The Taipei Train

In a lot of ways, it’s apropos.

I’m doing some technical writing for the Taiwan High Speed Rail project. The project management is a complete SNAFU and FUBAR. No one is responsible or accountable and there’s no money :-s. So lots of people may be hung out to dry here as the Taiwan gov’t is trying to cobble up some money together to pay for it all but it’s supposed to “go live” this October. How? Magic. Taiwanese have this thing against planning anything. They say “My goal is this” and by some magical transmorfiguration they think the goal will happen. I believe in the power of words, but let’s be realistic here.

Meanwhile, I’m busy chugging along building up my business consulting and advisory services company here. Trying to find that niche for the foreigners and expats here who are caught between the netherworld, a rock and a hard place. Taiwan despite its efforts is a unfriendly foreign city, not particularly international, even Taipei. So having now hung my own shingle, I find myself oddly drawn back into the murky world of (drum-roll) practicing law. {Collective gasp} ? What’s that you say? What is the practice of law? I consider the practice of law a career in which one solves people’s problems. That’s the basic essence of practicing law.

Given that, I’ve got a client who is a young British English buxiban teacher here who was taken advantage of by her previous employer. Now that she’s trying to file her own taxes this year, she found out she’s deficient. So she came to me to fix her tax filing problem and go after the big bad buxiban owner who was a twit with us. Fine, play hard-ball, we’ll sic the tax authorities on you. How stupid can you be??? Don’t bluff unless you’re holding the Aces. I’ve another client a woman from Uzbekistan (yes, I had to look that one up) who looks very Korean-ish. Doesn’t speak a word of Chinese but beautifully accented Russian-ish English. Brought me back to NYC where I had a couple of Russian chess player friends in Washington Sq. Park. This client somehow found my company’s website from another referral place and somehow clicked on the forum link to find me. Then, found out that she lives down the street from my office near the McDonald’s. How funny. Anyways, she had some immigration issues which is what we do after all but then from there, it went to asking about how does one do foreign business incorporating. Eh, don’t they have lawyers for that? They do, charge a good deal of money ~ $3500 USD. Anyways business for me… who am I to turn that down?

The main reason for my being here, business consulting, business management, project management etc still going slow. Trying to get business training going and my courses set up. Almost there, the translation part is the most difficult part. Meanwhile, the window dressing continues. I’ve hooked up with a cool kid, a miltownkid who’s really into the whole tech thing. Self taught. Got a few websites going (other miltownkids), blogs, WordPress, phpBB forms and a hosting reseller plus all sorts of other neat things. Learning some website templating and CMS, playing around with open source stuff. Helping him out with that and learning along the way. It’s been fun. From the miltownkid, I got my own website going, learning about website templates, CSS, banners and just playing around with stuff. It helps because his hosting provides a whole bunch of neato tools from the cPanel website control panel to manage your own hosting account. Now with freehosting out there, almost no reason to ever stay with geocities and that sort of thing anymore. Anyways, the possibilities are unlimited because there’s provisions for just about anything you can think of for your website — blogs, content management, banner rotation, shopping cart, databases, forums, lots of emails addresses, email lists and just so much more.

The more you plan, sometimes the more things just don’t happen the way you intend. Now, I’m just happy being with B-, having a roof over my head, gainful livelihood, good friends, and helping people out wherever that may be. It’s also helped quite a bit along the way to come to terms with my faith, relationship with God with B-‘s help and friends. Time flies, my year, the chicken year seems to be clucking along just fine.

Cheers,
=YC

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