The Essential Mental Packing List for Study Abroad Students in Taiwan

5 thoughts on “The Essential Mental Packing List for Study Abroad Students in Taiwan”

  1. this is a really thorough post, and i agree with almost everything. even though my family is Taiwanese, i still had the same cultural shocks. there are some fashion trends i just can’t comprehend…the glasses with lenses, super plush false eyelashes, fake colored contacts….
    also, the traffic here is horrible!!! i remember my first time in Taiwan (10 years ago), and my foot was so close to getting ran over by a moped. and, i have been close to getting hit by a car too many times to count. a friend told me that when she crosses the street, she smiles at the drivers who are about to drive over, and then they let her go first haha.

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    1. Hi lin! Thanks for your comment 🙂 I agree, the traffic is crazy. But have you been to mainland China yet? They’d beat Taiwan in crazy driving any day lol.

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  2. I didn’t encounter any real problems during my first days in Taiwan, but the only thing that gave me headaches were the scooters. I’ve never seen so many and it really stressed me, when they just never stopped or when someone drove slowly behind my back on the sidewalk. However, 1 month later I became a master of crossing the street, I copied the Taiwanese, who zig-zag through the scooters, bikes and cars like it’s the most natural thing to do. And it is! 😛 That day, when I realized, that I’m not bothered by scooters anymore, I said to my girlfriend: Wow, I’m becoming Taiwanese 🙂

    I must say I love the fried food, all food, Taiwan is food heaven. And I think people are very polite. I went to Macau and was shocked how rude can some people be.

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    1. Haha, definitely–I appreciate your comment, Kafka. It just goes to show that culture shock is different for every person. Oddly enough, the traffic here never bothered me at all. I suppose I can attribute that to the fact that I grew up in the NY area and have always been used to walking into moving traffic. Also, having spent three months in mainland China, Taiwan’s crazy driving habits to me seem calm and peaceful–er, relatively. But that’s a good point to mention because the traffic can be hard to get used to for a lot of newcomers here.

      And if fried food is what you like, then you’re definitely in the right place! Unfortunately for me, I’ve never liked fried things (give me a good grilled chicken sandwich, on the other hand…), so Taiwanese “specialties” like 雞排 or fried *vegetables* just make my tummy feel sad. But again, that’s just me. See my first bullet point for qualification.

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