- October
Posted By : talkingofchinese
I’m going BACK to Taiwan :-) + accidentally becoming a contractor + before meth, after meth passport photo
Before meth, after meth.

I got a scholarship from the Taiwanese Government, I’m going for four months early next year.

I need your advice –

I’ll be studying at National Taiwan University in their International Chinese Language Program (if any of you have experience with the university or this program I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!)

I’m also going to be doing some travel with my family to the east coast of Taiwan (Hualien and Yilan) and we are also planning to travel across to Okinawa since it’s closer to Taiwan than mainland Japan and apparently has its cherry blossom season in January! (Again, if you’ve got any tips to share on these places I’m really keen to hear them!)


Life after quitting permanent work update

For anyone interested in what’s been happening since I quit my job –

I’ve accidentally become a contractor … and I love it!

I had prepared myself for the hard slog of freelance work but a couple of weeks after I quit my job, ย a friend – who was working at a federal government agency – told me they needed someone to fill in for a month. I became that person.

Now, I have just started another short term contract through another friend – this time at a state government department.

This department gave me a recruiter who is now asking me things like “do you have an Australian business number?”

I’m such a contracting noob – I have no idea about being a business or a “sole trader” as I am told it’s called.

All I know is that I am willing to trade off permanency for being able to have breaks between jobs to study Chinese and to try to keep myself healthy rather than working until I become so run down that I have to stop.

Are you a “sole trader”? Any advice? Are you someone who has been able to stick out a job for decades? Hats off to you – how do you do you manage to stay alive?!




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  • Congratulations on the scholarship! Ah, I miss my time as a student in Beijing.

    I’ve been in my current job for almost two years and I still like it, so all is good. I have normal office hours but as I work from home I can do other things when I’m not busy!

  • Sort of…but I couldn’t survive without Andy’s health insurance. Unless I never got sick.

  • Congrats on the scholarship! You’re going to have an amazing time!!! If you feel like studying more Chinese (in the mainland) there’s another language scholarship through CSC and Confucius Institute…. but then you’d have to learn simplified characters ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As for contracting work, I think that sounds amazing. I would go for it, but again, in the U.S. contractors get killed on taxes (when I was a contractor I paid 20% more than a regular employee did, since U.S. gov taxes ‘self-employed’ people more… so stupid) PLUS you get no health insurance.

    Good luck to you!

    • Thanks!

      Yes, I’ve already been slogged an insane amount of tax for the short time I’ve contracted – hoping to get a lot of it back in next year’s tax return.

      Luckily in Australia healthcare isn’t tied to your job so that’s one obstacle I don’t have to overcome as a contractor – I imagine that would be tough!

  • Sorry, I can’t say that I’ve done any contract work. I would imagine it comes and goes, so budget accordingly.

    I hope everything is going well. How exciting. I’d love to go to Taiwan one day. Nice work with the scholarship! Keep us updated.


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