And how are things in Taipei?

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Or, happy new year! Last week the year started with big fireworks from the Taipei 101, the five hundred meters high icon of the city which looks like a bunch of noodle boxes. New Year is not an official celebration in Taiwan, so we just had lectures on the 31st of December and the 1st of January.

Also Christmas is not celebrated here. The only Christmas tree I spotted was at Starbucks and some unlucky ones even had exams on Christmas Day. Still, together with other exchange students we had a delicious Christmas dinner.

In Taiwan everything is different than in the Netherlands. People eat on night-markets instead of in their homes and people wait in a straight line for arriving metros, where in the Netherlands it seems more like a fight for who can enter the train first.

Taiwanese people don’t speak English and because my Chinese vocabulary stops after ‘Hallo’, ‘Thanks’, ‘Two beers’ and ‘not too spicy’, talking with locals looks more like a stage play. Taiwanese students are also surprisingly bad at English. Because I am in a group with five Taiwanese students, making progress in projects is quite difficult. Communication is a bit like this: Each time I say something within the group, they discuss in Chinese about the thing I just said. It is followed by a few seconds of silence when they are wondering who is going to respond to me in English. Finally, a reaction follows. Very funny to experience!

Taiwan is centrally located in Asia which makes it easy to travel to other countries. I have visited Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan. In Taiwan itself there are also enough nice places spot, primarily mountains and coast lines. So, if you like traveling, adventure and sunny weather, visit Taiwan!

Share this article