Week 4 is coming to a close! I think that means it’s time to make some milk tea 奶茶, wrap some jiaozi 包饺子 and watch a movie with friends. It’s been a full week of language exchanges, dinners, and learning so it’s time for a break for sure.
By far the highlight of the week was the three-hour language exchange mixer I attended (and let thoroughly destroy me sleep schedule halfway through the week. Worth every second). Back during the Mid-autumn festival barbecue, I met a Taiwanese party-goer who later invited me to a dinner with a group of other Mandarin speaking foreigners, then after a hardy meal we all shuffled over to a small bookstore where we spread into tables and sat among even more new people to mingle with. The first hour was strictly English, the next Mandarin, and the third was supposedly supposed to be strictly Japanese but ended up being any other language.
I met a plethora of new people that night, from England to Malaysia, high-level speakers, to no-experience at all. I cannot get over the absolute magic I feel when switching between two languages. It’s not switching codes, it’s not switching personalities, it’s not really a switch at all; rather, it’s a connection between one language to another, and the world instantly becomes that much bigger. I’m a big language nerd.
Doing meet ups like that forces me to rely more heavily on my Mandarin skills, consequently improving them little by little every time. I’ll definitely be going back to that meetup— but until them, the same dinner group is headed off to Keelung beach, for the weekend! I’ll be sure to take plenty of pictures for that trip.
I think once the weekend is over, I’ll take the new week to cool my heels.
Projects for work are starting to roll in. Next week will be my first face to face meeting with a high school student at Fulbright. I hope I can be of use to them. I would be nice to become a resource for someone when they have issues applying for colleges. We’ve all been there, it’s a difficult process, one I just about gave up on, so I want to offer these kids someone on their side.
Forgot to mention! The student activities fair at NTU happened on the 17th. I picked up flyers from several clubs, but I’m especially interested in the Beijing Opera performance club, and the traditional Chinese orchestra. I’m nervous to check them out, but they overall seem welcoming to foreign students. Wish me luck!