Didn't really take any photos recently. Been busy going to school.
Yeah, school just started for me. School started this Monday (1st of March) and it started really well. It's really great now. Everything is much better for me: I can speak not just more English with students, but also gets the chance to use my Chinese much more with students that have time for other things but studying and are more outgoing.
I've really been feeling like just going straight home to Denmark lately. The weather was really depressing during the Chinese new year. (Chinese New Year lasts more than one night. It's essentially a Chinese counterpart to Christmas where people will have vacation and eat traditional food and go to temples n' stuffs.) One American I met told me it has probably been the worst (coldest, rainiest) Chinese New Year the last five years.
Not that it compares with Denmark, though. The sea froze and it's been the coldest winter since 23 years ago. Damn. That's at least one good reason to be far away in Taiwan.
Actually I'm more than halfway through the exchange program. When I look back upon my last ~6 months here I feel pretty empty. Really. They were a waste of time and I wasn't really as happy most of the time as I had preferred. Got to see a lot of stuff and got me a nice foundation for learning Chinese. But except for the first about one or two months I'd say the time could've been used more efficiently. Am not exactly unhappy about only having so little time left apart from feeling I've wasted away my first half year seeing more and more empty space between the good times. Don't misunderstand me. When I write in my earlier blogposts that I really like Taiwan and being here too, I mean it. Just been having to hide away the bad things more and more lately.
You could say that during the Chinese New Year, I got into what most people with their pocket philosophy would deem as Culture Shock (or Language Shock, anyone?). Not that I agree completely when skimming through wikipedia once again, but seeing as people kind of interpret it as something simply like feeling down because you're lonely and being a foreigner at the same time. Wouldn't say it's exactly the culture that's the problem myself, although. The language is a somewhat bigger player, but that should be manageable by taking the right precautions. All in all, I don't care much about the recent time.
Coming time is hopefully (and seemingly) going to be much better. It's getting hotter again. (Taiwan's weather is crazy these days. One day I'm covered up in thick jackets while inside or outside of the house so as to prevent another cold or flu of suddenly getting foothold. The next day it's summer. (Well, in Taiwan it's called spring but like I care.) Suddenly I'll have to throw off most of my clothes to survive outside and spin the aircon up during the night so as to be able to sleep.
I love hot days, of course. I know from the time when I arrived to Taiwan that it sometimes might just get a little uncomfortable with so much heat, but I'd dislike the slightest bit of cold weather more. Everything is just so much more nice with all this sun. You get enough sunlight so as to get rid of that nasty winter depression that gets to me every year. You can wear light clothes. Might just make you feel a little better looking, and of course, it works really great on everyone else. Especially the young people around here. Most of the girls in Taiwan are hot. And then they get hotter. And for girl readers: Of course the guys do so too. Maybe even more. Girls will often show their legs in various uniforms from school or work even during winter. (How can they stand it?)
But yeah, anyway, there's generally more beautiful people during hot and sunny days, agree not agree?
Also, you'll sweat a lot and thus have to drink a lot more. (Here, you don't have to worry about sweat that much. Taiwan is generally a smelly place and people don't care much about their own smell anyway, so it'll be hard to distinguish your bad sweaty-smell amongst all the others. Besides, with all that sweat, I bet a bigger percentage of it must be water. I don't know. Even though sweat would be dripping from me, sometimes from just climbing a stair, it doesn't seem to have such bad an effect.)
About drinking more. In Denmark it's probably a bother. You have to carry a big bottle around or even pay a fortune in convenience stores if you can find one, should you need some hydration. Here, there's drink shops everywhere serving the most delicious tea and they'll charge you almost nothing. Well, if some 45 NT$ for a just-mixed delicious fruit tea with ice around the corner is too much or if you live in one of the rare not-so trafficked areas, you could head around another corner and buy refrigerated drinks at 25 NT$ a litre.
My Chinese did improve a lot I'd say. Actually to the Taiwanese here, it would probably sound more hilarious than a Google translation from French to Danish. You could say, Danes are probably often amused listening to immigrants who try to speak Danish, seeing as Danish is an immensely hard language to pronounce correctly. My Chinese is probably worse, but I use it where English can't be applied or where I just feel I'd like to make that order right away instead of waiting for some Engrish-speaking clerk to get dragged over at my place. I've been using it a lot. Even went to play arcade games and competed with other Jubeat enthusiasts and getting a new experience out of the game today. That's something that you can't do if you only speak English. People who have an interest in arcade machines apparently don't speak a single word of English apart from those words the machines will occasionally burst out.
Yeah. It's going to be better. Because if it doesn't, I'm jumping on a plane back to cold Denmark where I know ppls and can do almost anything I want. Just for now, it seems I might not need to consider that possibility at least for now. Taiwan is a great place. Just wish it wasn't so goddamned traditional.