Studying and living abroad can be the most incredible experience of your life or it can be the worst, depending on how you deal with the difficulties of living and working in a foreign country. Adjusting to a new country and a new culture can be trying, especially when we are not willing to adapt or be accepting of a culture that is completely different to our own. This can lead to feelings of depression, loneliness, isolation and complaining.

I have not gone abroad before. This is the first time I live in a foreign country and I choose Taiwan is my destination. 

Taiwan is an Asia country and its culture is similar to my culture, Vietnam. I have lived in Tainan, Taiwan for eight months for studying. Tainan is a city in southern Taiwan. It is the fifth largest city of Taiwan. I lived in campus most of my time. It is the largest area that I have ever seen. I was surprised at the scenery here. I think that is a good condition for me to develop my studying. I go to class and go to the library all day. I did not have a lot of time to go outside. Moreover, it takes me much time to explore everything in university and in campus.

One day, my friend advised me to enjoy the food in Taiwan. She said everybody laugh at me if I don’t have anything to talk about Taiwan especially the food when I come back Vietnam. She still said the best way to start getting yourself accustomed to an exotic culture is to get involved. Get to know your new culture. Go out and experience life. Make new friends. Her words were my motivation to have a trip one day in Taiwan.

On Sunday morning, I decided to go shopping and enjoy the food outside the campus alone. I was very eager but I was still worried about something. I felt quite confused. Tainan is bigger than Hue, the city where I have lived. Although my friend showed me some key points to find out the place, I could not remember all. I turned my notice much time but I recognized everything was different. I did not know how to continue and how to come back because I missed my bus. I need help that time. Thus, I had to ask people to show me the way to go. However, one Taiwanese did not understand what I said. She opened the eyes as large as possible and listened to me carefully. I tried to speak English too slowly. Then I went to the street following her direction. I went and went but I do not know where I was. I had not given up. I tried other time to ask other people. One, two, three, four people, they do not know English and they cannot point me anything.

Maybe, I should find the way to go home, I thought. I tried my luck last. I asked the man. Luckily, he could speak English and he knew that restaurant. He led me to that one. I thanks him a lots. I went to the restaurant and gave the waiter the paper written the name of the food. He brought it to me quickly. A big hot soup and a small plate contain some deep fried square piece with a strong odor. The waiter was very welcome, he asked me to eat them with the soup. The smell was not good but I did not express anything because of politeness. Suddenly, I recognized that I had eaten stinky tofu. It is not strange to me but it may be strange to my friend. She likes that food but I do not. I was very selective eating fried tofu in Vietnam. The smell was not too much smelly. The taste was not too much salt. Therefore, I almost did not eat it. I tried a little and decided to come back my dormitory. Although I was hungry, I wanted to go to dorm as fast as I can. When I was in my room, I cooked noodles immediately. I was too tired, upset and lonely. I missed home too much. It takes me five hours outside without doing anything. I spent my time meaningless and only received the discomfort.

I felt it was too hard for me to go out alone without speaking Chinese and contact with Chinese. It has language barriers. I promised myself never going out without my friends.

When I think about that time, I am still confused in that situation. It seemed to be my culture shock in Taiwan. I think that is unforgettable memory in a foreign country. That was one of my memories in Taiwan and I will have a funny story when talking about this to my family, my relatives, and my friends.

 

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