Etter å ha reist rundt i Australia og Bali i nesten en måned kom Cecilie den 10.Mars. og den 12.Mars kom foreldrene mine fra Norge. Min fantastiske vertsfar Plasma tok oss med på en bytur rundt i Kaohsiung. Vi startet med å ta et amfibitekjøretøy(kan kjøre på vann og land) en tur rundt i Love-River, som er en lang elv som renner gjennom byen. Etter det reiste vi til 85-Tower, som er Kaohsiungs høyeste tårn, til slutt spiste vi bursdagsmiddagen min. Jeg kunne ikke spurt om en bedre bursdag!
Vi startet neste dag med en tur i Monkey Mountain, som rett og slett er et fjell med apekatter. Etter dette besøkte vi et buddhistisk tempel som ofte blir kalt The Big Buddha, det er fantastisk fint!
|The Big Buddha|
Den tredje dagen våknet vi kjempetidlig for å kjøre til et sted som heter Kenting, dette var min første gang her, så det var noe jeg virkelig så fram til. Kenting er så syd du kommer ned i Taiwan, så det er veldig fint der med mye strender, stein og hav. Når vi kom hjem på kvelden hadde vi en velkomstmiddag til foreldrene mine. Med vertsfamiliene mine og kontaktpersonen min, det var veldig hyggelig!
I Taipei så vi mye forskjellig, blant annet National Palace Museum som er et veldig fint museum, Taipei 101 som er Taiwans høyeste tårn og verdens nest høyeste tårn og Yangmingshan Nasjonalpark. Dette er en gigantisk nasjonalpark fullt av ting å se, men desverre hadde vi bare satt av en dag. Vi gikk til Mt. Cising som er det høyest fjellet i parken. det som også er kult med dette fjellet er at det var en vulkan for 200.000 år siden var en aktiv vulkan, derfor var det mange steder hvor det kom opp svovelgass, det luktet ikke så godt, men veldig kult å oppleve.
Den 20. Mars reiste familien videre til Thailand, det var en ganske trist dag, men jeg hadde det iallefall fantastisk mens de var her!
Jeg har Lenge hatt lyst til å beskrive Taiwan for dere, men synes det har vert litt vanskelig. Men heldigvis skrev min fantastiske Kanadiske venn Daniel en veldig bra bloggpost om det på bloggen hans: http://taiwansformation.tumblr.com/
Denne posten speiler perfekt mine følelser og tanker om taiwan:
Please note, everyone in Taiwan is different and this is just based on what I have seen.
1.I f it wasn’t obvious already, they speak Chinese and Taiwanese. Not English.
2. Unlike Canada, Taiwan is a more homogenous society, therefore almost everyone is Asian. If you don’t look anything like an Asian, be prepared to be stared at VERY often. Well, this is mostly true especially if you live in the south of Taiwan because the further north you go, the more foreigners there are. This being said, Taiwanese love foreigners and everything that is foreign. You will automatically be a topic of interest.
However if you’re like me and are trying to practice your Chinese, sometimes it gets annoying that people AUTOMATICALLY speak to you in English just because you look foreign.
3. When you try to guess someone’s age, always add 5-10 years to whatever your first guess was. Everyone looks younger than they really are… or Canadians just look older. I don’t know.Example: Oh they look 12 but they’re actually 20.
4. Whenever you go out for a meal, the meal is usually a communal experience. This means that whenever you are ordering food at a restaurant, you might actually be ordering for everybody at your table. Canada’s concept of everyone ordering what they would like to eat isn’t as common in Taiwan. In these cases of communal meals, whenever you see the fruit plate come, that means the meal is over. If you’re still hungry and you see the fruit coming, SORRY. Don’t worry though because in Taiwan people are always eating.
5. There is no such thing (or at least that I’ve seen) as “lean meat”. In fact, you will encounter people eating any part of the animal they can eat rather than taking off bits of fat from it. Sometimes they just eat the skin or fat alone because that’s “the most delicious part”.
6. Soy milk is cheaper than regular milk. Buying a meal on the street could be cheaper than grocery shopping. For example, With $4CAD you could probably buy two meals in Taiwan that will make you full.
7. Taiwanese chocolate is horrible. Always go for the foreign one. Don’t be fooled by something that looks like chocolate because it’ll actually be red bean. I don’t think it tastes bad, but it’s weird to eat sweet beans rather than salty. Sweets in Taiwan are never as sweet as you might be used to. Never.
8. 7-11 and Family Mart are more common than Starbucks and Tim Hortons in Canada. You can grocery shop in these convenience stores.
9. Tea. Learn to like it or leave. :P
10. Taiwanese people are normally very shy and won’t approach you unless you approach them first. However, they are some of the nicest and most welcoming people in the world. This “welcoming” factor might be taken too far sometimes and they begin to ask you personal questions like “How much money do you make?” or “What’s your blood type?” Don’t be shocked by these (they’re only trying to be welcoming), but don’t feel forced to answer them.
11. Good luck finding a garbage can ANYWHERE. If you find a trash can, take a selfie with it because they are not the most common thing— except in MRT stations. However, THE GARBAGE TRUCK PLAYS MUSIC.
12. “Washing your hands” is a two second rinse under water.
13. If you want a glass of cold water, ASK for ice water. Otherwise, if you just ask for water, it’ll be warm.
14. The stereotype that all Asians eat snakes, insects, and dogs is not true! I’ve mentioned this idea to many Taiwanese and they cringe at the idea. However, there are places that do eat these animals.
15. Burping, eating with your mouth open and slurping up your noodles/soup is a common occurrence and not considered “impolite”. If you find these things disgusting, you’re gonna want to change those thoughts because they will be EVERYWHERE. However, when you floss… for GOODNESS’ sake cover your mouth because no one wants to see that.
16. The shower is just a tube connected to a wall with a head. It is totally normal to have water all over the bathroom floor. For this reason, there are special shoes that you use in the bathroom.
17. A sparkling white toilet can be a miracle. A TOILET can be a miracle because you will often see the squat toilets. Either learn to use the squat toilet or make sure you have a map to all the normal toilets.
18. The weather will be RIDICULOUSLY HOT from March to early October. The weather will be hot in October, November, and February. You will have to wear a sweater the rest of the months. (*NOTE: This is if you live in the south).
19. Taiwan is NOT CHINA. NO. Don’t EVER say that. Traditional > Simplified characters.
20. If in high school: Only the teachers switch classes and not the students. You will almost never leave your classroom and you better make good friends with the people sitting next to you because you will also eat lunch with them every day.
21. No recess. Only a 40-ish minute nap time every afternoon. My question was WHY do they need a nap time? The regular Taiwanese sleeping schedule only lasts 6 hours a night. If you sleep more than that then apparently you “really like to sleep”. However, you see the consequences of the lack of sleep when students fall asleep in between classes. Sleeping when there isn’t class is needed and don’t wake someone up.
22. School is also from about 7:30-5:00 so be prepared for long days. Taiwanese students also have night school and school on Saturdays. Oh, and you know those 2 months of summer vacation? Well they go to school for one of those months (some more), but it’s STILL two months of vacation.
23. White skin, blonde hair, and light eyes are all considered beautiful. If you are tan then the “sun has done damage to you”.
24. Gender-roles are clearly defined, however I consider Taiwan a more progressive country than other Asian countries.
25. Surgical masks have three purposes: because they worry about air pollution, they prevent others from getting sick, and they are a fashion statement.
26. Taiwanese people don’t know how to drive safely so much so, that they call their own roads “Tigers” and usually their goodbye to you is “Be careful when you’re on the road!” There are no stop signs because no one would follow them. Green means go. Yellow means go faster because you don’t want to miss the green. Red means you still sort of have time to go through if it just changed or just go while honking.
27. Often, you will see a yellow paper with a design on it being burned on the street. This is “money”. A religious practice.
28. Fancy barbecues don’t exist like they do in North America. In Taiwan, it is just a rack with wood at the bottom. I don’t know how to explain it.
29. Children act like children until they get to university. This is when they begin transitioning into adults whereas the western world starts earlier.
30. The relationship between teacher and student is like friends, although the teacher must be respected.
31. I thought Canadians were always too busy looking at their phones. I was wrong.
32. Any person that is familiar on how to use a phone— no matter the age— will probably be playing a game on it.
33. Respect the rules and don’t fight the power. Taiwanese people who are older than you don’t like to be challenged. If you challenge them it will be a sign of disrespect.
34. On an escalator, stand on the right, walk on the left. On a train, do NOT sit in the priority seat. Do not eat or drink on the MRT. These rules are almost sacred.
35. Do not tip at restaurants.
36. The focus of Taiwanese culture is convenience. People eat at restaurants a lot more frequently than Canadians would. Some families eat out for every meal.
37. Careful on the beach because you might drown.
38. If you have to walk more than five minutes, it’s too far. Biking is very common though.
39. There are more motorcycles (scooters) in Taiwan than people.
40. It may be forty degrees outside but Taiwanese people will always eat hot meals. There is a custom that eating hot food is better for your health.
41. Everything you eat that comes from Taiwan is good for your skin or your body or anything. You will often hear older people telling you to eat things because it is good for ANYTHING.
42. Bring toilet paper with you everywhere you go (This one goes mostly for the females).
43. The majority of Taiwanese life occurs on the west-side of the country. The east-side is mostly mountains but it does has a few things. A few. Some call it (Literally translated) “Good water. Good mountains. Very Boring”
44. You can negotiate at night markets, and using the “foreign exchange student” excuse works c: However, food and drinks are ridiculously cheap so there is no point in negotiating for that.
45. The sidewalk is the side of the street.
46. Because the weather is tropical-esque there will be a lot of bugs and animals you will encounter. There are stray dogs and cats everywhere (As long as you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you). Spiders can be enormous, cockroaches, rats, and you better wish right now you have a special blood-type because mosquitoes will eat you alive if you don’t.
47. Make sure your feet are DRY before putting your shoes on and always let your feet breathe every so often. Otherwise you will get foot fungus.
48. They will give you a certificate for ANYTHING you have done that was good.
49. Rice is a required part of every meal. If it isn’t rice, it’s noodles. And if you’re lucky you’ll get to try noodles made out of rice.
50. Cake sucks.
51. Almost every foreigner you encounter in Taiwan (that LIVES in Taiwan) will be a teacher of something. Usually English.
52. You have a cough? A stuffy nose? GO TO THE DOCTOR YOU MIGHT BE TERMINALLY ILL.
53. If you are a size S in America, you will be a XXXL in Taiwan. I’ve been here 7 months and still don’t understand the size business.
54. Going into the pool without a swim cap is considered unhygienic because your hair will go into the pool. Girls, don’t wear bikinis because that exposes too much.
55. Ice cream is literally ice but with beans.
56. Bubble Milk Tea. DuoduoLu. These will be your best drink friends. However, there are multitudes of drink shops with thousands of varieties.
57. Pineapple cake is not cake but let’s just go with it because it tastes really good.
58. Say “Thank you” in Chinese to any adult and they will automatically say “WOW YOUR CHINESE IS SO GOOD!”
59. A mall sells things at prices infinitely more expensive than small shops or night markets.
60. If you eat an apple without cutting it up, people will laugh at you. Why? I have no idea but they just do.
61. While there are so many more things I could write, I will leave it a mystery so you to find out for yourself. Taiwan is unique, amazing, yet an under-appreciated country in Asia. It is my home in Asia. Long live the Formosa!
Det var det for denne gangen, hjemreisen er nå bestemt, dere vil se meg hjemme igjen fra 3.Juli :)