October 27: Everyday life in Taipei

Hello! It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated, but I figured that as I sit here and enjoy my morning coffee and baozi after class, I could update you all on what’s been happening in the last month here in Taipei! I’ve now been here for more than 2 months.

Firstly, here’s a picture of my breakfast today. I went to my favorite independent cafe and got a brown sugar latte and then went to a little hole-in-the-wall place that makes only 3 types of baozi. I got a couple pork and one red bean baozi. (Baozi: a steamed bun with some type of filling. Common fillings are pork, red bean, or veggie)

Lately, my general mindset has been: head empty, no thoughts. I’ve been here long enough to have a general routine down and school has been exhausting, so I’ve not done anything too exciting in the last two weeks.

Here’s what I typically do each day!

8am-10am Chinese class. This is my regular class, so the teachers and the students are the same each day.
10am-12During this time I usually hang out at school. I either grab food, study, or attend a lecture.
Lunch TimeAfter I leave school I usually grab a lunch on my way home and eat it at home. Occasionally I go out with a friend. My go-to lunches are pork w/rice, tofu, rice bowls, and sandwiches. If I go out with a friend we usually get something special like pizza, burgers, burritos, or poke bowls.
AfternoonSometimes I go back to school or hang out with a friend. Otherwise, I just study in the afternoons (sometimes at home, sometimes at a coffee shop, rarely the school library)
EveningsI grab dinner somewhere and usually eat at home unless I’m going out with someone. I also either study, hang out with friends/roommates, go for a walk, or watch TV.
My teacher brought us Pineapple Cakes (famous in Taiwan) one day in class!

In case you’re wondering about Chinese class, here are some of the topics we’ve been discussing in my class: online shopping, plastic surgery, healthcare, farm product imports/exports, and work culture. It’s interesting to hear the opinions of my classmates who are from other countries (primarily East and Southeast Asian countries). For example, many of my classmates have more conservative values than Americans traditionally have, but plastic surgery is actually more common in Asia.

Along with my regular Chinese class (2 hours everyday), I attend some lectures each week. The options are: conversation classes, everyday Chinese, movies, TV series, and a writing class. Typically I go to the Everyday Chinese class each week where we learn about different topics like working, airports, immigration, relationships, etc.. I have also gone to the conversation lectures, but they aren’t my favorite. The movies and tv series classes are where you just get to watch a movie or episode. They don’t have English subtitles, so sometimes I find it hard to follow depending on the topic of the movie.

Things coming up:

  • Later today I will go to a lecture/performance/introduction at school about traditional Taiwanese Opera
  • Next weekend, I’ll go see an officiall traditional Taiwanese performance. My friend here is the lead in the show and I’m really excited! I’ve heard the show is in Hakka (the Taiwanese language), but that there’s lot of dance so I should be able to follow the story
  • It’s Halloween this weekend! I’m excited to see how Halloween is celebrated in Taiwan
  • The school semester is already 2/3 over! In a couple of weeks, I’ll have my final exam which will determine what level I move to next term. And then we’ll have a week off of school at the end of November before starting winter term

Happy Halloween!!


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