What have you learned about the city in which you’re working in? Would you like to return?
I work in Taipei, Taiwan and am absolutely in love with it. Even though I’ve been coming back to visit every summer for the past few years, this trip has been an eye opening experience. It’s taught me both a lot about Taipei and myself.
Before coming here, I was afraid that I would get bored and tired after three months. I was also afraid that I wouldn’t be independent enough to navigate Taipei without my immediate family. Thirdly, I was afraid that I would have a hard time meeting new people. I can tell you now that no such things happened.
Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to meet new people and explore Taipei. With my colleagues, I’ve gone to Elephant Mountain to see Taipei’s night scene, Tung Hua Night Market to eat Peanut Ice Cream, and the Taipei Zoo.
One of my favorite things about Taipei is the different kinds of public transportation it offers. They have the MRT (underground metro), buses, shuttles, and YouBikes (bicycle rentals). It’s amazing how convenient and cheap it is to get around the city. Every weekday, I take Bus 1 to and from Taipei Medical University (TMU), and the fare is only 15 NTD = $0.47 each way! Another thing that’s really cheap and delicious here is the food. Meals average three to six dollars no matter what time of the day, which is pretty amazing.
Another interesting thing I’ve learned about Taipei is how crowded and overwhelming it can get at times. However, public transportation makes it convenient it to go to quieter and more spacious areas in Taipei. For example, one of my favorites places in Taipei is National Taiwan University’s (NTU) campus, which is only a five minute walk from my home! It’s the biggest college campus in Taiwan and offers a lot of space for recreational activities such as walking, biking, tennis, basketball, etc.
In the end, Taiwan is a second home to me. If possible, my goal is to visit Taipei and Taiwan at least once a year to see family, friends, and to immerse myself in its culture and environment.