你好 from 臺南 (Tainan) !
About a week ago my travel towards Asia started and now I’m on a little Island called Taiwan which doesn’t really want to be part of China, but shhh…. Anyway the spoken language is Chinese, Mandarin to be specific. In addition to Chinese about 60% of the inhabitants have also Taiwanese as their mother tongue. Sorry to disappoint you, but no I can’t tell those too languages apart (yet!), just give me four more months 😉
Though I always get pretty excited if I recognize and understand some words. I’m actually getting along pretty well with numbers, which is very important if you want to know the price for example. Soon, I hope my Chinese skills increase rapidly since I’m participating in a 15h per week Chinese course. I feel very grateful and lucky to be able to participate! My goal is being able to cross Taiwan with my learned Chinese skills without being dependent on my English knowledge or my body language.
In addition to the language course I’ve signed up for two courses at the management department. Both courses will be held in English. The number of students in class are rather low nothing in comparison to the big and full lecture rooms at public German universities. This promises a high-quality and challenging education but demands some effort.
So how is life here in Tainan? For students it’s the most common way to live in a student dormitory. Mostly students live together with one to three other fellow students in a room, whereupon the two-person bedrooms are reserved for exchange students. Though my living situation is quit different to the normal student dormitory. I have a student apartment on my own on the 14th floor of a non-university student dormitory. Besides the bathroom which I have to myself my room provides a beautiful view in city direction. It’s often foggy in the morning therefor I can only provide a cloudy picture to you.
Something I am already missing is my kitchen back in Germany. Though we have a common kitchen on the roof top where four kitchens are provided. From there you have a lovely view all round. If you have been following me on snapchat you should know the view already. For Taiwanese or students in general it’s rather unusual to cook their meal at home. For example my buddy Yvonne always eats outside the house. Since the food on Yules Street or better known as “food street” is rather low-cost you can easily get full with a budget of 2€ and afford eating out three times a day.
Here you can see us eating a very typical winter dish for dinner which is called hot pot or 火鍋 (huoguo). This is like a stew where you throw all sorts of vegetables or meat such as giblets or seafood inside and anything else you like. To this you usually eat plain white rice which you always keep at hand in a small bowl.
To drink we took a bubble tea which is actually quite famous for Taiwan. Those little pearls have a jelly texture and taste differently depending on the flavor. Though those little funny bubbles didn’t really meet my taste.
You can find those tea shops at every corner in the city and they sell the different types of drinks: from pure black/green tea, with or without milk/milk powder, sugar, ice to smoothies which are thinned with water. Nothing left to be desired: you can decide how warm, hot or cold you drink should be as well as the specific amount of added sugar. But the way best thing about those drinks is a totally different thing: They always get sealed perfectly which makes transportation so easy, without spilling even one drop. So if you like to enjoy the drink later on you take the given sharpened straw and sting it into the sealing, how brilliant!
This was the first insight into my life in Taiwan! I’ll try really hard to publish a post in frequent intervals and to share my life abroad with you. Feel free to leave a question, ideas what I should write about or any other feedback in the commentary.
Take care, or as the Taiwanese would say: bye bye (didn’t guess they would say that, did you? 😉 )