So, I’ve been living in Taiwan for about five months now (wow that long already, time really flies). So, although this is my first offical post I have been writing blogs, but sadly I ran into some issues to do with connectivity to Sussed and Southampton University email; with it only occasionally working from certain spots, apparently it to do with VPN’s or something. Regardless I have access now and that’s what matters.
I thought for my first ever blog post on the subject of living abroad I’d begin by discussing the one simple lesson that I quickly learned upon arriving and living here in the first few weeks. I feel this lesson is the one that i would want told to me if I was thinking about moving away from family and friends to a place as alien and distant from home as Taiwan is. This simple lesson that I’m talking about is that ‘when abroad one should embrace the chaos’and understand that almost all of your carefully crafted and well made plans will not play out as expected. Ultimately, this is part of the experience you ate a 20 year old student living for the first time alone literally on the other side of the planet, one must except that mistakes will be made, and that this experience is the perfect time to make them especially since you’re young there is no better time to make them. I myself have lost count of the amount of mistakes that I have made especially within the first few weeks.
These mistakes have ranged from silly little things such as how I was going around saying ‘Bùkèqì 不客气’ which means you’re welcome instead of what I was actually trying to say which was ‘duìbuqǐ 对不起’- I’m sorry/ excuse me. I’ll let you imagine the level of embarrassment I felt when one of my local Taiwanese friends pointed out to me that I’d been saying you’re welcome every time I made a mistake or barged into someone on the street.
Or on a different occasion I ended up ordering enough food at a dinner to feed a small army due to a mis-translation. I’ll highlight the fact that I was eating alone and that after I order the waitress kept checking that my wife wasn’t joining me, which at the time I brushed off and interpreted as meaning that I looked old enough to be married; instead of it meaning I’d order enough food to feed a football team. Luckily, they had doggy bags and I took the food home.
So I’ll finish up this first blog post by saying that if I could sum up my time so far in Taiwan I would say it began chaotically and many many mistakes were made, I mean if i’m being honest i’m on month 5 and i’m still making mistakes, but through this experience I have learned that mistakes are just part of the experience and you just learn to shrug it off and overcome them.