My Taiwan Experience

It is now the end of week 5 and the start of week 6 ( I think hahaha). This last week has been filled with ups and downs; honestly there is just so much to talk about, so I put it all in categories below.

Lab:

My lab project has changed a bit, so my advice for future MHIRT students is to always be flexible and prepared for anything. Everyone in my lab is really nice. We laugh all the time and make a lot of funny jokes. They teach us a lot of new words, so I am actually picking up Mandarin really quickly. Every day during lunch my lab will eat together at different restaurants. Every weekend my lab trys to take us out to explore Taiwan. It’s nice because we get to bound outside of work. We went to a karaoke and buffet. That was an incredible experience because we got to see everyone dancing and having a great time. We also took a group trip to monkey mountain, which ended kind of badly because they didn’t tell us that we were taking one of the most difficult hiking trail (or rather we didn’t understand when they said it in Chinese haha). I literally almost passed out. However, I was proud of myself because I made it more than half way up.

Food:

From shaved ice, to cheesy pork. The food here in Taiwan is unexplainable good. I went to three different street markets, in Tainan, Donggang, and here in Kaohsiung. When I was at the one in Tainan I was able to try deep fried milk, which was incredible. It tasted like warm vanilla custard. I also tried some cheesy chicken which was to die for. Oh, by the way this night market is actually the biggest one known in southern Taiwan, so I was really glad that I was able to be a part of that and experience it for myself. In Donggang there was a lot more clothes to buy then food. I bought a cute romper and some gifts for friends. This night market was my favorite because it had a lot of space for people to walk compared to the others. The one here in Kaohsiung is pretty nice too. I was able to gain the courage to try stinky tofo. It was pretty tasty at first but have a very unforgettable after taste. Beside that’s I got to try a very popular Taiwanese coffee latte, which taste sorta like caramel. Basically, I think you all get the point, I love the food here. I was fool to think I could lose weight, when Taiwanese food is incredibly delicious.

Transportation:

Transportation here is extremely convenient. You can take the MRT, bus, train, or taxi. Also walking is always an option. Of course, it’s not always roses. One time we couldn’t communicate with the taxi driver correctly where we needed to go and he dropped us out in the middle of nowhere and told us to get out. I actually felt bad, because I could tell that he was trying so hard to communicate with us but got frustrated and just couldn’t handle it anymore. So we instead got an Uber, which is actually super rare to find here. Advice on transportation:

  • Try your best to travel with one local, or at least with someone who knows Chinese.
  • If you have data or Wifi always have google translator open and read, it is extremely helpful.

Outings:

I went to the National Science and Technology museum which is only a 30 min walk from campus. You can take the bus to shorten the walk time (that’s what I did). I got to see a “Your Name” and the “Studio Ghibli” convention. I bought a lot of gifts (my poor wallet). Hahah I also got to go to Lambai Island, which is the closest island to Kaohsiung. It was really nice we got to eat some amazing mango shaved ice (I’m telling you the food here is amazing), and we got to go in a cave and explore the beach. Okay let me step back to this cave real quick because it was really.. um… interesting. First off we waited in a very long line and when we finally made it to the front, there was a small cave opening. I squeezed myself through only to find that I am stuck between two rocks in a small place in the dark, with only the small light of my cell phone. I continued through throwing my bag to an opening I saw in the cave, and then helping my other fellow MHIRT member with her bag. When we finally got out, I couldn’t believe what I just did. My lab member told me that the name of the cave is called “Black ghost grave”. I am speechless. That was the most craziest thing I have every done. Besides that we stayed in the cutest themed hotel and the Bed and breakfast host was extremely nice. She took the time to show us where the street market was and her husband drove us to the bus station. This weekend we are planning a trip to Kenting, but it’s Typhoon season. We are keeping track of the weather to make sure it is safe. We have about 19 days left here in Taiwan. I want to make everyday worth it.

-Veneese Brown

A monkey from Monkey Mountain.
KMU before a storm
The entrance to the “Black ghost cave”
Before going in the cave
From inside the cave. I really just wanted to get out hahaha
Mango Shaved ice
A current for the turtles. Just like in Finding Nemo.
The port of the island

People collecting sea urchins on the island
Can you find the crab?
The beach from a far on the island.
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