After the first few days, after meeting my language partner, Ellen, things picked up considerably. In fact, I owe much—if not all—of my happiness and foodie adventures so far to this amazing language partner, or 语伴. Each of us is matched with one, and I can’t believe my luck in getting such a genuine, friendly person, who has taken me out to eat so many delicious foods and sweets, given me an extra bicycle to navigate through this huge campus in the middle of the blistering tropical summer, introduced me to her friends—one of whom even let me ride on his motorbike, and puts a smile on my face whenever we hang out thanks to her refreshingly enthusiastic and lively attitude toward almost everything, almost all the time. While we are required to meet at least twice a week as part of this intensive Chinese program, it is safe to say we saw each other daily during the first week. #wild
It has also been a huge relief to have been find like-minded people to hang out with, because some people in the program definitely remind me exactly how rare it is to have a good relationship with someone, whether it’s with friends or partners. Often times, people just don’t click, and I remember how hard it was to find (and keep) close friends while living in Guangzhou, which made it only that much more difficult to stay in city with which I had a love-hate relationship.
Anyway, this is all to say that I just feel very, very lucky to have Ellen and these new friends to laugh with, explore the limits of our Chinese-speaking abilities, and wander through Taiwan together. This experience has already exceeded my expectations in both good and bad ways, and I can’t wait to keep recording these moments.
Thank you for following me through this journey.