Just in case anyone is concerned, I am doing swimmingly in Taiwan! I have adjusted to life here just fine.
I arrived in Taiwan quite a bit earlier than when my program started. I wanted to be able to experience Taiwan before the grind of engineering studies began, once again. One of my first objectives was to locate a suitable apartment in which to stay. One thing I learned from living in China: when living abroad, don’t “settle” for a place to rest your head. Stress is a constant when living in a foreign country, so you need a home that gives you “peace of mind” away from the outside world.
Finding an apartment in Taiwan was much easier than I had anticipated. Before I left the US, I had sent several emails regarding apartment vacancies. Within the first few days of arriving in Taiwan, I had arranged several showings. Again, going back to what I constantly stress to anyone that asks: Taiwanese people are some of the most welcoming and friendly people I have ever encountered. One potential landlord went so far as to treat me to dinner once she realized that I was new to the country.
Eventually, I found an apartment that I felt suited my needs and wants. My two roommates are fantastic people. The apartment is located within walking distance to the business district AND the famous local mountain, 象山 (XiangShan). I do quite a lot of hiking.
Another great benefit of the apartment into which I moved is the amazing group of friends that I inherited through my roommate. I’m blessed to have found such a great group of open-minded, fun-loving, and caring people.
My trip, thus far, has been so special because of these great friends that I have made!
In the next post, I will give a bit more background on the history and relevance of Taiwan as it exists in the world today. More than from a historical viewpoint, I will try to best express the opinions of Taiwanese people; opinions I have gained through conversation.