"Home is where the heart is" - Pliny the Elder.

That quote may suits my life well during my study in Taiwan. From the day I arrived in the Taoyuan airport on August last year, I already missed my family and everything that I left in my hometown. The first six months of my stay in Taiwan could be taken as an adaptation phase for me. I never live far away from my family. The things that I used to do, the food that I used to eat, the people that I used to know, the places that I used to visit every day for pray, everything become totally different. Here, in Taiwan, I have to be independent and take care of everything by myself. I remember Moliere said: "the greater the obstacles, the more glory in overcoming it". It is true for me. Once I realized that everything was so different here rather than in my country. I told to myself to bear with it and find the way to get settle with the condition. I learned to seek for what the things that I really missed but not exist here. Then here it goes with the sort lists: family, Acehnese foods, the culture, and Acehnese environment.

Once the problems are found then we can try to look for the solution, wasn't it? Fortunately, the facilities that provided in the school really help me to keep in touch with my family. I can have a video call without having problem of buffering or other connectivity problems, because the internet connection in Taiwan is so much better than Aceh.

There are also some of my friends from Aceh, who pursue their master degree in NCU. I often spare the time with them. We usually spend the time together for cooking Acehnese food, chatting or even studying. By having these kinds of activities I still can feel like being home and under Acehnese environment. I can enjoy some of the Acehnese foods while speaking Acehnese like I used to have in my home with my family. It also helps me to keep my culture while I am in abroad.

Since I lived in the dormitory with a local student, I also had an experience of the culture shock for the very first time I entered the school. They can speak English well but most of the time they speak Chinese with another roommates. Back then, it is also the biggest motivation for me to learn Chinese. By having this skill, I even can get along with other caring and kind friends from different department, different school even different background. By having a lot of friends in Taiwan I almost forget that actually I just came here last year. Their hospitality by introducing their culture and understanding my condition as a Muslim makes me feel like I am just in my neighboring places of my hometown, but not a very far place from Aceh.

Another advantage of becoming a student of National Central University is that I made a lot of Muslim friends who come from different cities of Indonesia. We always have a time for sharing and doing pray together on every Friday night. For celebrating or even visiting a mosque, I can just take off in the Zhong Li bus station and take a bus number 112 to Longkang, in which I can found a mosque for pray, especially in fasting months (Ramadan).

Even that I almost overcome all of my homesickness, there is still one thing that I can't handle yet, the winter. The low temperature and the high humidity during this period of time really frighten me. Thankfully there are a lot of food courts which still open and sell the food even in the midnight. I gain a weight rapidly during winter due to the habit of having an extra meals and snacks. Even the taste is quite different from the food in my country, but some of them really fit me well. Having a cup of hot zhenzhu nai cha (pearl milk tea) and a bowl of niu rou mian (beef noodles) in such that cold days can really boost up my spirits especially after finishing all of my assignments on the weekend. It is one of the reasons of my pleasant stay in Taiwan.

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