I am an African citizen currently living in Taiwan, Taipei city. I have been in this city for the past three months. The first time I came to Taiwan the beauty of Taipei attracted me, especially the surroundings of National Young Ming University where I spend most of my time. Because this university is right in Taipei city I thought it would only be surrounded by high buildings and traffic, but to my surprise I discovered that its beauty originates from its location, the hill with its natural vegetation and sound of nature. The location of this university is not the only thing that impressed me but several things, such as; the main railway transportation system commonly known as MRT, which makes life a lot easier when you want to move around Taipei; the way the people speak their language and the way they display responsibility.
As I was admiring all the good things I had come across in Taipei, I also noted that if you are not familiar with the MRT operations, the rules, Taiwanese language you would not survive in Taiwan more so because in terms of the language, the majority of Taiwanese cannot speak English. That observation made me want to learn the Chinese and other surviving skills that would help me while in Taiwan for the next two years. Fortunately when I arrived in Taiwan, my university introduced me to a Taiwanese buddy, a student from Taiwan who welcomed and oriented me about the university and life in Taiwan. As she was orienting me about the university our friendship grew stronger and we could talk about anything. She told me a lot of things about Taiwan and the people of Taiwan. Moreover, she also taught some skills on how to use the MRT, how to speak Chinese language and how to show accountability and responsibility by following rules.
The first thing that my friend taught me was how to use the MRT. At first it was difficult for me to get the concept because in my country such mode of transport is not available. She first showed me how to upload transport fee in my student card and then showed me how to access the MRT by swiping my student card. She also taught me how to read the map and taught me about the meaning of different lines in the map i.e. red line, brown line etc. Furthermore, she taught me rules that are followed when boarding the MRT such as not eating, not drinking and avoiding seating in the priority seats.
The second thing my friend taught me was the Chinese language. She taught me basic terms that are commonly used especially when buying in the market/shops and other basic terms like greeting and names of items. Although I wanted so much to learn Chinese, I first met challenges in pronouncing some of the words and in understanding the meaning as at times one word would have different meanings and there would be a major word for different actions and that confused me more. My friend has been patient with me as she is still teaching me how to communicate in Chinese and I think before I leave Taiwan I will be speaking fluent Chinese.
In addition, my friend taught me to always follow rules especially when I am in Taiwan. She advised me to follow even minor rules like maintaining order in public places such as when boarding the MRT, when using public toilets, when boarding the bus and almost anywhere where people are waiting for assistance by standing in a line/queue. In addition, she emphasized on responsibility and accountability. She informed me that Taiwanese are very responsible and accountable people and they show these qualities by not tempering with people's belonging and as such the very low crime rate in Taiwan. She then urged me that I must follow suit if I want my stay to be enjoyable in Taiwan.
In conclusion, I would like to thank my Taiwanese friend for making my life easier in Taiwan by teaching me the basic survival skills. I have gained skills and knowledge on the use of MRT and its operations and I can now move around Taipei without any problem. I have also obtained knowledge and skills on communicating in Chinese and I can now communicate and understand some of the Chinese words especially when buying in the market/shops. Again, I have gained skills on displaying accountability and responsibility as an individual as I now act responsible and maintain order by following set standards every where I go.
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