May 8th, 2017 | Ruby

Ruby, my new robot floor cleaning housemaid.

8:00 a.m. Alexander had just finished his morning bottle feed, Chia had already gone to work (half day today) and I was ready to let Ruby off ‘her’ charger, ready for the floor challenge ahead. Yesterday while roaming the isles of Carrefour aimlessly (I was a bit lost after having companioning mum and dad for over two weeks)  I stopped to see something on discount. A robot vacuum cleaner! Cool! I thought about getting one of these nifty devices for a good while. But was undecided how effective they actually were. But this one by Thompson, a French company, had good reviews, so with the help of some gift money from mum and dad I made my first household robot purchase. I got it home pronto and charged it for a few hours then released the cleaning beast.

To my surprise it worked better than I expected. In fact it sucked up a lot of cat fur and dirt. I had to change its filter compartment twice before it was done for the evening. And the floor looked pretty darn clean as I sat on the wood lounge chair with a cup of hot tea, admiring the cleaning robot as it backed into its charging bay and shut down. Chia named it Ruby. I presume because of its ruby-red shell. Thanks Ruby! You are going to save me a lot of sweeping chores.

8:30 a.m. After a cup of tea and watching Ruby polish up the floor it was time to start my diet. That’s right I’m going on a diet. The photos of me with mum and dad during their stay shocked me. Man, I was getting too damn fat! I could see man boobs developing! That’s gotta stop! So, for two weeks starting from today I am only having fruit and a drink of Ensure 3 times a day. That’ll shrink my stomach, but keep my nutrition up properly. I bought a large can of Ensure (vanilla flavour) powder last night. Just need to mix 120cc of powder with 180 cc of cold water and it’s done.

11:30 a.m. Chia arrived home from work and I set off to work.

1:30 p.m. Arrived at work to hear some bad news and good news. Actually I’ve been aware of the bad news for some time but perhaps a little in denial. After July my school is closing. There has been a great.drop in the number of students available across Taiwan these past few years. Fewer people are having children and there is an oversupply of schools here now. Particularly crams schools who fiercely compete with one another for students. So that’s not something I’m look toward. I had planned for this school to be my last, but I had expected to get a few more years put of it. I don’t want to.go through that adjusting period again to a new school and their management style. It’s not new students that bother me, its.getting a new boss. Most of the one’s I’ve encountered in Taiwan over the past 10 years haven’t been as good as my current boss. In fact it’s rare. If your school administrators suck, so will your job. So hopefully after July I can go full private and just teach at home or other homes like Mia for example. I do know however that I will continue teaching Anli at home but that’s all I know at the moment. If I could get another four or five of mu current students to go private that would be satisfactory to survive okay. I guess I will have to hope for the best.

The good news I got today is that my boss was able to get me a teaching gig next Tuesday at a near by Elementary school for 5 hours of storytelling for grades 2 and 3. Some of my students  attend that elementary school. So it’s familiar to me, but for now it is just a one-off job. However it will be a nice injection of bonus cash for this month, and that’s always welcome. I can choose any subject I like, so I think I will tell the story of Peter Rabbit.

6:00 p.m. Class is over and it’s time to head home.

8:00 p.m. Arrived home and let Ruby out to do a nightly sweep and vacuum. Oh what a difference this little robot makes. Then I sat down with Alexander and read him the story of Peter Rabbit. I may as well get in some practice!



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