Day 45: It’s All About to Come to an End

I have a LOT of impending deadlines right know, the least of which is my final performance that needs to be memorized. 😬 So please bear with this post for being crazy rushed.

I woke up like normal and made it to school with enough time to study a bit for our impending final test that we took today. It was pouring rain, which made everything a little bit more chaotic, but honestly it was still a good commute even with the crazy rain.

We spent the morning talking about different things in class and reviewing for the final that we took. All in all, I felt like the final wasn’t too bad. I’d done my homework and prepared as well as I could, and I understand that at this point that’s the best I could do.

For lunch, we decided to go to Japon one last time for kicks and giggles. I love Japon (and to figure NSLI-Y Taiwan kids, go to Japon!!), and it was fun to get to enjoy it one more time before I leave Taiwan.

In the afternoon, we focused on rehearsing our final performance, while people were pulled aside one-by-one for their final oral test. Honestly, I felt like mine went pretty well! It was crazy to see how much my Chinese has improved since the beginning of this trip, and I can’t wait to take the skills I’ve been learning this summer and using them in AP Chinese this coming year!

For our final language partner time, we all went into a big room and watched a video summarising our memories with our language partners, then spent time crying and singing along to a bunch of sad songs as we said our goodbyes. I love my language partner so much! She’s an absolute angel, and I’m going to miss her so much when I go home. 😢

After language partner time, I headed out with a bunch of NSLI-Y peeps and some language partners to go get dinner at a restaurant. We ended up walking a solid 3/4 of a mile in the sizzling heat, which did not feel great. We finally arrived at the restaurant after a while, and chowed down on some tasty Taiwanese food.

After we ate dinner, a bunch of us decided to go get some Bing (shaved ice) one last time in Taiwan. We decided to go to this restaurant that was really bougie and super expensive, but all in all still fun. I ate a black sesame shaved ice creation, which was really tasty and cool-looking! To all future Taiwan kids: if you like peanut butter, don’t turn your nose up at black sesame. Odds are, the difference will be basically unnoticeable. And for those of you who dislike peanut butter: still try it! It may end up being your favorite flavor in all of Taiwan!

Anywho, I have to sleep now because it’s 2 AM here… get ready for a LOT of sentimentality over these last 4 or so blog posts. 😭😭

See you tomorrow!

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Day 44: The Final Day of Normal Classes

Today was the start of a bittersweet series of days that will end with me stepping off a plane on August 6th in Salt Lake City. To say that I’m feeling mixed emotions right now is an understatement. I’m torn between my love for this amazing country and the life I’ve been able to build here, and the amazing family and life I have back home. In the words of every artsy middle schooler, I am well and truly Heartsick.

I woke up right on time today (which was a relief given my strange sleep schedule last night) and quickly threw on some clothes so I could make it to class on time. I chowed down on a couple 葱油饼 (cong1you2bing3 – scallion pancakes) with my host mom before heading out, and they were absolutely amazing. They’re one of my favorite foods here in Taiwan, especially when they’re freshly made and ultra-crispy.

I made it to the bus stop with plenty of time to spare, given that the bus continued its systematically problematic habit of showing up 20 minutes late. Eventually, the bus finally arrived and I made it safely and successfully to school. Here in Taiwan, the bus schedule reflects the attitudes of many Taiwanese people towards punctuality: although there’s a pre-set time at which things are scheduled to occur, that sense of timeliness tends to vary a little bit based on the needs and moods of the people. Coming from the United States, where timeliness is one of the most cherished traits, the Taiwanese attitude towards timeliness took some adjusting to before I could truly navigate it out in then open. Although it’s a bit of a struggle sometimes, everybody is very kind and generally polite, which makes up for a slew of timeliness-related issues.

Class today was pretty normal- we watched more practice presentations and went over more grammars in preparation for our test tomorrow. It was a little melancholy towards the end, as I looked around and tried to soak in as many memories of my Chinese class as possible. I will definitely miss the feeling of learning and growing so much in a summer, and becoming more in terms of language ability than I could’ve ever imagined myself to be.

At lunch we had another RD meeting, during which we brought up all the amazing opportunities we can pursue after NSLI-Y. Hopefully, I can seize as many of those opportunities as possible, especially throughout my college career as I specialize more and more in what I want to do when I grow up.

Our afternoon class basically devolved into OPI preparation, which I honestly wasn’t mad at. Then again, I love speaking and listening and strongly dislike reading and writing, so maybe that had more to do with it then anything else.

For our final language task, we talked with our Small Class Teachers about the last 5 language tasks we’d had, as well as reflecting on our NSLI-Y experience as a whole. It was really bittersweet, especially when all of our teachers gave us a special carved keychain with our Chinese name on it. Throughout these last 6 weeks, my teachers have helped me so much to learn and grow, while also being so patient and understanding. Without them, I know that none of this amazing NSLI-Y experience could’ve been possible.

After our language task, a group of us headed out to the print shop to buy gifts for our teachers and other individuals we appreciate here in Taiwan. Because I’m only running on stipend money at this point, I had to make sure and be careful how much I spent, so that I didn’t end up running out of money because of the amount of gifts I bought. Luckily, everything seemed to work out great, which made me very very happy!

After a quick stop at the 7-Eleven (side note: the campus one finally opened again!!! No more having to walk an extra quarter mile to grab some ramen, banana milk, or other delicious snacks), I made it home from Wenzao safely. Because of the 2 large tasks I have to complete tomorrow, I mostly just spent my time studying so I can score well on my final tomorrow. I ate dinner with my host family (frozen dumplings that were WAY tastier than anything we have in the US), studied a lot, and altogether had a pretty chill evening.

That’s all, folks! See you tomorrow for another sentimental, emotionally charged blog post. 😂😂

Day 43: In Which I Fall Asleep at 7 PM

To say that today was a… strange day is an understatement. It honestly felt like somebody took an ordinary day in the NSLI-Y life and overlaid it with a different color, to the point where it was just off-color enough to feel strange.

I woke up at 8:10 AM, because I forgot to set an alarm when I fell asleep last night at 1:00 AM. I scrambled out of bed, realized that I left my hair in a towel all night from my shower (which meant that my hair was still sopping wet), threw it up in a ponytail, threw on some clothes, and ran out the door. I ended up buying a loaf of custard bread from the 7-Eleven for lunch, because I forgot to pre pay for lunch yesterday. In class, rather than going over our lesson (and the grammars associated with it) like we ordinarily would, we watched half of our class rehearse their final presentations. Then, we went over basically everything we’d learned up to that point, which was actually pretty fun. I’ve learned a lot more than I could’ve ever imagined this summer, both with regards to Chinese and also with regards to the world as a whole.

At lunch, we had the first part of our final RD meeting. I finally ate my custard bread (which was surprisingly tasty) as we discussed final logistics and reflected on our NSLI-Y experiences. We also prepared ourselves for reverse culture shock, which is basically the culture shock that comes when you reenter your home society after being abroad.

In our afternoon class, we prepped ourselves a little bit for the OPI by doing some self-introduction practice. I felt like mine went really well! It was fun to see how much my speaking ability has especially grown while in Taiwan. I can’t wait to return to my Chinese class back home and use the skills I’ve learned here on NSLI-Y.

For our language partner time today, we went to an elementary school and sorted some toys for underprivileged kids. It was kind of weird though, because it wasn’t normal sorting at all. My group’s responsibility was to see which toys had electrical problems, and which ones were just out of batteries. All in all it was pretty fun, even though my language partner didn’t get to show up because she went to the wrong location. It was nice to get to do service one last time before leaving Kaohsiung for good.

I went immediately home after we finished sorting, more because I wanted to be with my host family than anything else. By the time I’d made the hour long trek back to my host family’s apartment, it was nearly 6 PM. I ended up eating dinner with my host family, then retreating into my room to try to memorize my script for my presentation. But (of course), because the last few weeks have been so exhausting, I ended up falling asleep and waking up at 10:30 PM with all the lights on and the AC blasting. To put it simply, everything was a little strange.

Okay its like 1:30 now and I really need to get some more rest! Tune in tomorrow for more crazy days in the life (before they’re all gone 😢)!

Day 42: My Personal Declaration of Independence

Today was an absolutely amazing and totally freeing day. Although I spent most of the morning in school, my evening really felt like an homage to my amazing experience last summer in Shanghai. Which is to say- utterly amazing.

I woke up late, but still made it to school on time as I always do. Although I pretty aggressively failed my last quiz, I still felt like class went well! We spent a lot of time reviewing grammars and vocab that we’d learned earlier in the summer, which was very helpful as well.

After our morning class, Timi, Sophia, and I went to the 7-Eleven to get some lunch. I got a cold noodle bowl, which is something I’d ordinarily never willingly purchase for myself. But I’ve learned to love cold noodles during my time in Taiwan, which has been awesome and really tasty. 7-Eleven didn’t disappoint today either, and my cold noodles were the perfect blend of sesame and soy.

Our afternoon class was pretty fun, but definitely nothing out of the ordinary. Most of our time was spent reviewing for the final, which was great because that meant that I got the chance to cram in some more prep for our final on Thursday.

For our final culture class, we all walked into a lecture hall at Wenzo and had a presentation on traditional Taiwanese puppets. They’re very different from Chinese shadow puppets, both in their performance style and in the fact that Taiwanese puppets are real, physical puppets instead of just shadow puppets. It was really funny to get to watch all the performances, and it was especially awesome when different NSLI-Y kids got the chance to try. All in all it was a really fun way to end my culture class experience here in Taiwan.

In the afternoon, because my original plan to go to KTV with my NSLI-Y friends fell through, I made the decision to still go out on my own around Kaohsiung and see the city.

And boy, was it fun.

I started out by riding on a bus over to Hanshen Arena (which is one of my favorite places in Kaohsiung) to grab a snack at Mister Donut, a place I’ve always wanted to try but never been able to because other people have felt like eating other things whenever I proposed we go. The donut I got (a French-style, vanilla cream-filled, chocolate dipped thing covered in powdered sugar) was to die for, and I’m so glad that I got to finally eat it!

While at Hanshen Arena, I also got the chance to try out Mini-KTV, which is a really fun thing that exists in a couple places around Kaohsiung. Basically, you pay 30 Taiwanese dollars (so about $1 USD) per song, and you get to sing in a soundproof booth a little bigger than a telephone booth back in the US. Because you can only fit 3 people in it at the most, it definitely has a smaller and more intimate feel to it. I sang a couple songs on my own in the Mini-KTV, and had a total blast because I could pick whatever I wanted to sing and belt it at the top of my lungs without worrying about people judging me for acting silly or getting way too into the song. All in all it was an amazing KTV experience unlike anything else I’d ever experienced before.

After my KTV escapade, I decided to head to a soup dumpling place a little further downtown that I’d always really wanted to try out. Although I’ve heard a lot of people tout the strengths and flavors of Din Tai Fung, Taiwan’s most popular soup dumpling chain, Din Tai Fung is heinously expensive for one person to go to alone. And because I’m on a #nsliybudget and not in the mood to spent $8 USD on a single steamer basket of soup dumplings, I decided to try out this little hole-in-the-wall place just outside of downtown.

Although the little soup dumpling shop (called Shanghai Fried Dumpling on Google Maps) was by no means fancy or elaborate, the food more than compensated for a lack of a fancy aesthetic. For the equivalent of $3 USD, I got 8 piping hot soup dumplings with a tasty sauce and a bowl of wonton soup with scallions and tofu. Given that I would’ve had to shell out 2.6 times as much money to get a single basket of soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung, I was definitely feeling as happily frugal as a NSLI-Y kid can be.

Because I still had so much time to kill after getting dinner, I decided to go downtown and walk around for a little bit. Although I didn’t visit the Kaohsiung Public Library again, I did go see the Love River as the sun was setting in the background. The Love River is the focal point of downtown Kaohsiung, and it’s especially beautiful at night when the bridges that cross the river are lit up in every color imaginable.

As I made my way along the river, I reflected a lot on my time in Kaohsiung. Before coming to this city, I’d had so many questions for what it’d be like compared to my time in Shanghai. For a lot of my NSLI-Y experience, I’ve spent a good portion of my time comparing the high points of my China experience last summer to the day-to-day low points of my NSLI-Y experience here in Taiwan. In so doing, I robbed myself of a lot of the joy and wonder that I could’ve experienced during my time here. As I look back across the 6 weeks I’ve been able to spend in this amazing city, I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Yes, it’s been hard. But it’s also been such a life changing and amazing experience. If not for the amazing scholarship I was given, I know there would be no way for me to have these experiences that (for better or worse) have changed my life forever.

More later, goodnight!

Day 41: LOTS of Walking

Today was quite the day… I did a lot of walking, has an overall fun time, and saw a bunch of really cool places!

I woke up at around 8:45 AM and had breakfast with my extended host family soon thereafter (we are these soup buns that were really really tasty. Not like xiaolongbao, but still really good). Afterwards, my host mom told me to get ready, because I was going to go with her and my host grandparents to visit a random church on a college campus.

We drove the 15 minutes or so to the college campus, and as soon as I stepped out of the car I knew it was going to be HOT. We walked around for a solid hour and a half, visiting this really modern and pretty church on campus as well as a bunch of other awesome places on campus. Although it was really really really hot the whole time we were walking, it was still super fun to get to see a bunch of pretty places and talk with my host grandparents. They’re both so interesting and really kind, and it was awesome to have them accept me as their host granddaughter without ever having met me before that point.

After our escapade, we drove back to my host grandparents’ house to have lunch before heading home. It was pretty tasty, and also really fun because I got to spend lots of time talking and hanging out with my host. family!

After lunch, my (immediate) host family and I grabbed our stuff so we could begin the journey back to Kaohsiung. Although I was excited to return home and get ready for my final week in Taiwan, it was also really bittersweet. As I said goodbye to my amazing host grandparents who’d I’d come to love so much in just 3 days, I realized that before I knew it, I’d be saying goodbye to this amazing Taiwanese experience for good. In the words of my amazing NSLI-Y friends: ooooof.

As we drove south towards Kaohsiung, my host family informed me that we’d be making two stops along the way: one in a little village in the middle of Chiayi City, and another at a big park in Tainan. I was a little hesitant because it was just so hot outside, but agreed because I knew that if I didn’t, I’d definitely end up regretting it later.

Our first stop was a Japanese-style tourist village in Chiayi. There were lots of little shops along grassy paths lined with Sakura trees and pretty fences and displays. Although it was really gorgeous and pretty fun, there were also a lot of tourists, which was a little bit exhausting. Plus, it had only gotten hotter since that morning, so the sun was beating down mercilessly the entire time.

After we were finished in Chiayi, we made our way down to Tainan. As we drove up to the ginormous park we were visiting, I thought that I recognized the park’s focal point, a giant western-style museum building, from somewhere. As it turns out, I did! A couple Saturdays ago I’d gone to a refurbished sugarcane factory with my NSLI-Y group right next door. It was fun to get to spend time visiting a place that I’d seen as really pretty the first time we were here. Although we didn’t go to the museum itself, we walked around a lot on the museum grounds (which are masssssssssive), and had an altogether good time.

After we’d finished up at the museum, we all hopped back in the car to finish the drive home. Although it was really fun to get to talk with my host family, I was so exhausted from all the heat that I ended up sleeping 99% of the way home from Tainan.

Instead of going straight home, my host family told me they were going to take me to go get their favorite hot pot at a really popular spot in town. We drove up to the place, and to the tune of a 20 minute wait sat down and hung out. At first, I wondered a little bit about whether or not this place was worth the wait. But as I smelled the hot pot wafting out from inside the restaurant, I realized just how excited I was to get to have hot pot again before I left Taiwan.

When we eventually made it into the hot pot restaurant, I quickly realized that this was going to be very different from my other hot pot experiences. Rather than a family-style communal hot pot, we were lined up on barstools in a row facing a central waiter person, whose job was to help us refill our broth and get the things we needed. I ended up ordering the 雪花牛肉 (xuěhuā niúròu – snowflake beef) per my host parents’ suggestion, and wasn’t disappointed by how delicious it was. I chowed down on the hot pot, eating everything served to me (which for hot pot can be a bit of a struggle) and enjoying it all. The real MVP was the restaurant’s chilled 檸檬冬瓜茶 (níngméng dōngguā chá – lemon winter melon tea… that doesn’t actually have any tea in it 😂. It’s literally just winter melon boiled down till it’s super super sweet with lemon added for taste). Their lemon winter melon tea was so tasty that it stole the show for me at that hot pot place (which was hard given that the hot pot itself was also so good). All in all it was a really fun experience, and a really awesome day!

More later, see you guys in a bit for my last week in Kaohsiung!

Day 40: Taichung and my Host Grandparents!

Today was a super awesome day filled with lots of adventures and a bunch of new faces. I woke up at the normal time, and made it out the door with my host family bright and early to drive to Taichung. Now some of you may be thinking, “But Bethany, isn’t Taichung in a completely different part of Taiwan? Why are you guys driving if it’s so far away??” The truth is that while Taichung is in a completely different part of Taiwan, Taiwan is so small that you can get almost anywhere really quickly. It’s around the same size as Maryland back in the US, for some perspective. It ended up only taking us around 2.5 hours to drive there, including around 20 minites spent in construction-induced traffic and another half an hour or so spent wandering around a Taiwanese rest stop buying food.

Rest stops in Taiwan are weird. Instead of basically just being a little building in the middle of nowhere with some picnic tables, toilets, and a couple vending machines, it’s a bunch of little buildings and stores all centered around one place. The “small” rest stop we went to in the morning had a full on food court, a convenience store, and a little outdoor fountain area. While it helps that Taiwan is significantly more densely populated than a lot of America, it still blew my mind.

We arrived at my maternal host grandparents’ house around 11:00 am and dove straight in to the swing of things. Because part of the reason why we came to Taichung was to celebrate my host dad and host sister’s birthdays before I left, we invited over a bunch of host cousins and had a mini party. The cake was good (with a lot of frosting and a lot of fruit), and it was fun to get to talk with them. We also sung KTV using a home KTV set my host grandparents have, which was so fun. I sang a couple English songs, and we dove deep into the options for Chinese music. I sung the extent of my Chinese song collection, which is very entertaining. After the party, we all headed out as a big group to go to Gaomei Wetland, which is a really famous and beautiful place in Taichung.

We arrived at Gaomei, and walked around for a really long time. I wouldn’t use the word wetland in the traditional sense to describe it though, because it doesn’t have any sort of grasses or animals. It’s more like a tidal plain or a giant beach, in the sense that it’s a bunch of soaking wet sand right by the ocean. It was super super pretty though, so that was a very fun time.

After we were done at Gaomei, everyone but our host grandparents drove to an older Taiwanese lady’s house and had dinner. I don’t know how she was related to my host family necessarily, but she was still really nice and kind.

Once we were done at the house we had dinner at, we drove to a massive rest stop that was more like a tiny mall. There was tons of food, lots of activities, and a lot of people who had just come there to absorb the aesthetic. All in all the whole experience was super fun and really really awesome. Thanks for checking in! Sad to think there’s less than a week and a day till I’ll be heading back to America.

Byeeeee!

Day 39: Fo Guang Shan

(This keeps happening… another double post due to technical difficulties. I’m going to redownload the WordPress app and figure out what’s up tonight.)

Today was a long but exciting day. I made it to school on time without a hitch, and took my weekly test. All in all, I felt like this week’s questions were a lot easier to understand than last week’s, which made the whole testing experience easier and more enjoyable by far.

After the test, I had the chance to rehearse my final presentation script in front of a group of peers and teachers. It was a little scary, mostly because I wanted to get a good read on how my actual presentation would go, so I was under a lot of pressure to do well. I wrote my presentation (which is supposed to be between 5 and 10 minutes, all memorized in Chinese) on comparing the lives of high schoolers in Taiwan and the USA, and I knew I had to pronounce things correctly and hit all my talking points because my audience would definitely know if I shared any bad information. All in all, I think the rehearsal went pretty well, and I can’t wait to polish and perfect it in preparation for the real thing next Friday.

After Timi and I finished our rehearsals, we ran over to Happy Tea for some boba. I got a chocolate milk thing that I really love, and had them add tapioca pearls to the bottom (because apparently that’s something you can ask them to do??? 😂). It was nice to treat myself after working so hard all morning.

After everyone finished their presentations, we hopped on the bus to drive to Fo Guang Shan, a Buddhist museum and monastery here in Kaohsiung. Everything went smoothly on the ride there, and it was fun to see more of Kaohsiung as we drove to our destination.

When we first arrived at Fo Guang Shan, we were greeted by lots of humidity and lots of tourists (aka… a lot of white people 😂). We immediately split for lunch after arriving, and I ended up heading to a restaurant with Sophia, eventually also meeting up with Timi and her language partner while there. I got vegetarian dumplings (because all the food at Fo Guang Shan is vegetarian, because they’re Buddhist and it’s part of the monks’ practice) and a kumquat lemonade, which was all pretty good!

After we’d finished lunch, everybody met up for the tour of the museum. We visited a couple sacred places in the museum, which was really cool to get to experience. I love learning more about different cultures and what motivates people to act the way they do, and this was an awesome way to get to do that.

We also had the chance to participate in a traditional tea ceremony at Fo Guang Shan, which was really cool! Even though I couldn’t personally drink the tea, it was awesome to get to serve the other members of my group and experience such an integral part of Taiwanese culture.

After we finished up at Fo Guang Shan, we hopped on the bus and rode to EDA Outlet Mall, which is a giant mall with a ton of stores right outside of Kaohsiung. It’s not quite as massively convoluted as Dream Mall (mercifully, I don’t think I could handle getting lost in a massive mall again), but still really fun. The highlights of the evening were: 1. Spending 30 minutes demo-ing massage chairs with Timi and Sophia. I don’t think I’ve ever been more relaxed in my life. 2. Through a random stroke of good luck and a twist of fate, running into a randon girl who applied for NSLI-Y, saw Timi’s NSLI-Y shirt while we were waiting for food, and talked to us about it. Even though she got rejected this year, she ended up finding a different way to go abroad for a couple weeks through a different program thing. I got some serious flashbacks to me last year, and I’m not going to lie when I say that it made me more than a little sentimental. We have her some solid advice (at least I hope so) for her NSLI-Y application next year, so that was fun.

After we all made it back to Wenzao from the mall, a group of us decided to head up to the Kaohsiung LOVE Sign for some photos, given that it was our second to last Friday night together. After coordinating a bunch of vehicles and getting people where they needed to go (while also staying within program guidelines), we finally made it to the sign. It was amazing to get to take photos and absorb something that is such an iconic and amazing part of Kaohsiung. In that moment, I could say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I didn’t want this amazing NSLI-Y experience to end.

That’s it, folks. See you tomorrow for more days in the life!

Day 38: Busy Days and Late Nights

I don’t know if y’all have noticed a pattern with my sleeping habits over the past week or two… but I always seem to manage to stay up past 1 AM every night so I can finish my homework and still spend time with the people I care about. Its a grind, always a lot of hard work, but immensely rewarding all the same.

Today I woke up and got to school at a reasonably early time. In our big class, I gave my final weekly language task presentation! All in all I felt it went really well, even the parts that I was scared would fall on their face. I talked a lot about my dreams and aspirations for college and the future, which was really really amazing to do in a foreign language.

Right at the end of our morning class, our group was visited by a really awesome woman from American Councils (the organization that helps oversee NSLI-Y) who’d flown all the way from Washington DC to visit our program site! During lunch, everybody discussed our thoughts and feelings about the NSLI-Y Kaohsiung Chinese experience with the woman, and it was really awesome to get to talk to her. After lunch, I was able to ask her a couple questions about being a NSLI-Y Alumni Representative, which is something I really want to so. We’ll see how that adventure ends up going, but for now all I can do is focus on the present.

In afternoon class, we spent a lot of time going over character information (as we often do on Thursday afternoons), which was pretty great. I love looking at how different Chinese radicals originated from different sources, and then were combined together to create a lot of ^ interesting characters. Its cool to see the origin of so many characters too!

For our language partner activity, we ended up having a bunch of Mock OPIs, to help us prep for the real one. It was hard, but useful and really fun.

After class, I hung out with Sophia and a couple other friends before heading home. At home, I had my mock opi, and had a great time trying to remember what I wanted to say. Although it was rough, all in all it went pretty well!

That’s all for now, folks. Stay golden, see you tomorrow!

Day 37: The Path of Most Resistance

Some things about being abroad are admittedly a day-to-day struggle. No matter how many times people tell you that you’ll constantly have things that you need to be doing, something about pre-departure euphoria seems to make those things seem frivolous and untrue. But when you get into the thick of things (and if you go abroad, you will), studying abroad changes from an entertaining chance to see a foreign country into a constant mental and emotional workout, complete with the twin weights of social pressure and sleep deprivation.

But in the end, it is SO worth it.

Today was a crazy day I woke up a little late, but made it to the 217 bus stop with enough time to not worry about class starting. Class was all good, high intensity as always but also very fun.

During lunch we had a very heated RD meeting in which there was was debate between OPI Practice and Language Partners. Although a solution was eventually reached, it took a lot of concession and frustration from both sides.

After afternoon class, we performed our final real language task of the NSLI-Y Kaohsiung experience. All things considered it was fun, especially because we basically just got to talk with our small class teachers! They’re really fun and interesting.

After class, I came home and had a small dinner of some Japanese style rice with chicken and egg in it. After learning more about the role of tea in Taiwan, it was dun to get to breathe for a minute. After that, I did my homework for a few hours and am heading to sleep.

Have a great day! Believe in yourself, because that’s what matters most.

Day 36: Banana Pier

This keeps happening… but I fell asleep with all the lights on while writing this, and woke up at 3:30 AM last night. So bear with me here.

Today was a bit of a crazy day. I made it to school and everything ended up being fine in that department. Everything was normal, although class was a little stressful. After our afternoon small class, we all ride a bus as NSLI-Y students to this place called Banana Pier, which is right by the harbor and the Pier 2 Arts District. While there, we painted traditional flags with fishes on them, interviewed people about the history of Qijin as well as traditional boat making, and (best of all) ate a lot of tasty gelato.

After the activity, a bunch of us went to a beef noodle shop to get beef noodle soup. Along the way, it started pouring rain, so by the time we got to the shop we were all soaked. All in all, it was really tasty though.

After getting the soup, a group of us decided to go out with a couple of the language partners to a shopping district for a little bit. Although I didn’t personally buy anything except an egg waffle, it was fun to get to hang out with friends and see a different part of Kaohsiung.

That’s all there is. Sorry again about such a bad post, its 1:30 here and I have a presentation tomorrow. 😃