Blogs from Taiwan, Asia - page 2


Asia » Taiwan » Kenting July 30th 2015

Hi everyone! Sorry I missed out on last weekend's blog post... Not much happened last week, so it was much easier to procrastinate writing a post. Last weekend most of the girls went to Taipei for the weekend, although KC and I hung out in Taichung, due to lack of both funds and interest. On Friday night we made our way back to Fung Jia night market, which was actually more fun with just the two of us. I'm finding that lots of things are actually easier and more fun to do with fewer people. When there is a large group, so much time is lost trying to please everyone, but with only two it is much easier to simply detour into whichever stores catch your fancy. We ended up in a lot of clothing and ... read more
Why yes, I am holding a shotgun...
Picture perfect beach

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei » Sansia July 19th 2015

To talk about reasons for my decision to go travelling, it's important to have a bit of background on my lifestyle in the UK, as well as motivations for leaving. I wanted to escape the trap of buying a house, getting married, and settling into a job I wasn't passionate about. I'd also squandered my free education on a degree that I wasn't passionate about, because there seemed to be few other options when I finished school. I'd coasted through school, not caring about grades, or trying earn lots of money later on in life. I spent my degree doing exactly the same thing. To me, a degree was a way of meeting people, and gaining life experience away from home, rather than the educational experience. The education was just something you had to get through ... read more

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung July 18th 2015

Hi everyone! It's crazy how fast a week goes by here. This past Monday marked our first real day of classes. We now have four different teachers: Yu laoshi, Wu (Molly) laoshi, Hong laoshi, and Bai laoshi. We also got our textbooks on Monday, and have been speeding through the chapters. Admittedly, we already know the grammar points from each chapter, but with each chapter we are learning tons of new vocabulary. Last Friday, Yu laoshi had us start with the fourth chapter of our textbooks. Yesterday (Friday), we ended class a little over halfway through chapter 6. Even with four hours of class each day and two hours of study hall/tutoring, we are going at an alarming rate. We will probably slow down soon though, because we chose the more difficult of the two textbook ... read more
Bai laoshi's modification of Trini's calligraphy
Fish and a flower
Casually painting bamboo

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung July 12th 2015

Hi everyone! Tis the season for typhoons here in Taiwan. This means rainy, cloudy weather, with lots of wind and grey days. Luckily, here in Taichung we are protected by the mountains that run through the middle of Taiwan, so we don't have it nearly as bad as Taipei (because I am enrolled in the STEP program I got an email from the government that they closed the American Institute in Taiwan on Friday due to the bad weather). In fact, the wind is actually quite nice, because it lowers both the temperature and the number of mosquitos. Regardless, we tend to try and stay in on the evenings there is a typhoon warning in effect (three so far). On one of the days, our challenge was to translate three recipes, then trade with another group ... read more
Our dinner, made on two camping stoves with two pots
Colorful Iron Man at 彩虹村
Trini and Annastasia at Rainbow Village

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung July 6th 2015

I've settled into my dorm room here in Taichung. There are definitely some differences between the dorms here and the dorms in the US. I think I'm starting to get used to them, but it's been a little hard. Let's just say they don't appear to be as clean as the ones in the US, however it is nice to have a permanent place to live for the next 7 weeks. We started class on June 30th, but we've mostly been doing outings (will talk about those more) and group projects/presentations. Tomorrow we take our placement test, I'm kinda nervous about that. Tunghai University is REALLY big compared to Puget Sound. They own about 345 acres of land. They even have their own dairy farm on campus! I heard they make ice cream... I haven't tried ... read more

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung July 4th 2015

Hi everyone! Happy 4th of July! I can't believe it's already been a month since I left home! That's crazy! Anyways, I've successfully found my way to the university where I will be studying for the next two months. For the first few nights we stayed in the Alumni House on campus, which is basically a hotel and was very nice. We had wifi (which we don't have in the dorms - we have to connect using ethernet) and air conditioning (which we have in the dorms but have to ration because it takes credits, and once we run out, we have to pay for more). When we first arrived, we checked in and got ourselves situated before meeting Yu Laoshi (our teacher) for a welcome dinner. She brought us to this little soup dumpling (more ... read more
Taichung Lake
Luce Chapel
More soup dumplings

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei June 28th 2015

Hi everyone! Tonight is my last night in Taipei. Tomorrow I head down to Taichung to begin my study program at Tunghai University. Before I talk more about Taiwan, I would like to apologize as I more or less promised photos of hanboks. It turned out that the place Tanya and I were planning on going to was only open like one week a month or something, so we didn't get to go do that. Also, we did try the Kpop museum again, and found that we had been at the wrong building the first time, but that it was closed on Sunday (although it should have been open - especially since that Sunday was the start of the last week the exhibit was supposed to be open. It was very weird and kind of disappointing, ... read more
Strange breakfast hamburger
Outside is too humid
Taipei 101

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei June 28th 2015

It is my last night in Taipei before I go to Taichung where the Tunghai University is located. A lot has happened these last couple of days. Trini and Makenzie joined me and Katie on Friday. On the morning of their arrival, we all went out to find some food. Since it was only 9AM a lot of the shops and places to eat were closed. We finally found this little place and walked in. We couldn't really read the menu and the woman behind the counter was speaking very fast to us. We said we were American and she seemed to understand why we were just standing there looking at her and then at each other. Two very nice women helped us order food and found us a place to sit. Makenzie, Katie, and I ... read more

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei June 26th 2015

Two weeks in Taiwan Less than 24 hours after landing in Taiwan we were accompanying Will's uncle Paul to an aboriginal wedding in the Nantou mountains. We travelled across Taichung (the city Will's uncle lives in) to a 7-Eleven to catch an organised minibus to the wedding along with some other guests. The atmosphere on the bus was a lively mix of South African, English and Canadian expats, who all teach English in local schools. The groom, a colleague of Paul's from Wales, was marrying a Taiwanese lady from an aborigine tribe in the Nantou mountains. We were the last to arrive and had to awkwardly squeeze through many large circular tables filled with hundreds of guests from the village to find some spare seats at the front. Quickly seated and with the attention diverted away ... read more
Spit roasted pig at the aborigone wedding
Chefs making Xiao Long Bau
Handmade lantern shop

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei June 25th 2015

After the long flight (about 12 and a half hours) and waiting in the airport for Katie , I've finally made it to Taipei, Taiwan! At first I thought it didn't feel that humid, but I was totally wrong... It was so humid after Katie and I walked off the bus that took us from the airport to Taipei. I started sweating immediately. Finding the hostel turned out to be a slight problem. Even though we had the directions written down and had both watched the video that was emailed to us, we still ended up getting lost... We got lost within a block of the hostel. After turning around various times we finally found it! When we went out to explore, we realized we had walked right past the street that would have taken us ... read more

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