So, today I want to tell you a bit about my school. Some of the info (obviously a lot) will apply to taiwanese schools in general, but of course there is always differences. Note that KaiNan vocational high school, (also known as KaiNan High School of Commerce and Industry,) is a japanese inspired school, but not in any an actual Japanese one (so it differs a lot). Also be aware, that most of the schools in Taiwan are inspired by japanese as is so many other things in this country which was a part of Japan before the end of World War 2.
First, let me start out with the school building: Like just about any other school in Taiwan, KaiNan Highschool is a former prison. You can easily see this by looking through the windows to the outside world, that there's a lot of metal bars around. Well, actually, in most of the classrooms you can't see out to the outside world because there's giant metal plates plastered over the windows, so the only way to throw your bored glares at if you don't want to look at the teacher for a while, is through the windows that show the inside of the school, where you will usually meet the eyes of a military guy patrolling by to see if everyone is paying attention to the teacher, not sleeping or using anything like earphones, cellphones or reading a book or computer while wearing the correct uniform and having their tiny desks neat aswell as their tables places in orderly rows. If, however, you still don't believe that you're in a prison, you can go to the basement for proof. On KaiNan, the basement is used for all the creative classes like art, photography, etc.
KaiNan is a pretty big school. It houses 3-4 thousand students and has a pretty big inner area for sports, music playing or speeches in front of 4K+ people. The wall are, luckily, not that high in one of the corners of the school, so you can actually see some of the outside world. The big, yellow building in the background is NTU Hospital, the best hospital in Taiwan. This is because it is a university hospital (full name is National Taiwan University Hospital). Being near to this building also means that you're pretty much in the middle of Taipei. You don't have to walk very far to reach Taipei Main Station (For MRT) or Chiang Kai Shek memorial hall, and since you can get to pretty much any place of big interest from Taipei Main Station within minutes, you're just in the middle of where everything happens.
This is the entrance to the school. It is also the only exit, and if you want to leave the school before 5pm where everyone gets off from school, you'll have to get a special permission or have VIP status like the white haired leonardo di caprio lookalike who some people still think is from america. Unless the entrance guard simply wont let you through.
This is also at the entrance. Here, they X-ray people to see if they... Okay, actually this is just a useless heat sensing camera. The point of it is to see, if people are having a fever, but since it so damn hot, everyone's hair is 39 or 40 degrees when they enter, so usually the guard will just ignore them, or sometimes ask them to go into a room to get air-conditioned. (Which is also pretty unreliable, because such a treatment would just cool the surface of your head and thus, no illness is detected anyway.) Just so you know, this is a picture of the projection of me getting my brainwaves scanned while I take a picture.
I don't know who or what this Pocari is, but for some reason you can actually find sweat from it in some vending machines.
Finally, you can have a picture of me with some of my classmates aswell. (Hey, look at that! This monday we changed classrooms for reasons beyond my knowledge - which also resulted in difficulties for the teachers who were just as unnotified as I. However, this means that we now have a classroom with windows that are not covered my metal plates. Still bars though.)
I have no idea how people manage to catch a cold or flu in this weather. Too bad there's more cold around than usually, so you can't see everyones faces very well when every fifth of them is wearing a mask. But actually... Maybe they're just doing it for fun, or even no apparent reason at all, because people seem to take them on and off all the time. (Hey, perhaps they're just using them for reducing the amount of pollution they get blown right into the face from the machine in the background, which taps fresh exhaust from the cars on the rather noisy street below.
As you can see, our desks are way too small. They're already too small for the taiwanese, and then here comes I, the giant from europe. Actually my legs can't even be under the table, I have to bend them in under my chair or sit with one only one leg under the table, the other right next to it, if I want to also have blood circulation in them.
Finally, I'd just like to warn you about this disturbing message that I found this evening. Seems like boots are going to take over the world, again, starting in Taipei.
May the gods be with you all.