A few months ago, I saw Richard Saunders posting on Taipei Hikers about an upcoming hiking trip to Yushan, Taiwan’s highest mountain at 3952m. Since I knew that it took time to get the permits and even then, it wasn’t a sure thing, I jumped on the chance to climb this peak. At the time, I was quite fit. As the months passed, and the climb came closer, I actually had no idea what to expect. I had some issues with my previous employer, and had started a new job in September, so I honestly didn’t have much time to get back into the gym and running. Before I knew it, the climbing trip was upon me. I took the time off work, and bought some supplies.
Since I haven’t bought a RAM mount yet for my KTM Superduke, I decided to try a different way of navigating. On a scooter, it’s always easy to pause and check directions on a phone. On a motorbike, it’s a lot more difficult.
I paired my Bluetooth headphones with my phone, and started the navigation directions by Google Maps. I have to say that it worked very well, especially on the expressways, where it’s actually not possible to stop in Taipei.
I noticed some strange behavior in the last week or so with the Jabra Sport Coach. They would mysteriously disconnect from my phone. Reconnect some time later. The charge would last about an hour instead of five. The volume buttons weren’t responsive anymore.
The weather has been wet recently, and when it wasn’t, I had a sore back from swimming every night. The weather might get better later this week, so I’ll try to go on a ride on Thursday. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve gone on a few shorter rides. I’ve had the bike serviced, as I was close to hitting the 4,000 km mark. The next service will be at 9,000 km. Any problems that I had with it were cleared up when I went to the KTM dealer in Datong, where they have the KTM computer to clear out warnings, etc.
After having covered about 1000 km in rain mode, I was comfortable enough to switch over to street mode. I had noticed a bit of lagging power a few times in some bends, and I knew that once I noticed this, I need to unlock the full 180 hp of the Beast. To be honest, I barely noticed the difference, especially at low speeds. At high speeds, and when you are accelerating away, it does pull away very quickly, but I haven’t noticed the wheel coming up at all, at least not for now.
I started out the week by going to wash my bike. It is a relaxing task, albeit a sweaty one. Once the beast was clean, I took it home. I decided against riding it to my weekly tutoring session, as it was somewhat slower than anticipated, compared to my scooter. Anyway, the city driving in Sanchong is ludicrous, probably the worst that I’ve seen in Taiwan, especially on Zhengyi North Road, so it was probably safer to leave the beast at home.
It was a pretty nerve-wracking week, because the KTM dealer had a bad reputation, but it was the only official dealer in the Taipei/New Taipei City area, so I had done business with them. It was only months later that people were telling me that they were terrible. I’ll file that away for future reference. I was picking it up after work, and my neighbor came with me. He had also purchased a Super Duke, but paid a lot less since he had gotten a license to sell KTMs, again months after I had ordered mine. I was mainly going with him because he had offered me free underground parking for my motorcycle, and in Taipei, that’s not something you can refuse. For some reason my boss and colleague decided to tag along, even after I had told them not to come. It added even more stress to a stressful situation.
I have worked at both of these kinds of schools in the last few years, and this is what I think about them. For those of you who aren’t aware, these are the two main kinds of schools that you can get hired to as a foreign ESL teacher in Taiwan. I will be talking about elementary school teaching, not high school, university, or other types of adult teaching jobs that are also available. With a Master’s, you can teach in universities as lecturers, outside of Taipei City (but in New Taipei City). You need a Phd to teach at universities in Taipei.
I left my hostel at about 5:30PM in order to catch the last bus to the airport. For some reason, all buses stop at 6AM, making it quite difficult to get around Saigon. At the bus station, near the market, it took me about 15 minutes to figure out that there weren’t any more buses. So reluctantly, I took a motorcycle taxi to the airport. I negotiated a fair price in my opinion of 50,000 Dongs, which was 10x the price of a bus ride.