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3. My Culture Shock

Waiting to take the plain at LAX airport I started doing some self-reflection before boarding on to the 8-hour flight and reaching my final destination…Taiwan. Mainly, before coming to Taiwan what I knew about it summarizes in “Chinese dining” and those so popular “Jackie Chang” movies, where you can get a feeling how Asia/China looks like.

I remember coming out of the terminal at CKS airport the day I got to Taiwan. The inside was air conditioned and when I went out the august 2003 heat hit me in the face like a hammer and 20 seconds later I was drenched in sweat.

I think this phrase does not belong to my vocabulary. Since I arrived to Taiwan, I had experienced many great moments and had to adapt myself to a new life style, food and interact with people of different mindsets. In other words, I adapted myself to a different way of living.

I wouldn’t called Cultural Shock, I think a closer description would be “Starting from Cero”. Life is about that, it gives you new challenges every day, awaiting for your response. It depends on mainly how ready we are, how independent we are, but more important, What are we willing to see and experience. I guess that coming to Taiwan represented a highly-recommended new journey for me, for everyone.

When I first arrived to Taiwan, I didn’t have notion of how wonderful this country is, instead of thinking that way I was just a little confused with the whole idea of being in a place that I though It would be strange for me, but now I’ve changed my mind and I can say “Taiwan is amazing! “, and the most important of all is its people.

During my stay in Taiwan, I have visited many spots but two of them were the most memorable ones that I can recall. Whenever a Costa Rican neighbor who lived in Taiwan before introduced me online to a Taiwanese friend, the first place that will come to their minds to take me to, is of course the famous “Taipei night markets”. In fact is quite amazing the amount of this type of markets that you can find on literally every 4-5 MRT stations. These places are very crowdy during the night (that’s the reason of their name) especially during the weekends but even so, it is a very nice place to hang out with your friends, family and love ones. I really love it because each one of them has its very own style and environment, especially with the bunch of food and clothing available. The difference between China and Taiwan, its that the latter is better in the sense that the prices of the same or similar products are very standardized and there is no necessity to argue on the tagged, so this really saved me a big headache, because when I was in China 3 years ago, and they know I’m a foreign, everyone just tried to “eat me alive” by increasing the price 3 - 4 times the original price for locals, besides I really hated to argue for a good price.