Confucius Said: The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.
Now the process to get a work permit is in motion and should take about a week to 15 days. A foreign teacher cannot get paid without a work permit. So while I’m are waiting for the work permit I have three options.
First option: sit in the dorm and stress.
Second option: Go to school and start working as a volunteer. I won’t get paid for this time at the school but I will be busy and it will impress my co-workers.
The third option is the one I’m taking: use the time to travel and explore. The exploring part I will tell in another space.
A R C
Once you have your work permit you can apply for your Alien Resident Certificate (ARC). This is similar your ID in your home country. Usually the agency or the school does this. It allows you to live in Taiwan like a local but it does expire, usually on the same day that your contract expires. 60 days before that date you can extend it by visiting an immigration office near you. If you do not have a new contract yet the new ARC will allow you as a foreigner to stay in Taiwan with the purpose of finding a job for six months.
As a foreigner one pays 18% tax for the first 180 days that you actually live in Taiwan. There after you pay only 6% tax (like the locals). At the end of the tax year you go to the tax office near you and you claim the 12% per month back. Its paid as a lump sum into your bank account on 1 August.
When you arrive in Taiwan, before you leave the airport buy a sim and airtime for 90 days. Once your work permit and Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) comes through you can go to a supplier and take out a long term contract. My school has a good wifi service that I can connect to at the dorm. All the schools have wifi to use during the day at the schools.
Buy an EasyCard for NT$100 at Seven Eleven and top it up regularly. When you get on a bus or a train you have to swipe / tap your card AND at the end of your trip. Before you get off the bus or exit the station you have to swipe your card again. You pay depending on the distance you traveled. To see how much you paid and what credit you have on your card watch the screen when you tap your card on exit. Busses do not always stop at all the stops so when you are waiting for a bus at a stop wave your arm and the driver will stop. When the bus approaches the stop where you want to get off, press a buzzer on the bus.
Seven Eleven is going to be your go-to for lots of things while you are living in Taiwan. All the big bus and train stations I have used so far had one. The locals pay all their utility accounts there. That is where you will find an ATM to draw and transfer money, buy tickets to many activities and shows, travel and accommodation reservations, make photo copies, and print photos. Want to send or receive parcels using DHL, go to 7/11. Here you get food or drinks on the go. Oh and they sell stuff too.
Family Mart offers the same services but in my area they are not as visible and plentiful as 7 / 11.