The one with the amazing dinner

Of to a good start with a delayed boarding because of a late arrival of the airplane and then some sort of emergency with one of the passengers so we had to go back to the terminal. This inconvenience caused the airline to give a generous discount of 30 percent, excluding drinks, food, and the pen you might to buy to fill out your entry card.

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Luckily we selected the seats at the emergency exit, otherwise I’d probably need to cut off my legs. The flight went by really fast, even though the plane comes without any sort of entertainment, unless you count the awkward smile of the stewardess.
I noticed the first difference to any other country when we arrived at the baggage claim: no one was standing in a big huddle, instead a lady working for the airline lifted the heavy luggage of the transportation band and placed it swiftly on the floor.

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We brought our luggage to the car and drove on the left side of the road (first time for me) to Narumi’s home. Sadly her mom misplace the remote of the AC so our first night was a little colder than both of us had hoped for. Continue reading

The one where Tiantian leaves Taiwan

Yes that’s right I’m leaving Taiwan … because we’re flying to f*ing Japan! I still can’t believe it, I think until I hear everyone around me speak a language that I don’t understand I won’t realize it.
After our last breakfast in Taiwan for this month and a desperately needed cup of coffee we took the bus to Taoyuan so we’d be in time for our flight at 6 pm to Narita airport. As if the sun wanted to mock us it shone extra strong today and gave us a bright blue sky during our bus ride. In Japan we won’t be able to run around in a T-Shirt. We booked the tickets a while ago via vanilla air, really a fair price to go to Japan and since we’re staying with friends and family it’ll hopefully won’t leave us broke after two weeks.

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We already checked-in our luggage and right now we’re anxiously waiting to board the plane to Japan. Even though I didn’t sleep much it’s impossible to fall asleep right now, so excited! ᶘ ᵒᴥᵒᶅ

The one about the many goodbyes

The day came a lot faster than expected. As soon as the semester was over the first people packed their bags and went of to the airport. First one to go was Fernand, my beloved roommate with whom I had so many wonderful moments throughout the semester! Once he left it felt like a never ending stream of embraces, farewells, promises that one will visit each other, and of course a few tears.
Now all of them already took a plane home or in some cases to another country to relax after the past stressful weeks. Now it’s time to look forward, to new friends, the end of an era, and a new beginning. I’m lucky that I had so many awesome people around me in the past month and I still have a lot of friends left here in Taiwan (Naru, tomorrow we’re flying to Japan <3). Still I’m going to miss the spontaneous breakfasts, lunch, dinners, tea breaks, yoga and gym sessions, trips to clubs and bars, gossip and counseling sessions, and everything else about you Berber.

Guys, take care of yourselves and don’t forget the amazing time we all had together. Hopefully we’ll meet again someday.

The one about New Years

I know most people think this blog took the same fate as many travel blogs do. At some point the author get’s bored and just stops writing new entries. That might be partly true for this blog but the bigger problem was, that I was lacking the time to sit down and start writing. I was busy with university, friends, food, yoga, and life. A lot happened in the past months and now we’re already in the first weeks of 2015. So let me bring you up to speed and tell you a bit about the time between my last entry and now.

In the days past my last entry I met a really interesting person. I don’t know what you’ll do if you meet someone who’s funny, intelligent, and you have a wonderful time talking to that person. When I met her, we spend a lot of time with each other. We went to different restaurants together, the night market, and later for a day trip to Kenting. Even though it wasn’t planned but we wanted to do something special on the national holiday. First we planned on going to Xiao Liuqiu, but the ferry had a long line of people in front of it so we decided to go further south and ended up spending the days on Taiwan’s beautiful coastline. Nice side effect of this unplanned trip: I was able to go to the hostel I staid at before and got my towel back (yes also Germans lose their stuff sometimes).

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Apart from a few unforgettable nights at Muse and Red Wolf in Tainan and Paris Dance Club in Taichung, Halloween was even more special. I’m really happy that Nelida and Nadir decided to drive down to Tainan and make this an awesome night! We didn’t put that much effort into our costumes but as a group we looked amazing and a lot of strangers wanted to take pictures with us. After watching the Halloween party on the streets of Tokyo (Shibuya to be precise) I already where I want to celebrate Halloween 2015.

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Of course I ate a lot of delicious food during the past month. The most important one would be the food at Imma, since we ate there for the first time, I already came back twice. Imma is an Israeli restaurant that serves the best hummus I ever had and so many great dishes that it’s really hard to pick a favorite. The owner is super friendly and welcoming and he’s partly the reason why people keep coming back. Every time we went there we were lucky enough to get a table but many people arrived a few minutes after we did and he had to tell them that the restaurant is over booked today. He wouldn’t let them go without apologizing and giving them a free sample of the restaurants baked goods.

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Many days were spent either at the university or studying at different cafes, at the library, or at home. The education system here is definitely different from Europe. Here students have to do home work, participate in quizzes, attendance is important, they have two midterms, sometimes presentations, reports, and a final exam. That sounds like a lot of work and it kinda is, but for each exam you don’t have to study as much as you do in Europe which makes it easier to pass the course. It’s extremely popular to go to a cafe, order a coffee and stay there for a couple of hours till you’re finished studying. When people get sleepy, they simply take a nap on their books and as soon as they wake up they’ll go back to studying.

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How do you cope with the stress and all little things that start to annoy after being here for a while (like the traffic or people standing in the way)? The answer is: exercise! Many of us live in the same dorm and we’re lucky that we have a multi-purpose room which we can book and we workout together. Often we did yoga together, other times we did an intensive workout (it really is intense, actually it’s a bootcamp and you won’t leave without sore muscles). Once finished with exercising we were full of energy and it’s really a good way to sort your thoughts and start fresh into a study session.

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December went by really fast without the usual christmas songs all around me, no sign of santa, and no people saying “merry christmas” when you enter their store. Apart from a little incident on Christmas Eve every thing was really quiet but then came 2015! What a change! The first days of the new year were such a blast. First a superb New Year’s Eve party at Armory, Tinpan, and Red Wolf, the next day a delicious dinner at Imma (Nadir’s eyes were gleaming!) and a spontaneous trip to Kenting (not without stopping at the wet bar I mentioned in the previous posts). The second day of the new year was very special because it was my first time at a hot spring here in Tainan. Guanziling is worth a trip, but make sure not to pick a day when everyone from the area is going too.

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That’s it so far. Next week I’ll write my final exams and then it’s time to fly to Japan! Yes, we’re going to Japan. Two and a half weeks, not enough to explore this fascinating country but I guess that it won’t be my last time in the land of the rising sun.
I guess once I’m in Japan I’ll post more and in February my family will visit me (yeah!).

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