After I had worked almost three years in Taiwan they finally started to offer a new kind of Employment Gold Card for professionals. Basically in Taiwan you usually first look for a job, you get a job and your new company will apply a work permit for you. After it’s approved, you will then apply an alien resident card to be allowed to live and work in Taiwan. However a new Employment Gold Card has both of those and other features and you can apply it before you even visited Taiwan.


The process wasn’t very smooth to get the card. It started with the application. The form asked to fill my address in Chinese. I wonder if you apply abroad, are they still asking to fill it in Chinese. For my address it didn’t actually have the correct way to put lane or number of my apartment.  I just noticed this last week at bank because the card has wrong characters still (even I said it in open form to them in application process). Luckily my bank is okay, they just put it correct to their system, didn’t ask for passport (which is also many times asked along with ARC card).


Second problem was asking for status. You’re not really able to track the status through website, because it only has main steps – not all. This started another discussion. They already knew something need to change in application, but didn’t do anything before I asked. Then they asked to call for another ministry to get detail information. I wonder again if you apply abroad, how easy it is to make phone calls instead of emailing. They do have one email address to use for contacting. I actually used it often to ask them to make calls, much simpler.


These emails continued. My current ARC was going to expire; processes took time and at the end to extend my current ARC we had to apply work permit traditional way during the process. But when I had applied extension, company got new work permit and I placed another application for new ARC I got acceptance email. The whole process took two months’ time, the Employment Gold Card costed 5700 NT dollars (maybe around 150 euros).  Also these additional ARC extension/new ARC and work permit costed extra around 2000 NT dollars. It was also a lot of stress because so many papers were asked and I didn’t know if I’m going to get it or not. Then that application would not have been refunded.


Anyway, at the end I feel good because this card really is beneficial for you. You can rely that even you’re jobless or want to change a company, it’s you who make the decision and you’re not dependent on other people. I know many foreigners get married to local for avoiding  hassle, but it’s also making you dependent on someone else and actually how good does it feels for your spouse to be first of all married to you for resident status (even if you’re in love).


There’s one thing I especially like when I live in Taipei: It’s one of the best destinations in Asia where you can find art and design wherever you walk or stay. Usually any kinds of guidance tables or signs are enriched with cartoons or other funny characters giving guidance in laid-back manner. It’s quite often a case for advertising or interior in coffee shops, too, restaurants are more traditional if they aren’t theme seasoned like Hello Kitty hot pot. In the contrary this is an old city with aged buildings and traditional architecture. The city is changing and more new construction is going-on, for sure the prices are rising, too.


Last weekend I went to Museum of Contemporary Art which is centrally located and usually concentrates into interesting art works and world-famous artists. This time the exhibition was by a Japanese artist Mika Ninagawa and another video animation outside the museum by Cyriak Harris from UK. Mika Ninagawa has made some music videos, designed clothes and accessories, but I guess the most famous part is her photography on famous Asian pop stars and people. Her “selfies” however are a bit different, but I also looked them during the visit. I’m more into moving or performing arts which means I preferred the outside video screen and animation by Harris. It’s called Hyperplasia – Mutation and it was lovely to see teddybears eating and playing among traffic or see cows changing into bigger or smaller ones letting you think what is that.


Sometimes I visit Museum of Fine Arts which is located both in Taipei and Kaohsiung the second biggest city in Taiwan. They have static exhibitions, class rooms for students and mostly changing exhibitions by Taiwanese or Chinese artists. Some are really cool, so it’s truly a place to visit if you come to Taiwan.


There are areas with smaller galleries, but I haven’t had enough time to visit them very often. Just sometimes if I hear someone or a friend is having an opening or such, I visit these. After all I enjoy seeing beautiful things, clever posters around the metro stations guiding me not to perform harassment or inappropriate behavior to others but doing it in a funny, less serious way. You may also find barriers on the parks or streets which look like an animal, just because they are better in colors, not only red and yellow. I also really like the road or other construction cuts when they put the moving robot to show you this road is closed.



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