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14. My First Typhoon Experience

Is very interesting to think about the first time you make everything, like the first time you walk or your first teeth and what about your first kiss, I am pretty sure those are the kind of memories that you keep on your mind. Well for me the first typhoon I have ever experienced is something just like that, I remember that day and most probably I remembered it so well because it was recently.

‘Hello Kebba’. ‘Yes Alisha?’ I answered to the telephone call of a course-mate in Kaohsiung Medical University and then asked her of what service could I be to her. She said: ‘I was told that a typhoon is coming’. ‘Who is typhoon?’ I asked. She responded by correcting me, saying: ‘what is typhoon?’ This was on Sunday, 29th of September 2008 shortly before noon. About an hour or so after finishing talking with Alisha I got a call from a friend-Aminata-in Yang-Ming University, Taipei. She told me how they were told that a typhoon was coming so were advised not go out. She went further to explain to me how devastating a typhoon could be and the one being expected could very destructive.

Heads up! Typhoon is coming for this weekend, store water and food!!! My first impression was a little bit scaring because I had no idea of the magnitude of the so called, “Typhoon”, moreover I just knew they were pretty much like hurricanes and they could do a lot of damage if we did not take care of ourselves. Anyways, before I keep narrating this little story, let me introduce myself, my name is Oscar Chow, I am an Industrial Engineer from the beautiful country of Nicaragua and I’m here in this amazing country called Taiwan. I came to study a Master of Science in the Industrial Engineering and Management field and so far everything has been full of stories. In this particular case, I will tell you about my first experience with Typhoons.

“Typhoon, what is a Typhoon?” I thought when I read my project manager's email communicating to the international students that Typhoon Sinlaku was to hit Taiwan Friday September 12th, 2008. In her email our project manager advised us to take care and to buy plenty of food and water for the weekend because almost every store and restaurant was closed on Typhoon days.

It was my third week in Taiwan and I was just adapting to my new environment in a new land . A land of a vast difference to what I have known all of my life.

I was sitting in the cafeteria having my lunch and just observing my surroundings and the people as they went about with their lives, eating, laughing, chatting, or trying to study amidst all the hustle and bustle that took place during the lunch hour in the cafeteria.

The word “Typhoon” sounds threatening and indeed it is for anyone who has ever experienced a typhoon, most especially for the first time. My first typhoon experience in Taiwan is one of my memorable events during my stay in Taiwan so far.

Hola (Spanish) I’m from Honduras, my name is Maria Elena Tejeda, but my friends use to call me Malena. I am studying at the NTU; I have jointed the College of Agricultural Economics about one month ago.

I have now experienced many Typhoons in Taiwan, it seems as if the beauty of the island of “Formosa” is alluring not only to curious human visitors, but even nature herself cannot resist the temptation of unfortunately visiting Taiwan and unleashing it’s force.

According to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia Typhoon can be defined as a tropical cyclone that forms in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Typhoon seasons include the entirety of the calendar year; however, most storms tend to form between May and November. The word "typhoon" comes from the Chinese word tái fēng or toifung. Also, in Greek mythology Typhon, who is the final son of Gaia, and fathered by Tartarus, the god of wind. Typhon attempts to replace Zeus as the king of gods and men. Typhon was described as the largest and most grotesque of all creatures that have ever lived, having a hundred serpent heads; however, he was defeated by Zeus who crushed Mount Etna on him. Just great food for thought!