I grew up in San Francisco, California. I am the youngest in my family, and first to study abroad. My parents both grew up in Canton, China, so I would like to know more about the Chinese culture. That is also why I chose to go to Taiwan.
Since I have been to China for vacation a few times already, I wanted to visit a new country for a new experience of Chinese Culture. Living abroad has taught me how to live on my own, to become independent.
In a wine making company, people would use clay containers to brew wine. The special quality of clay pots is that they have the effect of letting air go in and out. This would give the wine a special alcohol taste to it. If the wine was to be brewed in a glass container, it would not taste the same. This is why wine is only contained in a glass bottle when it is ready for sale.
Going to Ying Ge is a trip created by UCEAP/CSUIP for CSU and UC students studying abroad. Thanks to CSUIP and our tour guide, we got to make our own pizza with an outdoor oven made of bricks and clay. It was nice to gain the experience of eating delicious food from traditional ways of cooking. Inside the oven, they have prepared yams for us.
Going to Tainan's temple showed me how Taiwanese people make a wish to do well on their test. I did the same, and got one of those yellow pieces of paper, chose a stamp, and stamped it. Next, I wrote down how I hope the gods will help me earn good grades in my classes and hung the paper on the wall with everyone else's.
The Banyan tree. This tree has been a symbol of the Tainan Confucian Temple since hundreds of years. Through the years, the tree hadn't been cared for, so it became ill. It is only still here today because Taiwanese are trying to give it a natural environment and help it grow, hoping to rescue this representative tree.
In the Confucian temple of Tainan, we give incense to the gods and wished for our family's safety and a good future for our lives. This has helped me to learn a lot about the Chinese culture. Because there are many temples in Taiwan, it's easy to see how the Taiwanese cherish their gods.
Some of us CSU and UC students went on the trip to Tainan. This was a great adventure to see the difference between living in the city and the suburbs.
By coming to Sun Moon Lake's paper factory, I was amazed at how people make paper. I learned that paper made by machines is easy to tear horizontally and hard to tear vertically. One of the types of paper made by machines is paper for newspapers. I have always wondered why newspapers were so hard to tear vertically. With the handmade paper, it is hard to tear vertically and horizontally. This is because handmade paper is made sheet by sheet. They use a large curtain to separate the fiber from the liquid. Then dry it on heated metal.
I enjoyed how we created our own paper fans with the handmade paper. The one on the right is the one I made. I got to choose the design and the color of ribbon I wanted for the border of the fan. It was amazing to learn the fact that paper can be made from anything with fiber, including elephant's feces.
The view of the city from the top of Taipei 101. Taipei City is beautiful, especially when looking down from so high up.
Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world, has a hundred floors above ground.
On New Years Eve, around 11 o'clock at night, we stood by Taipei 101 waiting for the pretty fireworks to blast out from all four sides of the building. The building had numbers for the countdown. I was excited to start the New Year in Taiwan.
On our farewell banquet, everyone dressed nice and got together for a buffet. It is sad how one semester has gone by so fast and how people are leaving Taiwan already. I am happy for the opportunity CSUIP has given us to stay abroad for one year. I believe I will learn a lot more this coming semester.
Learn more about the study abroad program in Taiwan