On August 18 2008, I left Sao Tome & Príncipe bound for Taiwan to embark on the longest trip I have ever made. At that time, I came to Fu Jen Catholic University with a purpose of only studying mandarin and go back to my country. The main reason why I came to Taiwan for the first time, is that, at that time, my friends from high school that were studying here, strongly recommended and suggest me to come, experience and write a new page of the book of my life by telling me beautiful things, stories, pictures about this land.

From that on, I have decided to try this new experience, although I was really afraid once the culture, languages, food and etc., was totally different from what I had live until my 18 years old. During the first week of my studies in Fu Jen Catholic University, there was a day that, my country mates among with their Taiwanese friends took me and others newbies from the same country to a dinner out at Shilin night market.

In that day, saw many different type of things, starting from food to drinks that I have never seen in my life. The funny thing that happened in that night, was that after we finished our visit to the market, we were planning to go back home, that was when I got lost. At that time, I got in panic, once I didn't know what to do, where I was, and what to speak, and who to look for. From that moment on, my feeling for taking risk and dare to move started, I just took my passport and stopped people in the street by using body language and pointing to my passport, which was the address of the school I was at, even at that time I didn't even know what does the Chinese characters meant.

It was when someone, just offered me a help, and took me to the police station and then they helped to set me in the bus that direct me straight to my school. From that moment on, that help, experience changed my all point of moving around, going out in Taiwan, without any worry of getting lost, once I set in my mind that there will be always someone to help. Nevertheless, two hours after I arrive home, my friends and their friends also arrived, and for their surprise, I was already home and safe. Therefore, it was like along night for us to talk about this unique moment of my life in Taiwan.

From that day on, until today in Taiwan, I have created my own concept that is “if you are lost in Taiwan from more than 5 minutes, means that you are making yourself as fool”. The reason is that here whenever you get lost, you can just ask from anyone near you, even if get rejected, the next person highly willing to help you or sometimes even take you to the place that you have planned to go, no matter how far or near it is. This is my strategy that I have been used during this 6 years of my staying in Taiwan and so far it is 100% accurate. Therefore, it is in this way, that I have been able to know more about Taiwan itself, streets, places, cities, food, culture and language. However, I am able to assure that I own my ability of speaking mandarin not only from universities, but also from my experiences of the streets of Taiwan, as I mentioned.

However, I could be here describing some others experiences related to hospitality on topics such as food, language and etc, once I have been here for almost 6 years, and studied in 3 universities as Fu Jen Catholic University, Ming Chuan University and now National Taiwan Normal University, but I truly prefer to talk about experience of interacting with local people in Taiwan. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that people in this land, is really what touched my heart, for making me staying for such a long time, and also go back after bachelor degree and come again for master’s degree. The willingness of help, cooperate, share, curiosity of Taiwanese people toward myself is what makes this land to be so sweet for me. In this regard, I will end by saying that Taiwan is not only in my heart, but it is also part of my heart as do my country of origin São Tomé and Príncipe.