My name is Cristian Herrera, and my Chinese name is 何天恩 (He Tian En), I am from Guatemala, a country located in Central America. I am nineteen years old and I am a freshman at the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST), I am studying in the Undergraduate program in Tropical Agriculture specialized in plant science.
I just came to Taiwan two months ago; this has been a very interesting adventure that has given to me not only the opportunity to meet people all over the world but also the chance to get to know with Taiwanese people and their culture. Since I haven’t been here for a long time, I think I cannot write what I would like to share in my first TICA News Letter. However I can share my little experience here and how this special Country has given to me an amazing two months.
First of all, I came here without having any knowledge about Chinese culture and their language. Maybe the only two phrases that I knew were 你好 (Hello) and 謝謝 (Thanks). Since I had heard some weird comments of Chinese food before, I was a little afraid about what kind of food I was going to find.
It was difficult for me to get used to eating different kinds of food, flavors and tastes. I was not a “rice love”, actually I did like white rice, now I love it. I discover that the Fried Rice () is not only with pork, chicken, beef and shrimp; there are a lot of varieties. Chinese food is really good, some is a little stinky like the famous Stinky Tofu (臭豆), most of the food is delicious though.
My most important experience here have been the food, I like eating and I like Taiwanese food. The Night Markets are very special, they have everything; food, cloth, pets, games... there I have tried the grilled squid, is something delicious. The food sometimes did not look exquisite, even though I have tried it and I have to accept that not all the food has a nice taste.
Language is my biggest problem now, I am learning Chinese and is not easy. For example, the people do not understand you or you do not understand them. Sometimes they misunderstood as happens to me once at the restaurant, and they brought some food I did not asked for.
This big island has a lot of beautiful things, but I believe the most beautiful one is its people. I discover that 你好 (Hello) and 謝謝 (Thanks) were enough to receive a smile or a friendly face. This beautiful people remind me my country, and I feel that I never left home...
Taiwan is a mixture of, ancient cultures, and a modern society all together in a beautiful island very similar to my home country. I think my greatest adventure here have been and is going to be through all these four years, to discover the secrets behind those beautiful smiles that I receive every day.
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