In all honesty, I feel like the older I am, the less excited I get about Christmas. However, this was the first time I would be spending it not in NZ, and away from my family. To help with the being away from home, a secret Santa was organised amongst us PMSA students in Tainan, which was a very cute idea!
A couple of days before Christmas, on the 22nd, me and my language partner went to this adorable DIY baking studio (📍自己做烘焙聚樂部), where you get provided all the ingredients and recipes to make all sorts of baking treats. We decided to go with making two 4-inch strawberry cakes (巧莓奶油蛋糕), which is part of their Christmas series. At the end, we were given a postcard to write a message, which the store will keep and mail to you for next year’s (2023) Christmas! As it would’ve been a bit much to expect them to send it to NZ, I kept mine to take home. Despite the slightly imperfect appearance, it felt really rewarding to box up my own little cake to take home!
Christmas Eve was very exciting! Throughout all of December, there were concerts being held on Saturday, and luckily (or purposefully) this included the 24th. There were so many great artists there, but the highlights for me were Taiwanese band Accusefive 告五人 and Korean artist Sunmi! Not only was the concert free, but the crowd was very respectful of space and there was no pushing. Despite arriving late, the layout meant we could still see the stage quite clearly. It was a bit cold, and my legs got slightly numb from standing for so long, but these problems dimmed in comparison to how good the concert was. The only small downside was that I discovered that, even in Taiwan, I am shorter than the average height, making it a bit hard to see sometimes, but music can be listened to!
Christmas day began with breakfast with my Chinese class! Classes would’ve definitely been less enjoyable if not for my wonderful teacher and classmates, and it was nice to catch up in a setting outside of the classroom. Lunch was spent with all the NCKU PMSA students, and we had food in a park and exchanged our Secret Santa gifts. The weather was really nice, and it was good to spend some time with the whole group!
Update on classes:
Topic three is plastic surgery, which is quite prominent in Taiwan and other Asian countries. In my class, we will regularly have small tests on the new vocabulary, but I recently just completed a bigger test. What I find interesting is that while typing is allowed, you get extra marks for handwriting, which makes sense considering that it is a lot harder. I admire all the students that have the ability to do that!