by this point. This is not a good 9:07 a.m. feeling.
Taipei Zoo MRT, PLEASE…
Here is a brief excerpt of the conversation I had with the taxi driver:
Me (cont’d)- uh, uh, uh, uh
Planet Josh- Yep. I don’t have a clue how to say zoo in Chinese. Zoo seems like one of those words that might sound similar in Chinese. I can bullshit my way through this. Give it another try!
Taxi- BLANK stare
Lions, And Tigers, And Bears
Planet Josh- I have about .2 seconds to keep this guy from going deaf mute on me. I’m certain he will know the phrase “lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my”
Me- “The zoo. You know, LIONS, and TIGERS, and BEARS!!”
Planet Josh- I want to reach over the driver’s side seat and choke the shit out of this guy. But, I can’t!!!
Planet Josh- It looks like I am going to have to act this out!! Damn it!!
Me- (arms stretched as wide as the cab goes, center vein ready to burst out of my forehead, and bright red face) “ You know, LIONS, ROAR, LIONS,ROAR, ROAR!!!”
Taxi- “Ok, OK!!“
Planet Josh- Bullet dodged. He understood me. I knew I could do this.
Me- 好– English translation= Ok or good.
Five extremely long moments of awkward silence pass when the taxi pulls into the parking lot of the anticipated stop.
Planet Josh- I hope there isn’t a camera in this cab. I’m about to slouch down in the back seat of this car, and start kicking the living shit out of the back seat with my feet.
Me- (English Only Now) Are you fucking kidding me man? This is a museum!!
To realize I lost my cool over cultural/language barriers, you don’t exactly have to be a world fucking diplomat.
But, I am resisting my normal urge to come up with 7000 ways to not let this happen again, (smartphone, patience, map,etc.)
And, I am just going to leave you with the only goal that is always feasible- “Live and Learn!”
Am I the only one that has ever wanted to strangle a 57 year old man just trying to make a living? Vent your frustrations in the comment section if not!
I like to be a “dude” just as much as the next American guy and all the typical stuff that comes with it.
I’ll check out a girl’s ass with no remorse.
I love nothing more than chest bumping my buddies when my favorite football team scores.
I’ll tell you to quit being a pansy if you ever even mention the word “LOVE” in my sight.
You name it. The list of shit about being a dude I love is endless.
That is why you will seldom hear me talk about one of my favorite hobbies.
That is going to a regular yoga class.
However, I do openly admit to going to “Bikram Yoga.”. I think the heat makes it grueling enough that I can justify going as a dude.
The regular classes are weird. They’re uncomfortable. And, The beginning of class just makes me feel plain awkward to be honest.
I still feel one million times more sane after a class. And, that is why I will always carry on with my secret little habit.
Going to yoga class, in Taiwan, has not even remotely close to lessened the awkward sting of going to yoga.
I actually will wait to go into the class until about one minute before the class starts.
This is to make ABSOLUTELY certain I am not the only dude in there.
Somehow, I managed to up the ante of awkwardness in this afternoon’s 13:20 to 14:20 class.
Why the fuck the class starts at 20 after is beyond me.
About 5 minutes into the class, we started our first “runner’s lunge” pose of many for the day.
A “runner’s lunge” is pretty much what it sounds like.
One leg lunges forward , while the other goes back giving you a pretty decent stretch.
Today’s “runner’s lunge” was extra special.
That was because I suddenly heard a gigantic ripping noise as I eased into the pose.
This noise was loud enough to be heard over the speakers, and felt like it lasted for 2 of the longest seconds of my life.
The reason I was so sensitive to this noise was because the horrifying sound, was actually the crotch line in my pants being shredded and mutilated.
It left me with a cut-out right dead center in my crotch larger than you could possibly imagine.
Instantly, I thought maybe I should just “call er a day.”
But, my other instinct saying ,”You have boxers on”. It’s no big deal.” proudly took over.
So, I politely stayed in the room for the whole class trying not to make any more rips.
With 90 percent of my crotch-line looking like somebody used it for bb-gun target practice, it can’t get any worse, right???
Think again my friends. That sucker kept on ripping. And, the hole kept getting bigger.
My emotions were an interesting mix between feeling quite foolish, and just not giving a shit. I had already committed myself to staying.
What’s the difference between an absurdly large rip, and a full blow-out, right?
Finally, after 60 minutes of twisting and turning, and hoping my nut sack didn’t fly out like a free bird, the class was over.
So, I just calmly got up, and walked out of there with my legs kept as closely together as possible.
I’m not quite sure that really did anything.
The day is over and my pants are ripped.
But, I will still be back there next Thursday at 13:19 sharp as long as I am not the only “dude.”
One year down in “The Taiwan!”
I miss every one of you fuckers! ha ha..
When I left America, I thought I would be the “king of cram schools,” by the end of my first 3 months.
Cram schools are the name of the schools that teachers work at here.
I also thought I was going to have tons of Taiwanese girls begging to learn English from “The Joshie.”
Why did I think I was going to propel myself into such a heightened state of economic and social prowess?
You may ask.
This was mainly because I met some dude with lots of good stuff to say about Taiwan.
I met him on a “Learn Chinese” meetup group that I mistakenly clicked on once
I never went to one of their “Learn Chinese” meetups.
But, this random dude happened to live in Taiwan for 10 years.
He told me that he and his wife used to walk to the bank with bags of an equivalent of thousands of US dollars in cash every day.
I thought, “Well, I can do the same thing.”
And besides, no complete stranger that you know absolutely nothing about besides an article he published on about.com would ever fabricate the truth? Right? ha ha
When is the last time I mentioned I can be a complete dumb-ass at times?
Well, 3 months into my first teaching job, I was counting down the days until I could quit that English slaughter house.
The good news is “Teacher Joshie” has met lots of Taiwanese girls.
But, let’s just say they’re not exactly lining up around the corner waiting for me.
However, my one year stint has still been a wild ride to say the least.
I have had adventures ranging from getting a job offer from an 8 year old kid, to clogging the shitter at my school while getting the attention of an entire hallway full of Taiwanese kids.
I have sat in a Filipino church and told the priest when asked “Why are you here?”, “Girls, Father, Sexy Girls.”
I have even attempted a runaway stint to work in the Philipinnes as a writer for Sexymandarin.com
I have stood on top of tables in front of 45 Senior High students and told stories about bak-ing like a chicken.
I have snuck in the back entrance of sex motels.
I have sung karaoke in a Filipino bar.
The list could go on for days.
None of it has a God Damn thing to do about money.
And, I am actually much worse off financially then when I left.
But, I am still content with my progress.
“The Josh Dent” vision in one sentence or less is about being a dude with a hell of a lot of stories to tell when I am sitting on a park bench when I am 80 years old.
I want some 20 year old kid to walk away from “my park bench” and think Holy Shit,
I hope I get to do half the shit that guy did.
The only missing part of this story is the hot chick to share along in these experiences.
Got a good story from my Senior High School class the other day.
These kids are always curious to hear about their teacher’s lives. So, I decided to tell them the story about the first time I ordered from an “All-Chinese” menu..
It was one of the most well-executed stories I ever told.
I somehow managed to catch their attention very quickly. And, the story was building towards its thrilling climax at just the right pace.
That was when I decided to stand up on the chair in front of my desk to finish off the ending to this story.
While standing in the front of the room on top of a 3 foot high chair, I happened to notice my boss walking into the room for the first time since I started teaching there.
With all 42 pairs of eyes locked in on me standing on top of this chair, there was really point in holding back now that the “boss man” was there.
I also don’t have the ability to ask him what he wants and get right back into “game mode.”
The catch is that this was the part of the story that you ABSOLUTELY would not want somebody to only hear this part.
I had already told them them I was really struggling to order my “not SPICY chicken” in Chinese and I was getting quite angry.
With the boss man looking, that was when I offered up a very animated version of how I acted out the word chicken by flapping my arms like wings and chanting “Bak Bak Bak, CHICKEN!!”
Considering all 42 kids were laughing hysterically, I decided to go with another round of even louder and more obnoxious “bak bak bak’s.”
Let’s not also forget that my face was already natural bright-red from last weekend’s sunburn, and I am notoriously known for a vein the size of an apple popping out of my forehead when I am excited.
I really just did not even care that he was standing 10 feet away from me and I am supposed to “act normal” as the teacher.
My boss, John, is one of the nicest people I have met in Taiwan. He just pretended like it didn’t even happen.
I mean, really, what could you say?? ha ha…