A Taiwanese Summer (Weeks 1-2)

The excitement of going abroad finally set in once saw were en route to Narita. After weeks of preparing, the time has finally come and I was ready for what the summer had in store. Once we landed in Kaohsiung, we stayed overnight but took a train to northern Taiwan. The high speed railway is unreal and I wish we had one back at home for my trips to and from home to San Luis Obispo. Our first stop to Taroko was a breathe of fresh air. Away from the concrete jungle of home, being surrounded by surreal greenery and of course, giant spiders was interesting. Jiufen was interesting, seeing both intense greenery but breathtaking city views. Our stop in Taipei reminded me of Los Angeles, the hustle and bustle but the people are nicer.  
Narita from the air!
On the way to Taipei with Matt and the rest of the Taiwan cohort
A trail in Taroko
Once we got to Kaohsiung, I was surprised! The greenery didn’t stop. The city is riddled with trees and it helps break up the intense wall of buildings. Unlike home, there there maybe a single tree amongst the towers of concrete, the signs of a tropical island are everywhere. My Mandarin is slowly coming back but it’s frustrating at the same time to piece sentences and phrases back together. I know, for the most part, what people are saying, I just don’t have the reply. I haven’t started research yet but I enjoy the free time to explore the city and just take a small break since the program started while I was still in Spring Quarter. Currently in between the honeymoon phase and homesickness, but it waxes and wanes. Current mood: excited  – Brendon