It was extremely hot that day; I was walking in the street without knowing where to go. It was my first week here in Taiwan and I was lost. Many questions were bombarding my head, how can I do? Nobody knows me here? Will I find my way out? Should I start praying? I was wondering what to do; I had no cell phone and no Chinese abilities to ask for help. Finally I decided to ask an old lady that was sitting outside of her house. I walked to her and told her “hello, could you please tell me how to get to Shida University?” She just looked at me and told me to come in. At the beginning I hesitated because that is not a common thing in my country to be invited in if they don’t even know you. So I wondered for a few seconds and decided to take the risk. I was there sitting with the old lady in the living room; we were just staring at each other.

She got her phone and called someone and later went into the kitchen and brought for me some tea and cookies.  For a moment I thought I was in a coffee shop because the lady was too nice. Suddenly a young lady entered the house and she could speak fluent English.  She asked me where I wanted to go. I briefly explained my situation and she drove me to the university. On our way there she explained to me that the old lady was her grandmother who called her and explained that a “foreigner” was lost.

I was surprised to see how nice people are here in Taiwan; I have been here for almost two years and every day that goes by I can confirm that Taiwanese are amazing people. Few countries have that advantage to have nice people willing to help without waiting something in return.  My first experience in Taiwan is just one example of how nice people are here in Taiwan and how full of willingness they are to help others.

Few months later I had a similar experience, I was walking in Ximen area and I wanted to use the public phone. There was a small queue of people in the public phone. I asked a Taiwanese in queue, where could I buy the card to use the public phone. He answered with a smile “buyong”  (不用)which means you don’t need one. At that time my Chinese abilities were a little better so I understood what he meant. When my turn arrive,d the guy gave me his card and helped me to use the phone. I was really happy to see how people are always willing to help you no matter the differences in culture, language, religion, etc.

Taiwan is a country with many surprises, but for my own experience I truly think that people are the most amazing thing here in Taiwan. Wherever I go, I can see how they are willing to give you a hand in most of classes. When I came to Taiwan, all my friends and family constantly told me, “It will be hard to settle in”, “It will be difficult to familiarize with the food and people because they are way too different.” . But actually I have noticed that all the comments and advices they gave me were wrong because actually here in Taiwan people become a bridge between you and the culture. The more open mind you have and positive attitude the more grateful  your stay in Taiwan will become.

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