Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Foreign Places. Familiar Faces || Taiwan

Now that I am on my flight back to Minneapolis, MN, I finally have a little extra time to write about my experiences. (10 and a half hours’ worth of “extra time” to be exact!) We did have more down time while we were in Taiwan, but I didn't always want to be cooped up behind a computer or other times I was too tired to write worthwhile reflections.

After a long day of flight delays and public transportation, we finally arrived in Taiwan late on the 17th. Along the way, we were able to ride on the Maglev high-speed train which was pretty cool. I remember learning about trains that have tracks lined with magnets in my science classes growing up.
Our last ride on the bus through Shanghai
The German Maglev zooming down the track for us!
The gang's all here!
Speed demon!
I think we were all a little sad to say goodbye to Shanghai, as it was most everyone’s favorite city. However, I was also excited for continuing our journey in another country. South Dakota State University and China Medical University of Taichung, Taiwan do an exchange of study abroad students. Last summer, we had quite a few students stay in Brookings and visit sites and learn about our culture. I was fortunate to have been able to help with some of the transportation of the students. After driving the students to Minneapolis to visit a dietetic internship, shop at the Mall of America, and wander through the Coma Park Zoo, I had the opportunity to become better acquainted with the students. To be perfectly honest, I never thought that I would have the opportunity to see any of my new friends again. When I finally made the decision to study abroad in China and Taiwan, I was thrilled to hear that I would be reunited with my friends again.
A picture with my new friends last August 2013
So happy to see most of my friends again! :)
One of our first days in Taichung, we joined the students for an informal welcome ceremony. At first it was difficult to get to know the other students, as it is with any social hour. However, a couple of the students I knew from last year (Mark and Rebecca), taught the group a dance. It was surprising how easily the barriers between all of us broke down and we were all able to laugh and have fun together, despite the language differences.
Rebecca and Mark showing us a fun dance!
These girls were so good!
(I wish I understood the words...)
I was pretty terrible at this dance, but it was a blast!
We took turns singing songs and showing dances we know

Other highlights of the first couple of days in Taichung included: the food (of course),
This place was our first meal stop in Taiwan. We were seated around the grill, almost like an old diner
in the States. The food was wonderful and so inexpensive!. Take note, America!
Rice on rice on rice! As you would expect, rice was a staple food during our time in Asia.
Bean sprouts, mushrooms, and cabbage, Oh My!
A vegetarian's dream!
This Hibachi place provided a fun environment.
This wasn't the most popular meal among students, but I loved it!
I really liked the noodles in Asia...though they probably didn't like me!
Bubble milk tea is famous in Taiwan. It actually originates in Taichung, where we stayed.
The "bubbles" are little chewy tapioca balls.
 learning more about the functional food labeling regulations in Taiwan (very interesting), a tour of the Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and lectures from both Dr. Wang and Dr. Kattelmann.
The functional food label.
This particular food was able to claim three additional functions.
Our group at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum.
Learning about the various pressure points on the human body,
commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine
Dr. Wang spoke about nutrigenomics and the research of his grad students
Dr. Kattelmann speaking about how to become a Registered Dietitian in the U.S.
Unwinding after a humid day with a pear ale.

Upon arriving in Taiwan, I was surprised with how much more humid and rainy it was. We were informed that we arrived in Taiwan right in the middle of the rainy season. Just our luck! Purchasing an umbrella was definitely one of my smarter purchases while in Taichung.

No comments:

Post a Comment