Welcome back to my page, everyone; I’m terribly sorry for taking so long to upload this blog! It’s been quite hectic since moving into the dorms and getting into the nitty gritty of university life here. I want to focus this blog more on these last 1-2 weeks of December, so I can give everyone a thorough update on how it’s been here (PS, this is future Juliette from February, let’s ignore this and pretend it is still December!).
Throughout these two last weeks of December, I’ve managed to venture out when I could and try a few new things, such as food (of course) and new places near the dorms! Whenever we had free time in the evening, a few of us would research to see what new food places we could find nearby or even just take a walk around and hope to stumble across something good. Maia and I discovered a cheap hot pot place not too far from the dorms that has become a regular favourite for us to go to. It’s known for being so cheap for students, which we are ourselves, and the owners have always been super nice to us and even remembered where we were from! Another food discovery I’ve made from being here is how cheap foodpanda is. Sometimes the workload from class was a lot and didn’t allow me to go out to get dinner, so a few others and I would resort to ordering together via foodpanda; it was so reliable and cheap! I’ll definitely miss not being able to get cheap food delivery when I’m back in New Zealand.
After a couple of weeks of going to school, I reckon I could say I have managed to settle in a bit better now compared to the start. Although I still haven’t adjusted to the amount of homework and tests I have every day, making a routing for myself and starting study habits has been useful! I’ve found that the best place for me to study is the NCKU library, it’s super quiet and such a nice environment to be in. Also! We’ve finally started our 报告 (Presentations) in class; turns out they aren’t as bad as I anticipated them to be, and thanks to my great classmates for making me feel more comfortable when presenting. However, being a procrastinator does not help the situation, so I’m hoping I’ll get the hang of it after a few more tries~
Now onto some fun activities I’ve been able to do recently:
A few of us were able to have the real Taiwanese student experience and go to karaoke on a school night. Seven of us went to karaoke at 11:30 pm and sang until 2:30 am on a Thursday! Normally the tradition for Taiwanese students is that they start singing around midnight till sunrise and continue their day by going to school with no sleep, as karaoke there is a lot cheaper during the early hours of the day. Surprisingly our time went by so quickly, so I can definitely see why they do it! The prices were also super cheap for what we were given; apart from the actual karaoke, we also had a lot of snacks and beverages. The whole experience of this was really awesome and definitely worth losing a couple of hours of sleep.
Maia and I went to another night market together with a few others and got to try some more tasty Taiwanese food! One of them was Tanghulu; it was so cheap and tasty. However, weirdly enough, they put a cherry tomato at the bottom of it…? (The Tanghulu we got was sugar-coated strawberries on a skewer, so it was weird having the tomato at the bottom). Another sweet snack we tried was Taiwanese egg cakes. They were also cheap and super tasty, as well as they were shaped into really cute things like a chicken and an elephant!
Tainan Young Dec Christmas Concert!
A few of us managed to find out about a free concert that was being held in Tainan with performances from Taiwanese artists. They even managed to get Sunmi to come and perform! (Sunmi is a famous Korean idol). It was held from 7 pm to 10 pm, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it, especially since we didn’t have to pay for the entrance. In fact, we even arrived 10 minutes late and managed to get a spot near the front. The atmosphere was totally different to what you expect at a New Zealand concert; there was no crowding and space for people to walk through anywhere, hence how we got so close. Another surprise was that Taiwanese people seemed to enjoy the performances silently, whereas we wanted to cheer and dance the whole time!
On Christmas day, all fifteen of us that are on the exchange gathered together for a cute Christmas lunch at Tainan park! It was such a beautiful day, and we got to enjoy some quality time together in the sun. We decided to do Secret Santa, which was such a good idea as we’re all away from our families, which, of course, means that we’re missing out on Christmas presents.
Cultural Baking Class
NCKU organised a class for us to go and taste test some special Taiwanese desserts, as well as attempt to make a Taiwanese Wedding cake! The whole process of it was thoroughly enjoyable and unique, although, towards the end, my cake didn’t turn out the best. It still tasted amazing afterwards, and this experience was definitely memorable.
That’s all for this blog; I’ve been getting up to so much recently that it’s been super hard not to overwrite too much and bore you all to death! My next blog will definitely be jam-packed with even more activities I’m planning to do, as it’s already the New Year, and our time is coming to an end soon here in Taiwan.
See you all later! <3