This article is dedicated to the perception of time. Instead of improving the country via updates, I will talk about a second first résumé. The reason is, that I’ve already spent 2.0 months in Taiwan. Not 1.99; not 2.01; on the day, exactly 2.0 months. In these 61 days, a lot of stuff had changed – such as my phone – and I want to give you a short overview. As you know me, I created a list of 5 Things, That Changed In Two Awesome Months:
When I came here I was shocked. Although it was obvious that Chinese is the main language of Taiwan, I believed that there is some kind of inter-nationality, especially when it comes to menus at the restaurant. My Chinese was rusted a bit because after two years of studying this language, I had a two and a half years break. To all people who said, that I should learn more Chinese before coming to Taiwan: your “I told you so” is appropriate.
Nevertheless, after two months of daily life and a good Chinese course, I have to attend every Monday, my Chinese is getting better again. Not GOOD good but at least I can understand, read and speak more than at the beginning of September. Not only my Chinese skills had improved, but also my English proficiency, due to the international friends group and the usage whenever my Chinese is not good enough – so almost every time. Also in my mother tongue German I had made a slight shift to a more formal expression, because my German friends could hardly understand me, when I talk in Austrian German. Because I don’t like German German, we speak in English as well most of the time.
In the two months, I have been here I gained a new skill set that might be important for my future career. First I know more about content marketing, which I am really into. Secondly I gained the knowledge of using the statistics program SPSS. At JKU we did quantitative research with the program R, which is more difficult and full of coding, so I never had the chance to use SPSS. For data analysis SPSS is a really neat tool and it is easy applicable. After R, I am glad to let the computer do what I want, instead of the other way around.
What also changed in two months is my sports behavior. In the first weeks here, I was gaining a lot of weight because 90% food is fried rice or fried noodles with hardly any vegetables. So I decided to do sports again, for real. First we played a lot of Volleyball within the friends group, just for fun. Then I participated in the normal Volleyball-Team-Training. My problem was, that for the beginners I was too good, because of my 16 years of experience in this sport. For the good players, I was too weak, because my last real Volleyball-Training was almost eight years ago. So I tried the next sport.
We have a lot of good football players in our exchange group, so I tried to play with them. It was not bad, but something was missing – maybe my talent. So I moved on to Taekwondo. I always wanted to learn a martial art, and the Korean kick-based fighting type was the only one offered. I am still practicing and it makes a lot of fun with the people there.
Besides team or fighting sports I’ve also visited the gym from time to time. In Austria I had been more often at the fitness center, but the gym here can’t compete with the quality of PlusCity FitInn. I’ve got the chance to play table tennis and tennis once or twice too. Nevertheless, the activity I’ve done here the most was running.
There is a running field in front of the dorm and I managed to beat my personal time for ten kilometers, because I had none. So I run approximately three days a week between 12,5 and 25 rounds – five and ten kilometers – and I love it.
Friends are like stars. Even you can’t see them, they are there. The same is for my friends back in Austria. Nonetheless, I am not obliged to have just 30 of them, so I’ve become friends with a lot of people here in Taiwan. According to Facebook, I added 50 or 60 new people in two months, but you can’t take this number for reliable measurements. As foreigner, you are some kind of superstar in Tainan, so every week you meet new people on campus, who want to be friends with you just because of your foreignness.
I don’t mind that, but they can’t be seen as real friends. The people from the exchange group are friends. We’d shared a lot of things together and will experience lots of awesome stuff in the nearer future. For me, it will be hard, when most of them will go back wherever they come from. At least I have met a lot of Taiwanese people and exchange students who will stay longer, so I am not alone in the far South-East.
The last thing that had changed in two months, are my routines. My early-bird behavior is ruined; my sleeping rhythm is diffuse; at least I brush my teeth on a regular base. Every day, I am going to sleep at around 2 o’clock AM, thus I am exhausted when I have to wake up early or sleep until 11 AM. I’ve managed to get up before 8:30 AM only two times since September and I am not proud of it. Further I drink less coffee, just eat five/six bowls of soup for lunch in the cantina and drink way more beer than in Austria. In what way this change can be considered as awesome, is in the eye of the observer. But optimism rules, so it is awesome. Study, Eat, Sleep, Repeat, yeah.
At least I’ve kept the routine to write my blog, so all of you are entertained! Also, thank you for the marvelous feedback for the money-poem. I was very happy about that.
After giving you a short overview what is going on in a country far far away, I will keep on changing. Because when you stop your progress, the world won’t wait for you!
Ich bin jetzt auf den Tag genau zwei Monate in Taiwan und wollte euch einen Überblick geben, was sich so alles geändert hat:
- Sprache: Mein Chinesisch, Englisch und sogar Hoch-Deutsch haben sich seit September sehr verbessert, obwohl ich mit meinen Freunden aus Deutschland lieber in Englisch spreche.
- Fähigkeiten: Meine Fachlichen Fähigkeiten sind die um die Benutzung des Analyseprogramms SPSS erweitert worden. Zudem werde ich so auch schlauer 😉
- Sport: Ich habe angefangen Taekwondo zu betreiben und habe beim Laufen meine persönliche Bestmarke für 10 Kilometer verbessert – weil ich vorher keine hatte.
- Freunde: Ich habe hier so viele Menschen kennengelernt. Internationale als auch Einheimische zähle ich gerne zu meinem neuen Freundeskreis.
- Routinen: Mein Schlafrhythmus ist ein wenig verschoben, zudem esse ich zum Mittag nur Suppe und trinke viel mehr Bier als in Österreich.
Nach den letzten zwei Monaten gilt es sich immer weiter zu entwickeln, denn die Welt wartet nicht, wenn man stehen bleibt.