I first want to say that I like Taiwan but I don't know how you can say it is an easier life when my boss can cancel my visa any day she would like. Then I have to waste money and fly to another country and back.
In my opinion teaching in Taiwan is just too inconsistent. Maybe I suck as a teacher and that is why things are inconsistent. I am interested in honest feedback.[/quote]
Perhaps I am naturally a bit jaded, cynical, or pessimistic, but life is pretty inconsistent where ever you go. While someone here might not be able to cancel your visa, they can (and do) lay people off in a poor economy. Not always with a whole lot of notice (though sometimes this is not a malicious act) - just a bit more than in Taiwan. Gone are the days of yore when you could count on stable employment outside of the public sector (and even within it nowadays). Generally, people have to rely on improving their own skills and dealing with people that they trust (to the extent possible) in order to build a life. Even then, you are subject to the broader environment and the possibility of moving thousands of miles away. Granted, with one exception I have had pretty good bosses (even in Taiwan) and really didn't have to worry too much about a boss acting rashly (or on a whim).
When I was referring to life being easier, I think I was talking about the day to day stuff. Food is easier to get. Restaurants are easier to get to. There is a bit more give and take. It is easier to be social when you want to be social. Taiwan can certainly be a Kafka-esque bureaucratic nightmare, and it certainly does stink that you have to fly to another country to submit paperwork for a new job. That said, when you have to deal with the government here, you will often run into similar things (with sometimes a bit more rigidity). I suppose that the big difference being that you generally don't have to deal directly as frequently with the government here.
I don't wish to be overly negative one way or the other. There are advantages and disadvantages to both places. In general, life is a struggle (or as Hobbes put it it is "nasty, brutish, and short") wherever you go. Sometimes it is a matter of picking the battles that are more suited to you.
I suppose if it were me, I would look carefully at what was going to make me happy and try to move myself in that direction. What sort of person do I want to be, what sort of lifestyle do I want, what sort of things do I want to accomplish in life, and what trade-offs I am willing to make. Of course it is always a work in progress, but after all life is about the journey.