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And then the path forked again

Since my adventures yesterday (of which I wrote only two hours ago or so), I’ve had some time to clear my mind and outline what options I really have and the various consequences they entail. As is usually the case, something like this becomes a lot more lucid if spelt out, so that’s what I’m going to do now, both for your information and for my own sake.

Option one: Rent an apartment in Linkou…

…and hopefully find somewhere to live which is not too expensive and not too far from the university. This might be a bit more difficult than I thought at first, because most buildings here are at least half an hours walk from the main gate, which means it’s impossible to get very close. Buying a bike would of course shrink the time down to something like ten minutes, so I suppose distance is not a big problem. I have an apartment ready, which will be vacated on Monday and costs $4500 NT, which is the cheapest I’ll ever find, but it’s a bit small.

Advantages: Moderately priced, a room entirely to myself, not far from campus, have a viable option available now, immediate peace of mind (if I choose to stay where I’m now)

Disadvantages: Bad location for going elsewhere, locked for at least six months by contract, moderately priced

Option two: Find an apartment in Taipei to share with someone…

…which means that I need to find a suitable one, preferably close to either the main campus (to have access to the school bus) or the train station. These areas are among the most desirable in Taipei, so it’s going to cost and it’s going to be hard to find.

Advantages: Easy transportation to other places, probably a good apartment, probably no need for a long-lasting contract

Disadvantages: Very expensive, required commuting to school every day, room mates uncertain

Option three – Find a room in the student dormitory…

…even though I’ve always said I don’t want that. Let’s examine the reasons why. To start with, it’s impossible to meet Vanessa there, but I also think I’d like a room entirely to myself, regardless of how small. The first one can be countered by the fact that the rent will be very much cheaper than anything else, which will make it possible to meet Vanessa elsewhere instead.

Advantages: Very cheap, very close to campus

Disadvantages: No room entirely to myself, room mates uncertain, difficult to go elsewhere

Some thoughts

Writing all this and discussing it with Vanessa, I realise a couple of things. First, living in Taipei is probably not a good idea. The only main advantage is that it’s easier to get to different places, but that will come at a cost. The money I save by living in Linkou, I could easily spend on speedier transportation (like taking the high-speed rail instead of bus) if I want to go somewhere else. This means that the easy-to-get-to-other-places advantage might be negated simply by having more money at hand.

So, having decided (sort of) to live in Linkou, there are a couple of options. I could live in a small apartment of my own in the same building I’m currently in now. It’s not big, it’s not super good, but I’m not sure i need that. The forty minutes on foot to the campus is manageable.

I could also keep on looking and see if I could find another apartment, even though I’m not sure what kind of place would be better than the one mentioned above. Perhaps a little bit bigger and/or closer to the university, but that might be very hard to find.

Lastly, I could probably stay in the dormitory, which feels a bit uncertain. It might be good, but it might also be catastrophically bad and completely ruin my sense of personal security and integrity.

Conclusion (or something)

I’m almost going crazy because of all this. It seems like I need a solid foundation in life to function at all, and I’m sure that most of my angst right now is accommodation related. However, the fact that I’m hungry, haven’t had time to shower since yesterday and still a bit jet lagged of course doesn’t make it better. So how about doing something about the few things I can actually control right now and get some food, a shower and then some sleep?

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  1. thark’s avatar

    It seems like I need a solid foundation in life to function at all

    I’d say this is probably a nigh-universal human trait. Base of the Maslow’s Pyramid and all that.


    1. Olle Linge’s avatar

      Heh. I was going to write something about Maslow, but I discarded that idea because of… well, I don’t know. I do have an article planned on Maslow and language learning, but we’ll come to that in due time.

      The reason I wrote the sentence you quoted was because, somehow, I had assumed that I would be aloof to such worldly needs, which, alas, I turned out not to be. This is the first time, I think, I’ve been devoid of a home like this, and it really freaks me out.


    2. Carin’s avatar

      Jag vet hur det är att vara utan solid foundation.. prövade det i London. Man uppskattar det man flyttar till lite oavsett i det läget ;) Ett bra sätt att spara pengar på är annars att bo på gatan.. Det är massor av plats och nära till det du vill. Hemma är där man sist satte sig? Kanske..


      1. Olle Linge’s avatar

        Det är märkligt hur jobbigt det var, men jag vet inte om jag reagerade kraftigare än andra (det är ju fullt möjligt). Jag had aldrig någonsin kunnat förutse riktigt hur jobbigt det var, för i så fall hade jag ju arrangerat saker på ett annat sätt.

        Visste ni ens var (om) ni skulle jobba när ni drog iväg? Det är ju i så fall steget värre, även om ni var två vilket kanske gör det lite lättare också.