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September 2008 monthly report

This is my ninth monthly report. To review introductory comments and the purpose of these reports, please refer to the initial report made for January 2008. Text in italics is copied from the previous monthly report for reference.

Looking back: September 2008

The upcoming month will probably be one of the more eventful in my life. I will leave my home in Sweden to try my luck in Taiwan for a year. Even though I have deliberately avoided speculating and building up expectations, I am at least assured that the very experience of moving abroad will have great impact on me. Therefore, I will not specify any goals as I normally do; experiencing a new culture and settling in will be quite enough.

It was a good idea not to specify any goals, because I would have felt impaired by them. This first month in Taiwan has been eventful, to say the least. Now I can feel that I have begun to settle in and things seems to work well around here. I see no immediate reasons for disliking either Taiwan itself or my life here.

Looking ahead: October 2008

From now on, these reports will work a little differently, because learning Chinese takes up so much of my time and energy. There are two areas in which I would like to be able to focus on at the same time, though, namely physical development and creative output. I do not feel that the 101-in-1001 list is a priority, although I assume that I will manage most of the items on the list anyway.

Physical – I have decided to focus on three goals during my stay in Taiwan: Walking a hundred metres on my hands (slightly more than sixty is the current record), doing clapping handstand push-ups and, finally, one-arm chinup. Of these, I think that the last one is probably the most difficult to achieve, but we shall see about that.

Exercising here is a bit different from home for two reasons. First, I have less control of what I eat. In Sweden, it was possible to know fairly well what was in the food, but since I eat out at least once everyday here, it is impossible to know that. Second, the climate is very different, so doing something physically demanding during daytime is so far out of the question. I have tried to practice hand walking during the day, but I am at about 70 % capacity in this heat, which of course is not good enough.

Hand walking is mainly a question of practicing more, but I have also decided to shift focus a little bit I will write more about this later. The goal for October is to hand walk eight times, each time making at least three attempts to walk fifty metres or more.

The one-arm chin-up is difficult for many reasons, and grip strength is one of them. My hands har simply too weak. I have found a number of ways to improve this and my goal is to focus on strengthening my hands at least ten sessions during October.

The clapping handstand push-up will have to wait until after I am finished walking a hundred metres, because the two goals are too similar to pursue parallely.

As a complement to these goals, I also intend to swim at least 30 000 metres during October.

Creativity – Although I have many projects and many ideas, I feel that they compete with my studies much more than physical activities. I need breaks in my studying anyway, but focusing on writing is perhaps not the best way to relax. Still, I intend to finish the two scenarios I am currently writing.

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  1. margarette’s avatar

    It should start cooling down very soon now. Of course, by Swedish standards, it will never be cold, but October will bring relief. It’s the best month in Taiwan. But at the end of Nov-Jan is the rainy season. Horribly humid. Shoes can mold in the closet! Then come the spring rains and then the Plum rains. So basically rain through the summer. Sept-Oct are the best months to see Taiwan!


  2. Olle Linge’s avatar

    Yeah, it’s better than when I came already. We had really nice weather for a cuple of days, but now it feels liko summer is back again. Today we had over 30 degrees at noon, for instance. I’m looking forward to the winter, actually, but rain is only nice in moderate quantities.