I still can’t believe that about two months ago, I logged on to the AIESEC website and clicked “join” to a six-week project in a country I have no idea how to speak the language too. Sure, I was excited and the little adventurous kid inside my heart jumped a little. Nevertheless, my skeptical, grown-up mind was also whispering to me, “What were you thinking?”
On the first week, that little kid proved my grown-up mind wrong. It was fun and everything was new to me. I met and made friends with people from Australia, Malaysia, South Korea, and Indonesians from other parts of the island. I was surprised that we became so close in such short amount of time. Everywhere we go, we go together. From exploring the famous Taiwanese night markets to trying out traditional foods like the Chou/Stinky Tofu (literally smells like the toilet) and drinking bubble tea almost every single day. The point is, we had a blast.
After finishing the project, we spent our days traveling around Taiwan. We were staying in Kaohsiung the whole time but we went to other cities like Tainan, Taichung, and of course, Taipei during our vacation. In each city, we went to the night market, no matter how crowded it is or how long we have to wait in line for the famous foods. We also visited historical sites and tourist attractions. We even got the chance to rent a bike and cycle around the city. Moreover, it was such an adventure because we had to plan our trip ourselves and search for the routes and all.
Tainan is a small city, just 30 minutes away from Kaohsiung by train. Although small, it is a city filled with a variety of flavourful cuisines. The food here is much cheaper compared to other cities in Taiwan as is just as delicious. Little did I know that Tainan used to be the capital city of Taipei, before it was changed to Taipei.
On chinese new year’s day, we arrive in the city of Taichung, which is famous for its beautiful nature and sceneries. The most interesting place in Taichung to me is the Rainbow Village. It is a small village with houses and event the pavements on the ground, painted with vibrant colours composing of primarily red, yellow, and blue. The patterns painted looks like drawn cartoons telling the story about traditions, love, and family.
The last four days, we spent in the great city of Taipei. Taipei is very modern and famous for its unique architectures. Surely, we visited Taipei 101, which is the highest building in Taipei and was one the tallest building in the world until 2010, when it is replaced by Burj Khalifa. The lower levels of the building is a high-class shopping mall, while the upper parts of the building is filled with offices and financial centers. We also visited Jiu Fen, a village which became an inspiration for the scenes created in the movie called Spirited Away. The place is high above the mountains and along the village is houses from wood, decorate with lanterns. The alleys are filled with shops selling delicious foods and Taiwanese souvenirs.
Unfortunately, all that fun has come to an end as the project is ending. Me and my friend, Clarissa were the first to leave and we all cried so much that our eyes hurt. However, it turns out that we missed our flight. I know, it was stupid and reckless of us. But, I believe it was destiny as we get to be reunited with the others again to spend one last crazy night.
In short, that project was the best six weeks I had in my life. I never thought that six weeks could pass along so quickly, never thought that I’d had this much fun and sorrow, never thought that I’d survive living in a Chinese-speaking country (before I could literally only speak 3 Chinese words = xie xie (thank you), ni hao (how are you), and zaijian (goodbye)), and I surely never thought that I could make so many friends in just six weeks. It was surely an unexpected journey that I would re-live if I ever got the chance.
By: Eva Jessica
Header image credited to: Tumblr