January 7: Winter Vibes

Happy very late holidays! 聖誕節快樂!新年快樂!

Last time I checked in, I was starting a new semester of Chinese classes. My new intensive Chinese class perfectly fits its title. With 3 hours of class each day, I am expected to be studying a minimum of 4 hours outside of class every day. It’s a lot. We learn a chapter every 3 days and test on the 4th day. This means learning ~100 vocab words, ~8 new grammar structures, doing a presentation, two dictation tests, reading two stories, and being able to keep up with class discussions. My teacher also just expects a lot from us in terms of quality of studying and homework. So for our essays each chapter, she asks us to write them twice to fix our mistakes. Again, it’s a lot, 太麻煩啊.

Yummy pho from a resturant around the corner from my apartment

On another note, it’s finally winter here! Taiwan is a hot and wet country, but it’s cold in the winter. I know what you’re all thinking – but Corinn, you’re from Minnesota, you’re used to the cold. No, this is so different. One of the problems with living in a hot country that occasionally drops into the 40s in the winter (still with high humidity) is that buildings are neither heated nor insulated. So when it’s 40 degrees outside (Fahrenheit), it’s only 60 degrees in my house. It’s also an extremely wet cold as it never stops raining. So it chills you to the bone. (**It’s wet enough that it’s common for everything in your house to grow mold without running a dehumidifier constantly)

My roommate and I made a gingerbread house for Christmas – which was completely demolished at our xmas party the next day

Other than that, here’s what’s up!

  • I went shrimp fishing! It’s freshwater shrimp (they’re really big) in a pool. It’s very popular here
  • My roommates and I threw a killer Christmas party at our apartment for Christmas Eve with a huge mix of people from all over the world!
  • I’ve tried so many new foods lately. Have you ever eaten a guanabana? Or fried swordfish? Whole grilled freshwater shrimp? Hot dessert soup with boba and pudding? A whole squid? Hong Kong style bubble waffles? Duck blood in hotpot? Conveyor belt sushi? You’re really missing out if you haven’t tried everything!
  • We had a big earthquake recently while I was in class
  • I went to a Taiwanese friends for NYE and celebrated with their family and a bunch of friends
  • I went to another friend’s traditional Hakka opera performance (read my post about that here)
  • I’m extending my apartment lease here until the end of May
Got to see another friend perform in a traditional Hakka opera!
Japanese Souffle Pancakes

Here’s what’s coming up!

  • Chinese New Year (CNY) break is very soon!! Starting January 20th
  • I am making some plans for CNY, but nothing set in stone yet
  • I am making a quick run to Hong Kong in Februrary both to visit a friend and because I need to leave Taiwan because of my visa
  • One of my New Year’s resolutions is to read more books this year, so hit me up with your book suggestions!
  • My semester ends at the end of Feb, and I’m looking at doing something different here for next semester- stay tuned for that!!

Thanks for reading!

Corinn 施凱玲

One thought on “January 7: Winter Vibes

  1. Wow, it sounds like you are adapting very well! We love hearing about what your life is like now and anxious to find out what the future will be! It’s winter!, keep your Cuddle Dudds on😊

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