I am Mathias M.C. Mailosi from Malawi in southern Africa and I am currently studying in the department of Agricultural Economics at National Taiwan University (NTU) as a graduate student. My program of study is International Agricultural Policy Development and Management

I find my stay here to be a once in a life time opportunity which I intend to utilize to its possible limits. Taiwan over the years made big strides on the economic front and I think this is also why I need to fully appreciate my learning experience here, especially because Malawi is a developing country, we can learn from and follow Taiwan’s success in developing economies.

Talking about food, I think Taiwan has a good variety of food to offer and therefore eating is gradually becoming one of my hobbies here. Most of the time, I have my meals at local Taiwanese restaurants on or outside campus.

Naturally, Taiwanese food is quite different from what I would call Malawian food. To begin with, the variety of food here in Taiwan is far unparallel with that in Malawi. As far as I can remember, maize is the staple food in Malawi and is usually supplemented by rice and Irish potatoes. Although other food such as sweet potatoes and pumpkins are also fairly common, maize remains largely the most important food. Because Malawi is a landlocked country, there are no sea foods. Thus enjoying excellent sea foods in Taiwan has also been one of my great moments since I stepped on this land.

It should be noted, however, that some of the food are common in Malawi and Taiwan. On one hand, I am thinking of cooking and roasting maize mixed with the Taiwanese food. On the other hand, I also found most of the fruits to be familiar although there were times I was amazed by some new varieties of fruits. Whenever I spot new fruits, I never hesitate to try some. ‘Discovering’ new types of food is becoming a worthwhile endeavor because I have not been disappointed. The food is so good. I am already beginning to feel like at home because I’m accustomed to the food in Taiwan.

Finally, I wish to thank the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) and the great Taiwanese people for extending their helping hands to me and to give me the opportunity to appreciate the oriental culture of Taiwan, and the last but not the least, to benefit from Taiwan’s highly regarded higher education.

* This article was edited by Professor Yir-Huieh Luh at Department of Agricultural Economics, National Taiwan University.