I’ve been in Taiwan for over four months now so am nearly halfway through my time here. It’s taken me by surprise at how quickly the time is passing now. I’m planning to write a bit about my Christmas experiences in Taipei. The big annual holiday in Taiwan is Chinese New Year in February, however, the language centre gave us a one-week holiday for Christmas. It was also interesting to see Christmas celebrations in Taiwan.
A few days before Christmas, I visited a German Christmas Market in Shilin district with one of my classmates. This was actually my first time going to a large Christmas market so I thought it was funny that my first experience of this was in Taiwan. The market only had vendors that sold German food as opposed to gifts or anything else. The food was delicious; it resembled a cross between Taiwanese street food and European dishes. Most of the vendors were Taiwanese however there were also many German expats.
My language centre organised a Christmas party for us a few days before Christmas. We all had to bring food and snacks, including both Western and Taiwanese food. We also had the opportunity to make TangYuan – Glutinous rice balls served in syrup. They sound a bit strange when you explain them in English, but TangYuan is a really common dessert in Taiwan and quite tasty. This was a really fun experience and it was great to learn a lot of Christmas-related Chinese vocabulary.
I spent Christmas Day with my university classmates in Taiwan. It was a quiet but lovely day and very different to my previous Christmas experiences. We also went to Raohe Night Market – our favourite – in the evening. Christmas felt less important this year because it’s not so important for Taiwanese people so I wasn’t always thinking about it.
As it’s now 2024 and my time in Taiwan is going by so quickly, I’ve started to think about my goals and intentions for the rest of my time here. My Chinese, especially formal Chinese, has improved so much recently but I have now set three main goals for the next few months:
1. Improve my tones and pronunciation
2. Practice speaking more idiomatically
3. Learn 5000 Chinese characters (I currently know about 3500)
Thanks for reading my report!
現在是 2024 年，我在台灣的時間過得很快，因此我開始思考我在台灣餘下時間的目標和打算。我的中文，尤其是正式的中文，最近有了突飛猛進，但我現在為接下來的幾個月設定了三個主要目標：
3. 學會 5000 個漢字（我目前認識約 3500 個漢字）