Learning again – Living in Taiwan
Before coming to Taiwan, I thought I had all everything that I needed. I already knew a little bit of mandarin (enough to ask “duo shao qian”!), I had read some of its traditions and history; but there was a little-big problem… I had never been in Taiwan!
Since the first step that I did in Taipei, everything changed. For example, my mind was thinking on so many thing before coming to Taiwan, that I had forgotten that people eat with chopsticks in Taiwan, so the first meal that I had was very much like a fight!. It took me at least a day to finish only the rice by using chopsticks! Do not be worry if you cannot use the chopsticks, as long you feel hungry you would learn how to use them very fast! You would even prefer to use chopsticks rather than fork and knife!
Another example of something different, is the transportations systems that are quite unique. In urban cities you’ll find metro station that runs at very high speed! While being in Taipei I had to take the MRT, so I went to the underground huge train stations. People come from everywhere and they are moving in such a rush. It was very exciting, though a little bit confusing!
However, if you go to rural areas, you’ll definitely have to forget about metros and hold on to your bicycle. I’m not a bike master, I just learned few months ago! With practice and more practice every day, I have become very skilled with bike and also it’s a really healthy exercise that you can do for moving around.
Overall, the greatest 180° changing aspect of being here is that you would be surrounded of two types of incredible people: Taiwanese people and foreigners. Why is this so important? Let me illustrate it in the following paragraphs:
Local people is very kind, they’ll immediately notice that you’re a foreigner, so they will help you even though we don’t’ speak the same language. In fact, I have got lost a few times, and I’ll try to speak in chinese with a little bit of english…and if I don’t understand the directions that are given to me, they would be really gentle and take me to place that I am looking for.
In the other hand, I was expecting only taiwanese people and very few foreigners, but is not like that at all! There are many people from many countries from all around the globe. From the southest part of Africa to the tropical islands in the Caribe, the diversity of culture is just amazing. Now I realize that having such a variety of great people around me is a very enriching experience on life, I’m obtaining the best of the best cross-cultural learning in the whole world.
Moreover, this daily adventure is broader and more challenging, when we look at the fact of being away from homeland. Part of this experience is that you will start to do certain things by yourself; you start to appreciate and manage everything that you are given. More important, you become more consciousness of your parent’s advices and the importance of having God in your daily life for you can always keep on the right tract.
As conclusion, studying and living in Taiwan is a unique life experience that is beyond our expectative and that would make a deep impact in our life. It is all of the details mentioned above, from daily interaction with different cultures to start living far away from “home”, that make to live in Taiwan a growing up in life experience.