What will happen now?
First I planned this to be my finale article to the blog. I still want to mention a few things and conclude my blog. But maybe this won’t be the end of my blog after all: This week I handed in my application for an semester abroad in Taiwan! If I get accepted I will spend the winter semester 2012/13 at a university in Taichung. This is so exciting! I am sure it will be difficult for me without any knowledge of Chinese language – but think of the opportunities! I can learn some Chinese and I will have 5 more months to explore Taiwanese culture. Also I am sure that learning and teaching methods in Taiwan will be different from those in my university in Germany. There will be lots to learn! If I get accepted I will continue this blog for the period of my studies in Taiwan.
As a conclusion of my blog for now, here some remarks:
Travelling in Taiwan?
During my two weeks in Taiwan my host family took care of my very well. I didn’t have to travel on my own, so I can only imagine what it would be like to travel there alone and without any knowledge of Chinese. I think if you are a bit adventurous that should be no problem. In Taipei, the main city, many signs are available in English. Public transport also offers English signs. In Taichung, the other city that I visited, there were not so many signs in English. Also not in the public transport. There you have to rely on locals to help you find your way (or have a very good guide book). As many other travellers to Taiwan stated, I can confirm that Taiwanese people are very friendly and helpful. So you don’t have to be afraid to ask for directions. But not everybody there speaks English, so you might have to ask around quite a bit. If you stay in a better hotel, the staff should speak English and you can get directions there. Many of the other Say Taiwan participants travelled without their host family – and they managed.
Pearl Milk Tea
On the day of my arrival in Taiwan I tasted an interesting drink: Pearl Milk Tea. This drink is very famous in Taiwan, I saw it a lot during my time there and drank it three times. So what is so special about this drink? The taste of the liquid itself is good. The speciality is the “pearls” in the drink. They are small, soft balls that sink to the bottom of the drink. With an extra thick drinking straw they mix with the drink while drinking. For me this was an interesting experience, I am not used to having to chew my drink! Also it can get complicated when too many pearls get in the drinking straw at once 😉
Actually Pearl Milk Tea is something that you can try without travelling to Taiwan. Apparently it already got popular in the USA and it is now also appearing in some German shops! Just today I saw a flyer of a place in Nürnberg that offers this drink under the name Bubble Tea: Yummy – or this one also in Nürnberg: www.boboq.de.
Today I went to the city with my friend Sabine and we tried the bubble tea at Yummy. It was funny because you had to choose between different teas, flavours, Tapioka “pearls” to put into the drink as well as toppings.
Oh I miss the wonderful seafood of Taiwan! So many times we went to seafood restaurants. Especially in Keelung, the hometown of my host family. Keelung is situated at the north coast of Taiwan, therefore the restaurants have very fresh fish available. At a fish market in Keelung you can also buy the living fish or seafood to prepare them yourself at home or to have them prepared at a nearby restaurant. What I loved about eating in Taiwan was the concept that you don’t usually have your own dish, but share different dishes with the whole group. So you can try a bit of everything!
Say Taiwan – I literally say that a lot since my two-week stay in Taiwan. I believe that “Say Taiwan” was a very good idea to promote Taiwan in the world. At least in Germany, many people don’t know Taiwan. When I tell them about my trip to Taiwan, they often understand “Thailand” because that is a country they know. About this topic I found a funny video explaining the main differences between Taiwan and Thailand, but I guess after reading in my blog you should know at least that much about Taiwan 😉
I will keep you updated on any news on my semester abroad, I hope it will work out!
As a final conclusion I have some videos for you:
My personal summary video
Some details (for instance on the maps) might not be totally accurate. Please excuse that.
A day at Chunghwa Telecom video
This video was created by Chunghwa Telecom. Unfortunately due to their choice of music youtube blocked the video from German viewers. So I hope it is fine that I changed the music and uploaded it again so that you can also see it. Viewers not based in Germany can try to watch the original link. As I joined the events of Chunghwa Telecom, you will also see me on some pictures.
Official summary video (in Chinese)