Week 5 now (and I’m late posting I know D: )! I’ve had some exciting things happen this week in terms of School. I’ve recently joined NTU’s own traditional Japanese dance club! I’m more then ecstatic to be a part of this group as I’m quite interested in Japanese culture as I am with Chinese and Taiwanese. Taiwan’s historical connections with Japan throughout the years, mostly due to Japanese occupation, makes it a unique place to explore Japanese culture. There are plenty of modern influences too from specifically Japanese tailored Karaoke bars to entire alleys built to emulate classic Japanese storefronts. There are a lot of Japanese living in Taiwan to learn Mandarin, and they’re very friendly— I’ve met quite a few, and they’ve all been open and talkative people. It’s especially fun to communicate in Mandarin only, this true of the club’s dance instructor. She is a geiko who speaks Japanese and Mandarin, luckily for me she also knows some basic English, but for the most part I follow her instruction in Mandarin.
The club meets every Tuesday from seven to nine o’clock. A bit rough on my sleep schedule, but worth it in the end. I hope I will be able to stay with them long enough to perform on stage.
Besides the club, I also met up with my language partner. She introduced me to her roommate who is a senior like myself, as well as an international languages major. Their personalities are different, but they get along well with each other. Which was as great to see as it was fun to interact with. Our meet up this week took us around the bustling district of Ximen 西门町, where we tried candied fruits, fried squid (I dropped a piece on myself), and spicy sausage.
Though the weekly meeting is at minimum supposed to last an hour, we all talked for nearly four! And now we might plan a trip Jiufen 九份 and the nearby cat village— I need to go to the cat village, I’ve been missing my cats at home so much.
I’ve got to start taking even more pictures now that I think about it. My school back in the US is holding a study aboard photo contest, and I’d like to submit a few that might be possible winners. Of course, I can’t let the thought of winning a small photo competition keep me from enjoying the moments I’m in while here, but the thought in the back of my mind does keep me aware about how special the time I’m spending here is. Almost seems even more fleeting.
But, for the coming week I’m going to be on my picture A-game!
Until next time!