Tag Archives: culture shock

A Very Merry Un-Christmas

On Friday, I had a goofy holiday moment that spurred a little American Christmas shopping nostalgia– something I thought I would never have.  And it was at Starbucks, of all places.   Continue reading

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An International Shower Review

If only all showers could look like this! Photo by Auswandern Malaysia, courtesy of Flickr creative commons license.

So I’m finally over culture shock, I think. At least the really soul-wrenching, “Why isn’t everything the same as it was back at home????” kind of thing.  And this seems like the perfect opportunity to reflect objectively and charitably on the plumbing situation here in Taiwan.  As in, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with my shower.

But while three or four weeks ago I was dreaming of my old Boston bathtub, now I think my Shower and I have come to a nice peaceful equilibrium.  And Taipei certainly has better showers than many other international locales.  In loosely chronological order, I give you Kim’s International Shower Review: a review of all of my showering experiences abroad. Continue reading

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What if Every Season is Rainy Season?

This week the general southeast Asia environs has been weathering Typhoon Megi– formerly downgraded to a tropical storm, and then upgraded again to a Typhoon.  Luckily, it has not actually HIT Taiwan, per se, but we have had steady and at times relentless rain all week. Today, we have some wind!  Yum.

I’ve realized that Taipei weather is not unlike Boston weather, so no surprise that locals and visitors to both places love to talk (and complain) about it!  This has led me to compose a “Weather Mad Lib,” in which you can plug in either Boston terms (rain, snow, sleet, cold, “wintry mix”), or Taipei terms (rain, humidity, hot, fog, wind, typhoon, earthquake):

Hi there, can you believe the _______ today?  I mean, come on, yesterday’s ______ was pretty bad, I didn’t think it would get worse!   I know, right?  It’s more _____ than I remember it being, since the ______ in ____ of last year.   Well, that’s not so bad. This morning, it ______ed, maybe it will _______ again later today.  Don’t count your chickens.  Usually when it ______s here, you’ll be _____ing ____ all day, maybe even all week.  Has anyone seen the weather report?  Oh, don’t trust them, they said it would be only a 20% chance of _____, and it’s been _____ like this since last night.  The _____ woke me up at dawn! Continue reading

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Week in Review: Books, Views, and Brunch

It’s hard to believe another week has flown by!  I think the shock of culture of shock is finally dulling into the gradual acceleration of familiar time… punctuated by new Chinese vocabulary words, meeting new friends, and trying to balance maintaining a lifestyle with exploring a new place!  I am starting to get the urge to travel around our beautiful island of Formosa in an upcoming weekend, but this week, I satisfied my wanderlust by climbing a local “small mountain park” near my apartment, braving the wilds of the Zheng Da library, and seeking out an American style weekend brunch.

You have not paid your expat in Taipei dues until you've photographed Taipei 101 in a glamour shot and posted it on the internet. Can check that one off the list!

Some finds included: a gorgeous view of Taipei from the top of Fujoushan park, a whole collection of books in English on the 4th floor of the main library at Zheng Da, including the first volume of the recently published collected letters of Samuel Beckett (!!!!!), and a plate full of eggs, bacon, and hash browns!

It was a good week. Continue reading

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Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Culture Shocked

 

“What causes culture shock?  It is basically an accumulation of stress caused by a lack of the familiar….  Culture shock can hit the young, the old, the experienced, the naive.  It might be a fleeting moment of melancholy, or a brief loneliness, but it can also be a profound and deep depression.” — Culture Shock!  Taiwan

So the honeymoon is over.  Over.  It’s been a fantastic introduction to Taiwan, but as I bid good bye to my heady first few weeks here, I realize with a shock that I am living in Taiwan, not visiting, vacationing, or galavanting.  So if I haven’t been in touch, don’t worry, I’m just culture shocked. Continue reading

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