It has been 4 weeks since I landed my very first step at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. When looking back at the last four weeks, I can’t help thinking about how blessed I was to be here and how wonderful and eye-opening experience the last four weeks brought about. On thinking that I have been here for one month, I just feel a little bit scared at how fast time flew and silently wish that time passed by a little bit slower so that I can relish my time here as long as possible.
My friends keep asking me about how it was in Taiwan or how my life has been so far for the last four weeks. I guess that if ones that follow my blog or have already read my status on Facebook, it is quite easy to figure out how I enjoy myself a lot during the last four weeks in Taiwan. The Mandarin course is challenging and interesting, I really enjoy classes as I have the chance to actively practice my listening and speaking skills, the opportunity of which was quite rare when I was in Vietnam. As our class was designed for students at Pre-Upper Intermediate level, we are able to converse in Chinese in several topics like lifestyle, culture difference, politics, business, traditional customs or education, of course, by using layman terms only and I am happy about this. It is interesting that I have not made any conversation in English with the English classmate of mine as his Chinese is really good. We are also assigned with writing exercises after class and presentation every weekend so I do hope that I will make great progress after three months. I have also made friends with lots of international friends (Well, it seems that I have partly realized my childhood dream whenever thinking about studying abroad, which is making friends with people coming from various countries in the world.) I cannot help being surprised whenever chatting with my friends on realizing that how we are different but share something in common in some ways. Thing that I consider the most important about my time in Taiwan is that I have time on my own. When in Taipei, I just feel like I am the owner of my time. It does not mean that I am not as busy as I was in Vietnam. In fact, I found myself equally busy and my schedule is fully occupied all the time. The different thing is that I am busy doing my own stuff. I am busy learning Chinese, reading books, attending lectures or discussion, writing, and travelling. Every night when I am about to sleep, my mind is filled with the schedule or the to-do list in the following day or what I am about to read or write to improve my Chinese or English or what I can do in this short period of time to enhance my knowledge in philosophy, history, law, literature or related areas. I have already known that I am a greedy one when it came to general knowledge for I cannot force myself to focus on enriching my knowledge in a specific area but try my best to obtain as much knowledge from various fields as possible. I have time here to wander museums, bookstores, and libraries. And I have time to do nothing but walk in the campus and reflect on my own. Of course, things are not totally perfect here. Typhoon is not really comfortable to deal with. (Well, I am writing during a day leave due to Megi typhoon and the water supply is cut in Taipei) I have to live on budget, which means that every dime spent here should be counted. (Actually, in comparison with Hanoi, the living cost in Taipei (exclusive of house rental) is slightly higher than it is in Hanoi. However, given the high income level in Taiwan, I do think that life here is really easy to get by as long as you do not have any children yet.) However, I satisfy with life in Taipei so far and hope that things will be even more wonderful in the next two months.