To start, I want to explain the title of this week’s blog. I recently came to the realization that time is fleeting me, and I only have about a month and a half left here. This realization stems from my desire that I want to do so much, I’m still in La La Land, and I have fell in love with Taiwan, and I haven’t even explored 10% of it. I’m grateful for the opportunity to study at NTU, and I’m even more so to have had the wonderful experiences thus far. In a way, I wish I could be more selfish, I wish I could stay longer, I wish, I wish, but just wanting doesn’t make dreams come true, I have to earn it. I digress, like the title suggests, I really do only have a little more than an month left, and I hope to best of it, I have to.
7/2 – 7/6
Throughout my time here, I realized that there is a clear difference between half-a$#ing and complete dedication. On one hand, I could attempt these homework assignments halfheartedly to perhaps get by the next day; or, I could spent the majority of my free time reading and striving to comprehend the text, but that results in no time to pursue my other fun, but frivolous interests like shopping for clothes, touring bookstores, and exploring new places. Unfortunately, I’m apart of the latter half, and throughout the week it’s mostly sleeping and then hitting the hay. Rinse and repeat.
To be honest, I have no idea what happened Friday. I didn’t even go out, I just stayed at home, but for the purposes of writing this blog, I am struggling to remember what I did. Though my memory isn’t the best in the world, I do remember that I watched a Ted Talk by Caroline McHugh called “The Art Of Being Yourself”. The video is Ms. McHugh talking about the wonders of being one’s self, accepting one’s self, and how that process can enlighten one’s life. In the context of time, I quote, “because you get to that stage in your life you realize that there are more summers behind you than in front of you and everything intensifies”, this line is deeply inspiring to me. In a way, it encourages me to live in the present, and to enjoy life, because the day when I realize that there are more summers behind me; well, that’s a long time in the future.
Back a few weeks ago, I met up with a Taiwanese friend whom was also my mentor back at WKU. She took me and the other WKU students to this beef noodle soup place near Guting MRT. At the time, I was awed by the location, I believed that only locals could find this place, because it was in a neighborhood, not where the other stores and shops are. On Saturday my roommate and I looked for that place again, fortunately, we found the place. Unfortunately, it was closed. I forgot that most “local” shops are only open during the weekdays, and usually only chains like McDonald or Starbucks would be open. In the end, we decided to venture to this Japanese restaurant called “Sukiya”, and it was there I met two people by the name of Paul, from Toronto, and Kevin from France. Paul was a English teacher teaching kids middle through high school, he’s been teaching for over a year thus far. Kevin’s on break and he decided to travel to Taiwan to visit Paul, they were good friends and they joked a lot with us. We didn’t talk for long until we went our separate ways, and that experience was deeply interesting to me, as I had the chance to meet people whom I might never meet again.
That night, me, Sam, and our friends traveled to Taipei Main Station again, but it was to tour around the underground malls, of which there was 2 whole malls. I learned there that Taipei Main was also the place where the high speed rail resided, the powerful transportation tool that could take you from Taipei (North) to Tainan (South-West) in about two to three hours. I also learned that Taiwanese people uses a different set of measurements than in the States. They tend to use centimeters for measurements sizes rather than a 32×32 (pants). It was a fun night of touring around, and I enjoyed it greatly.
Before ICLP ever started, they assigned me a “Language Partner”, essentially a friend whom you meet up with once in awhile to practice speaking everyday Chinese. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have never met her until Sunday. At first, I thought it was a male because of the person’s name, but when a random stranger (female) walks up to you, I’m sure you can imagine why I was flustered. She was very kind, but she also made me go order tea for her in Chinese, to practice my skills. In the end, we toured around a place called 228 Garden, it was pretty, has amazing architecture, and it’s surprising how the atmosphere can take you away from the city, even though technically you’re still in the city. All in all I had a pretty good week!