Cosmo de Bono: Three months in Taipei! November 2023

我已經主在台北近三個月了,對這兒的一切都很習慣。現在天氣涼爽多了,我也習慣了這兒的文化差異,11 月是我至今在這裡最開心的一個月。我也開始注意自己的中文水平有了真正的提升。例如我的聽力,在來台灣之前,我聽到什麼都需要在腦子裡翻譯成英文,但是現在我在課堂上或跟當地人聊天的時候,即使他們用的是生詞,我也能自動理解他們在說什麼。

因為台灣社會有很強的 “自己人 “和 “外國人 “觀念,所以一開始很難交到台灣朋友,不過隨著時間的推移,我在這裡的社交生活開始慢慢改善。學校為我安排了一個《語伴》,我可以和他一起練習中文。他是大學英語專業的學生,叫Elvis。我們每個禮拜至少見一次面,一起去吃飯。他通常會帶他的台灣朋友一起來。上次我們去了一家 “小火鍋店”,這是我第一次吃火鍋。餐廳很好,食物也很便宜!在教師以外的真實環境中使用中文,也將語言技能付諸實踐,也是一個非常好的事情。


Hotpot with local friends

Hotpot with local friends

I’ve been living in Taipei for nearly three months so am quite used to everything here. As the weather is now much cooler and I’m used to the cultural differences here, November has definitely been my most enjoyable month here so far. I’m also starting to notice a real improvement in my Chinese level now. An example of this is my listening ability, before coming to Taiwan I used to translate everything I heard into English in my head, but now when I’m in class or talking with locals, I automatically understand what they’re saying, even if they’re using new words.

Taiwanese society has quite a strong concept of “zijiren” and “waiguoren” so making Taiwanese friends was difficult at first, however, my social life here is with time slowly starting to improve. The university assigned me a language partner whom I can practice Chinese with. He’s an English major at the university called Elvis. We meet at least once a week to go and get food and he usually brings his Taiwanese friends. Last week we went to a “small hot pot restaurant” and it was my first time eating hotpot. The restaurant was great and the food was really cheap! It’s also really nice to use Chinese in real life situations outside the classroom and be able to put your language skills into practice.

The university has an end-of-term holiday for one week coming up so I’m planning to go travelling in the South of Taiwan as I haven’t been there yet. I think I’ll go to Kenting and Kaoshiung as I’ve heard that the beaches and weather are good there!

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