It sure does not feel like it. I have noticed that when I am speaking with my lab mates, I now refer my dormitory as my home.
Conversations would go something like:
Lab mates: We are planning on going to visit this Liang Shan (Mountain) this weekend.
I: What time do you think I’ll be home if I tag along?
To recap on my recent adventures this week, I visited Tainan with my roommate (James). We left via the train station to meet with his lab mates at Tainan. They put us on their mopeds and we left from the train station. They were kind enough to give us a tour of Tainan. Tainan was former capital of Taiwan until 1887 until then moving the capital to Taipei. We visited Confucius Temple, Anping Fort and Chimel Museum while making stops at local places to have shaved ice cream and window shop at the Hayashi Department Store, one of the first department stores in Taiwan. The Hayashi Department and the bank across that had been established by the Japanese in 1916. The Hayashi Department Store had the first elevator, which only went from the first floor to the fifth floor, and it still held remains from bombings of the U.S. since WWII. Having seen the remains brought me back to what the MHIRT program had discussed before leaving San Diego; I am representing not only the program but I have the opportunity to serve as a diplomat for our country and be aware of what is expected of us.
Confucius temple also known for having its first Scholarly Temple adjacent to it, is not only home to Tainan but known as the first of its temple in all of Taiwan. I could not help to fathom how it could have been during those time as I took a picture of the scripture. I was told that in the early days of Taiwan, this school was meant for the elites and learning the scripture was all part of the lesson. I was told that students who attended schools like these had to learn how to ride a horse, archery, and much more. There was also a temple that was made in memory of the person who helped built the temple of Confucius and the first school in Taiwan. At the end of the tour in the temple, we were able to write down a wish/request to help us in our education. I wrote in Spanish.
We then had shaved ice cream at a local shop and headed to beach not without making a quick stop a local night market. I played a few games with the lab mates.
After we visited the Anping Fort which was built by the Dutch in 1624. The plaza was filled with people listening to Jazz, the music was loud (enjoyable still).
After we visited Sio House a (Japanese Local Salt Museum) before heading to the beach. The museum had 366 different types of salt. It had one for each day of the year. I read a description of what type of salt mine meant (this was comforting).
On the way back, we rode the train station back.
I also attended Liang Shan (Mountain), where we hiked for about twenty minutes, it was not as bad as I initially thought. The rocks were pretty slippery. The view was amazing.