Greetings from Kaohsiung, Taiwan! As I write this, I am sitting in the tile-floored living room of my friend Jenny’s home using her dad’s laptop. Outside, the sun is shining, the weather warm enough for shorts (in my opinion). Inside, the four of us (Jenny, her dad, her grandmother, and I) sit quietly reading, writing, and posting pics online.
Quite a contrast to the three-and-a-half days I just spent in Taipei sight-seeing, eating, catching up with friends, drinking bubble tea, celebrating the New Year, eating, and taking pictures of absolutely everything. (When I get back to my apartment and laptop, I’ll post some of the pics.) I had a lot of fun in Taipei, but the gloomy weather was starting to wear on my spirits, so looking out the window at a scene full of sunshine is a most welcome change.
This trip has already been so much more than I expected. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to take a step back from my life in Korea and everything that has been happening and gain some perspective.
First of all, I’ve realized how comfortable I’ve gotten in Korea. As soon as I got here, the new smells, sights, language, and culture jolted me a bit, and I found myself missing Korea. (Even the red bean buns here taste different!) While talking to my friends, I caught myself saying, “In Korea, we do this” or “we have this," and whenever I automatically bowed to someone while thanking them or after bumping into them (which they don’t do here), I felt so Korean!
When I scheduled this trip several months ago, I thought it would be a nice, needed getaway in the middle of my 10-month stay in Korea. I thought I would be hungry for a new adventure and desperate to see familiar faces from home. Little did I imagine that by the time I reached this four-month mark, I would already have come to think of Korea as my new home.
Okay, more later. Off to the night market for more food and more boba!