So, the last several weeks have been fairly uneventful for me. Engineering midterms are never easy, but this is especially true when you are studying in a completely different language. Most of my free time has been devoted to desperately cramming as much engineering-related material into my brain in preparation of the test that I will, invariably, fail (everyone fails, but that is a post for another time).
Interestingly, in all of this studying and stress, I managed to get another glimpse into 1) Taiwanese culture and 2) the Taiwanese political situation.
Taiwanese religious practices fall into three main faiths: Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Most of the ornately decorated temples that one would see dotted around any major city belong to one of these major religions.
One of the beliefs of Taoism is that the gods will, occasionally desire to be moved to a new location (a.k.a new temple). However, when this occurs, it must happen in style. There will be no throwing the gods in the back of an old truck to haul them across the city. Streets must be sectioned off and police utilized to redirect the flow of traffic so that the gods may reach their destination in peace.
Air raid drill:
As a result of Taiwan’s tentative position as an independent country, there is a constant, underlying tension among the people. Although a very far-flung and unlikely outcome, there is a possibility that mainland China could attack at any time.
As a result of this, every-once-in-awhile, there are air raid drills in which all public transportation is shut down, and people must remain off of the streets. Volunteers police the streets insuring that the drills are taken seriously. Although, any attack is EXTREMELY unlikely, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.