Matt, our site mentor, came along with me to take a tour of the lab and meet my PI. I was very surprised that my lab is huge consisting of 30 members and two floors in the building. The lab is crowded with a lot of equipment and people here tend to reuse a lot of used materials. I find that different from working in my lab in the U.S. where we discard used materials and use sterile equipment but here in Taiwan, I found some interesting methods and equipment. There was a funny moment when Matt and I met the lab secretary where she was confused, wondering if I was the teacher and Matt was the student. Vice versa. Being Asian, Taiwanese people assume that I am Taiwanese and/or speak and understand Chinese.
I was surprised that most or all my lab mates were above the age of 28 since they look so young. My lab mates were very friendly, some could speak English so they can help you. They invited me to eat lunch a couple of time, especially to the very popular food stands around Kaohsiung. I finally got to ride on a moped, even though I have ridden motorcycles in the states. It is just a different setting and environment. I also joined some members in their weekly Monday night badminton. It was definitely interesting to see the same atmosphere and setting in the badminton courts in America and Taiwan. I enjoyed my time but the big difference here is that it is extremely hot.