Diary of impressions

Written by Lana Sun

When I first came to Taiwan in July 2010, I was impressed by two things: extremely hot weather with humidity and the unlimited friendliness. I’m a rain person, I hate sun, I dislike summer for sure, my favorite season is autumn and grey sky is MY weather. But even though, after I returned to my country I remembered my one month in Taiwan with inexpressible feeling. And even though, I came back to Taiwan for a second time and continued to experience the life in Taiwan as a fresh student of master program in Business.

Ok, what do I remember from my first visit to Taiwan? Let’s come back to July, 2010. My Chinese is so-so or 马马虎虎 to say it in Mandarin. I’m 19 years old. I have short orange hair and Taiwanese say that my hair looks like pudding. I don’t understand what is written on the menu in restaurants, I just order my meal and hope for the good. Actually, I have a degree in Chinese but I studied Simplified Chinese which is not so useful here.

I saw big cockroach! No. I SAW AN IMPERATOR OF COCKROACH! It was bigger than I ever encountered  in 3 times, and I heard that THIS THING can fly… Oh my God.

In Taiwan there are also no sidewalks and everbody has a scooter. What is this terrible smell from night market? Oh.. Is that someone killed a cat and hold stinky dead body?! I look at the prices for food, clothes, 3C and everything else. It is hard to stop buying things, even if I’m not shopping person. I’m rain person, remember? I love reading books and I like listening to the rain. I don’t need things. I reject the era of consumerism. Oh, what is it.. Only for 200 NT?!

It seems like everyone likes me. I’m a foreigner. Strange feeling. Why all restaurants in my area closed from 2 pm to 5 pm?

What can I say now after living  for two years in Taiwan? My Chinese is fluent, I could argue with Taiwanese about every topic from economic to food cooking – yes, if you in Taiwan you should get used to it, Taiwan is food lover country and you can’t avoid food discussion. I know the differences between Taiwanese and Chinese people, I understand the rules of Asian politeness and forgive impolite 阿贝 who always call me “hallo!” when they want to get attention.  I love kimchi stinky tofu hotpot, I know where I can buy my black rice for breakfast and other groceries to cook by myself. I met a thousand different people. I answered thousand times about where I’m from and why I’m so tall. I know Taiwanese traditions and bad habits, I could explain it to a fresh foreigner in this country. And yes, now I don’t like foreigners who judge Taiwan for anything. We choose where we wanna live by ourselves. Admit it or don’t pretend to live abroad without changing your frames.

Before I knew so little about Taiwan. I probably wouldn’t have say the same a few years ago.



About the Author:

Lana Sun is a student from Russia who is currently living in Taichung. She models and loves Taiwanese food and culture.