New Beginnings

The view from our new apartment.

We escaped the evil landlords and moved our things to a new and improved apartment down the street. I don’t know how we have accumulated so much stuff in only 14 months, but in our defense, most of it is practical: pots, pans, and other household items that we can leave behind when we leave for India in February.

The new landlords are as sweet as pie. On moving day, the whole family greeted us with pineapple cakes, offered to help us set up the internet, and let us know that we should not hesitate to contact them if we need any help. Basically, these people have an all over good aura, and Dom and I are relieved to have such nice landlords after having to put up with the bat-shit crazy ladies from last year.

After our move, Dom and I enjoyed a nice relaxing weekend after unpacking all of our things, but then on Tuesday, shit hit the fan.

My boss at my kindergarten job has decided to let me go. I can understand, because the school is not doing too well, and I am the only part-timer. However, it is the manner in which she has done so that is troubling.

On Tuesday, she notified me that the school is suffering, and my class would be closing. She said that I could have my job until May 20. I then asked if I could still keep the job if by chance the class didn’t close, and she said “of course”.

She then asked me to sign a document in Chinese, besides the two English words “Termination Agreement”. As at this point I had no reason not to trust her, I signed it. BIG MISTAKE.

Turns out she tricked me. The document I signed was one stating that I quit. I  am now losing my ARC, health insurance, etc. that I just paid a hefty $7,900NT for in March. Not to mention, I’m heartbroken because I’m gonna miss my kiddos like crazy.

I’ve tried to confront her, but she has since avoided coming to school, and has told all of the staff and teachers that she is shocked that I quit.

Seriously?! I’ve worked there for almost 16 months and haven’t missed a single day. I think I deserve a little more respect than this. The whole situation is being handled in a cowardly manner, and I’m trying not to get too frustrated, and trust in the universe.

As Elisabeth Kubler Ross said, “The greatest gift that God has given us is free choice.Nothing happens by accident, everything happens for a reason. If you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their carvings.”

Is this a cultural thing? Is it common for employers to not fire people directly, and instead do it in a indirect manner in Taiwan? I’m so confused! If you have any advice or similar experiences to share I would love to hear them!




  1. Though I believe this is cultural, you wouldn’t have signed that agreement had you known what it actually said. You did nothing wrong in all of that, and you should be proud of yourself. Better opportunities await. Best! 🙂

  2. What a nasty piece she was. Good riddance. I cannot say if it is cultural but know that there are also decent people, like the kindness of your landlord.

    • Yes. You are right! There have been many nice people here who have helped me and shown kindness. I should focus on the bright side. Love love love 🙂

  3. Wow, I have experienced some backstabbing behavior when I lived in China and parents wanted to save face instead of confronting any problems they are having (taking me out to dinner on Friday and saying how much they loved that I was teaching their son, and then going to the principle on Monday to say how I never seem to have time for their son), but this takes the cake!

    Sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough experience.

    -Amanda at

    • Wow! That is two-faced. I wish my boss would have at least taken me out to dinner to sign the papers. Then I would have at least gotten a free meal haha

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂

  4. Wow, I’m really sorry to hear this. One would expect to be able to trust coworkers and friends they’ve been working with for more than a year. I haven’t been to Taiwan, but I can imagine this happening in Thailand. Not because they necessarily want to hurt you, but because they are afraid of confrontation and will do almost anything to avoid it. I wonder if it’s a similar situation there. It doesn’t make it okay, but sometimes it helps to chock it p to differences in cultures.

    Where will you be going in India? Are you going to teach there? I miss it so!

    • Good to hear that Thailand is different. The whole thing just breaks my heart!

      I am going to India in February to study Ashtanga in Mysore for 3 months. I’m stoked!

      Hope all is well 🙂

  5. Daniela Arredondo says:

    Hi Jenna! Love reading your blog. I have to say I think you will find people like your boss anywhere you go. I’ve been working for a school in Bahrain for three years now and just in the last year have received “similar” treatment by the newly appointed Director. I think that this is something that happens more frequent teaching abroad because well one you’ll find ugly people everywhere, but two because they feel like we’re the little guy who they can push around. All I can say is that it sucks, but at the end of the day be glad. You don’t want someone like that representing where you work, and as others have said I’m sure you’ll find a lovely school with a boss similar to your neighbor. Best of luck!

  6. I’m sorry that this has happened Jenna but I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. This unfortunate situation is happening so another door can be opened to you. Trust in God and he will lead the way. Also, remember even if other people behave badly, you should always continue to do the right thing as I know that you do. I love you.

    • It’s just so hard! Not only is she taking my job and papers away, but she is now trying to take money from my last paycheck! She is making up all of these hidden costs and saying that she is going to take it out of my last paycheck. I feel so powerless. This whole thing is grossly unfair.

  7. WHOAAA Jenna!! This unfolding of events is pretty nuts! I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. I was reading through your post just like “what! what! what!” the whole way through. But then I came to the last paragraph where you quoted the genius Dr. Elizabeth & you totally reminded me, yourself, and everyone who reads this, that you just gotta trust. You have to surrender to life and go with the flow. You never know what the Universe may have in store for you 😉 LOVE YOU!

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