Chris and I have spent all weekend looking for a new place to live in Taipei. It has been a bit of a struggle, though, for two reasons. First, we want to live downtown and not in a suburban expat area. Second, we have a dog. Not a small toy dog that can fit into a purse, but a big dog. So when we first gave our criteria to the relocation people, I said that we wanted to live in Taipei City and that we had a dog. The immediate response (by email) was: I am sorry to inform you that you cannot bring your dog to Taipei.
What!? Are you kidding?
If we hadn't known the real story - which is that we have to send Frankie back to the States for six months before he could come - then we would have freaked out. What kind of insensitive idiot says crap like that? Especially untrue crap like that?
I immediately called the guy and set the record straight. Oh, OK, he said. Now I understand. But he didn't understand. The next communication I received from him (as I stepped off the plane and checked my blackberry on a Thursday evening) was - I have not been able to find any properties in Taipei for you to view. So we will go to Tien Mou on Saturday.
Again, What!? Tien Mou is an expat suburb that is 40 minutes away from the office. At this point, I was beginning to think that our relocation helper was having a hard time grasping our basic requirements. I immediately called him again and reiterated - no suburbs. He responded with - Just to be sure, is your dog a must?
Thank goodness I was not talking to him face to face. I said, my dog is my son. He is a must. The next day, I called his boss and explained that perhaps he was not suited to understand and meet our needs. Believe it or not, I was quite nice, given the circumstances. What an idiot.
After all of that mess, we did find seven properties to view. The choices were not inspiring and crazy expensive. However, we think we may have found a place. If everything goes well with the landlord negotiations, then we can move in October. Just so I don't jinx anything, I will only show a little sneaky peaky.