September 28th 2004

Happy Teacher’s Day and Happy Moon Festival!! Today is a double-holiday in Taiwan, the Teacher’s Day in honor of Confucius and his birthday on Sep. 28th and Moon Festival which is on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, which coincidentally is also today. As the name indicates it’s everything about the moon, which should be the biggest and the brightest on this day. Families and friends are coming together to spend some hours in full harmony and completion (like the full moon), having barbecue and eating the various kinds of moon cake. There are many legends about the moon, which, depending on whom is telling, defer every time a little bit, but too many to write down here. If you are interested to read more about the Moon Festival I recommend you to go to webholidays.com.

Tomorrow I will complete the fifth week of staying in Taiwan, thus it is the longest time I ever have been away from my home. It’s still hard to make a review of everything what happened since I arrived here, at least there’s nothing I would regret about my decision right now, maybe I can give a detailed review when I pass my first monthly exam at school, because learning the language is still my top goal.

However, yesterday for example I had some very interesting conversations with people from Indonesia, Russia and Bolivia. It is kind of ridiculous that you meet people from far far away countries in a far far away country (….as seen from Germany), but this is what happens to me everyday and I enjoy it very much.

>>> The experience of sharing thoughts and opinions with people from all over the world is like a gift, for sure priceless and something you will remember for the rest of your life <<<

Confucius would be proud of me 🙂 Happy holiday !

September 17th 2004

You know what? I really really planned to update this blog very often, like every second or at least third day…..okay, so the first try missed badly, but for my excuse: they were many many things to figure out and when being home at night after studying for several hours, my only wish was to sleep than writing on the computer. That’s the point. Although I’m just at school for two and a half weeks, I can say that it is much more demanding for your personal effort than any other institution I’ve been before. Today I wrote my first dictation using Chinese characters, just five sentences, but hey, not many days ago I was glad to somehow write my name (in Chinese) and today I wrote with more than 20 characters and I got 98%.

Ok, but now let’s come to the outer-schools part. Since almost two weeks I’m living in my room and yesterday I got my own internet connection! Before, I had to use a shared-line, which sometimes broke down or was damn slow, so much better right now. So actually I would say I really „arrived“ at Taiwan, being over the tourist-life, just being a „normal“ student.

The regular semester for all students will begin on 09/20 (the Language Center already started at 09/01) and today was the arrival of older students and freshmen. It was the first time that the campus was really crowded and many people were looking for their ways. It’s quite funny to see when you already figured out most of the things and now other’s have to do the same. I’m really looking forward to next week, coz sometimes when going to class I felt like being alone on the campus!

But maybe it was also because of the heavy rain showers the island was hit by last weekend. Miss Taiwanoca and I were going to Taichung sitting in the bus, when the streets were flooded until ankles and knees, depending on the heaviness of the rain, the worst case has been even until the waist. For God’s sake I’m living on the fourth floor 🙂 However, it wasn’t that Typhoon-worst case, but also don’t wanna know what that will be …..

Thus, things are starting to go their own ways right now, the Taiwanese way, or Taiwanoca like I prefer 😉 Since that many things have their steady place right now, I think I also will get more time to write than to move stuff from place A to B, at least I hope so. For the moment I wish you a nice weekend, and me a good night at 2am. See ya!

September 1st 2004

Okay, first day of the month and first entry to this blog! I am in Taiwan for one week right now, but didn’t find the time to write something so far. Too busy to figure things out, but they keep going quite well right now, so better late than never starting this story today.

It begins on August 24th, the day Miss Taiwanoca and me left Germany and went to Taiwan. Half of my family came with us to airport, my parents, my brother, my sister, my brother-in-law and my nephew and we had to go there with two cars. So, there have been eight people at Frankfurt Airport and I belonged to the half of them not crying about the farewell. I mean, guess what? I will go to Taiwan for a couple of time, but not leaving the planet and never come back, so why worry that much about it? However, after tears were dried the long flight to Taiwan began. There was nothing much amazing about it, mostly slept in the plane and had to go off twice in Bangkok and Hong Kong to finally reach Taipei after about 18 hours at all.

We were picked by Miss Taiwanoca’s God’s mom and spent one night in Chung Li and went to Taichung the other day to spent some days at Miss Taiwanoca’s home. It was the time to „re-adapt“ to Taiwan again, getting used to the weather, the people, the hectic of daily life. In fact, all the things I missed the last six months.

On Sunday evening we took all our stuff we had in Taichung and Chung Li and went to Hsinchuang near Taipei, the place of Fu Jen University. For half of the month we can live at a friend’s room, which is located directly next to the university campus, just have to cross one street.

On Monday, I had to go to the Language Center Office to get me officially enrolled. It seemed that people already knew me there, cause I was directly called with my Chinese name 🙂 There was also a dorm room reserved for me, it also looked quite nice, but wtf……they had no internet connection in there!!! Anyway, because I have girlfriend from Taiwan, the office asked me to find a room on my own, because it is much easier when having someone speaking Chinese about all the renting stuff. And it seems there are a few students, who don’t have a room at all, so I agreed, however, I couldn’t live without Internet (and you also wouldn’t read this right now) !!!

So, it was the task to find a room for me right now. I didn’t know how easy or difficult it would be, but just two hours later I knew that it is very very easy! And you know what? I have a room in the same house I already live in right now, just have to wait until something is fixed in the bathroom and then I have my own single room!! For Taiwan’s conditions it’s quite well for one person, about 20m², own bath-room, air-condition AND internet connection :):):) The landlord also makes a nice impression (…don’t they all  do at the beginning???), but seems to be quite okay for the moment.

I also bought a Taiwanese cell phone prepaid card to have my own number in Taiwan and student card to get along Taipei with bus and subway easily (driving car or motorcycle is your death as a foreigner!)

So far so good! So, it was time to let classes begin!! I was a bit excited as on my first school day, which is 17 years ago and my girlfriend also had to bring me to class, since I was too afraid to go alone and get lost 😉 I am in a class with five other students……one other from Germany, but living in Scotland, one from Panama, one from St. Kitts and Nevis, one from Senegal and one from Salomon Islands. Wow, so that is I call INTERNATIONAL !!! And maybe even the more cool thing: Everyone is here to learn Chinese 🙂 So on our first day we began with Chinese pronunciation and it started with some really funny attempts to get these Chinese tones out of our mouths, but I guess we didn’t have been bad at all for the first day. In fact, I will go there again tomorrow 🙂

So far, now you are up to date to my first week here in Taiwan, still a lot of things to figure out, but with every new day I get a bit further, stay tuned!