Archive for the ‘Taichung’ Category

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Taichung Trip and Reflections on a Month in Taiwan

October 1, 2006

I just got back from a weekend in Taichung.  Five people from my original training group live there so five of us from the Taipei area headed down for a visit.  Unfortunately I work until 6:00 on Saturdays so it was a very short weekend, but it was definitely worth the trip.

Saturday night we all went to KTV. For those of you not fortunate enough to have had a KTV experience, I’ll explain. KTV is karaoke Taiwan style.  A group can rent a private room with microphones and a big screen to play the music videos and all other things required for karaoke, like beer.  The videos were ridiculously random things like buildings in Switzerland, birds cleaning themselves, or girls roller skating.  After a few hours of that corniness we went to a club for a while.

Sunday we went to the Taichung Botanical Gardens and otherwise just hung out and immersed ourselves in our favorite pastime: complaining about work.  More on that in a minute.

I took a train to get there but on the way back we all took the Aloha bus.  What an experience.  Huge, comfortable, massage chairs, drinks and snacks, blankets, TV…  I could get used to traveling that way.

I really liked Taichung.  I felt like I could actually breathe there.  Many places in the city were attractive and there was even space to walk on the sidewalks most of the time.  None of those things are true in Luzhou. 

After a month in Taiwan (exactly; I arrived in Taipei on Sept. 1st),  I have very conflicted feelings about being here.  Going to Taichung and talking to my friends about their experiences isn’t what started me thinking about these things, but it certainly intensified it.

 I don’t know if I like it here.  I honestly don’t know, and that’s strange to me.  And if I don’t like it, I don’t know how severe the problem is.  I don’t know if what I don’t like is entirely related to my job or if it’s being here in general.  I don’t know if there’s any action I could take that would make things better. I don’t know if any of my concerns are worth worrying about or if I’m just going through mandatory one-month culture shock.

I spent the entire bus ride back going over all the possibilities in my mind and came to the only conclusion I could come to: that I just need to patiently wait and see what happens in the next few months.  Too bad I’m about as patient as my kindergarteners. In any case, I may not know a lot of things but I do know that fun plans with friends are the best use of my limited free time.  So mission accomplished this weekend.  Next up, Canadian Thanksgiving.