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June 30, 2012 / windlessly

Taiwan Travels: Day 0

So I’m going to Taiwan for the next 5 weeks as part of an overseas volunteer teaching english program in Taiwan, and already I’m super excited!!

I’m sitting in SFO airport right now, upstairs from where my actual gate is because I’ve commandeered one of the outlets to recharge my phone (oops it’s almost dead haha) and to start my initial thoughts. I hope I have enough time to get out what I would like because we should start boarding in about 20 minutes.

It’s been so awesome up to this point, and the funny thing is that I haven’t even made it into Taiwan yet!! My friends are the simply the best- up until my departure from Syracuse, I had so much fun that it made me NOT want to travel around for the summer. Saying goodbye was hard but I promised I would write and bring gifts =] I actually spent 2 days in California with my cousins before preparing to go to Taiwan, which was really fun as well. It’s awesome getting to spend time with cousins, and my aunt and uncle were really helpful in packing and getting me ready to travel and all that. I’ll definitely miss them but it makes me appreciate family so much!!

So I’ll try to record as much of my trip as I can in my blog. I stupidly forgot to bring my camera USB connector so uploading pictures will be difficult… I’ll try to find a way though. And I don’t even know if I’ll be able to post every day. I’ll call today Day 0 because I literally have not even left US soil yet xD California time is a good 15 behind Taiwan time, but it’s more convenient to think of it compared to Syracuse, my hometown. New York and Taiwan differ by 12 hours exactly (Taiwan is ahead in time, so technically over there it is already June 30th).

It’s my first time travelling overseas on my own, but I’m not really nervous at all. I’ve had plenty of experience going to California by my lonesome self so airports don’t faze me. It’s just interesting to see so many different people bustling about in one place. When I get to Taipei airport I’ll have to do a bit of searching to meet up with the people from the program, but I’m not worried- I’ll be getting there early. The flight is gonna be a sore 14 hours- I packed lots of snacks and hopefully I’ll be able to sleep a good portion of it. So this is it! What will probably follow is a bunch of random parts of my trip and my thoughts along the way.

But now I’m hungry- I think I’ll go eat a cheeseburger. Cheers!


Sooo my flight got delayed because of ground operations. Everyone was so hasty to get in line, too. You of course have seating 1 or 2 or 3 on your ticket, but everyone was crowding so much that the lady kept insisting that people sit back down. I mean, we’re all going to get on that plane, and it’s not going to take off unless everyone boards, so what’s the rush? Anyways, I now know why people were shooting me odd glances while I was sitting by the outlet. It wasn’t the cheeseburger that I was chowing down after all-  I was sitting right below a digital clock. >.>

Hahahaha I suppose now would be as good a time as ever to bring up how happy I am to be surrounded by asians! xD  It makes sense I suppose, going on a flight to Taipei… but seriously I’ve seen like twenty pretty girls walk past already in the past half hour. Something else I found hilarious: naturally there are older folk here as well (well duh), but still… whenever they would give out directions or updates on the status on the flight they would say it in english, then repeat in mandarin chinese. They announced for people with seating 1 to start boarding, and I look up to see no one moving. Then they repeat it in mandarin and ALL the old folk get up at once and hurry over to get in line. 

I’m feeling a bit sentimental about my phone because I just realized that once I step on the plane, my cellphone will be just about useless. I’m planning on borrowing one from my relative but still, texting has been so convenient that losing it is just one more barrier between me and life in the U.S. And the other thing that I’m super sad about- I might miss the final match for the Euro Cup due to jetlag!! Gahh I saw the highlights from the Italy Germany game and I am shocked that Italy managed to pull through. Balotelli’s second goal was nothing short of amazing. So yeah, the match will start broadcasting in Taiwan at 2 or 3 am in the morning and unfortunately I don’t know if I’ll be conscious at all after a full day after a long 14 hour flight. I’ll make a prediction right now and say Italy in a 3-1 victory over Spain. =P


So now I’m here in Taiwan. I felt the humidity right as I stepped off the plane. I have to admit I’m feeling a tiny bit nervous now… it sucks to be illiterate in your native tongue. I barely got by the English on the signs and found my way to where I was supposed to be. There are a LOT of people here, and I’m crouched on the side blogging because I feel like if I don’t write something down now I’ll forget the moment. They handed people chinese newspapers as soon as I went on the plane… I couldn’t take one because I can’t read >.> And being in the country now. I’m having doubts about my teaching ability… I used to be confident in teaching most things, but now that I have to use mandarin instead of English… that makes a huge difference. It’s definitely a lot more daunting and I hope I don’t slip out some chinglish while I’m here, which will probably happen a lot. I just hope I can find my way around Taiwan without being able to read most signs!


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