Revisiting Gaoxiong

I have only visited Gaoxiong once since I returned to Taiwan, and that single time I didn’t even have time to meet half the people I really wanted to meet. Since our midterm exams are over (more or less, I have one more on Monday), I thought that it would be nice to get away for a few days and relax. This time I made sure to make appointments with people in advance, because even though Taiwan isn’t very big, Gaoxiong is still a couple of hours and a couple of thousand Taiwan dollars away.

I left on Thursday evening, but ran into problems more or less immediately. The bus took almost 30 minutes longer than I had expected, due to traffic conditions. I missed my HSR (High Speed Rail), but fortunately, it’s easy and painless to change tickets in this country. I arrived in Gaoxiong around nine and was picked up from Zuoying by two friends from Wenzao and we went to the night market close to 巨蛋.

Just as last time, I’m very fortunate to have friends like Ruf and his wife, who let me stay in their apartment when I’m visiting. Not only do I appreciate the accomodation, but it was also great to meet them again. On Friday, we went to 澄清Lake for some tea and a walk around the lake. In the evening, I met yet another friend from Wenzao, again making me feel really happy to be back. I also notice that my Chinese has improved, because I feel that I can discuss even fairly complicated matters without too much trouble. Yes, it’s taxing, but I can do it.

In short, the past few days have been really good. The weather is a lot nicer in the south, too, which perhaps further added to my sunny disposition. In addition, even though it feels like a vacation, I probably spoke more Chinese during these two days than I’ve done in class during the entire semester so far. Make what you will out of that.

Writing this, I’m sitting on the HSR approaching Taizhong and I will be home shortly. Clouds are gathering outside the window and it look like it’s raining not far away. I have some formal studying (vocabulary revision) to do, and I need to review for the test on Monday, but on the whole, I’m in a really good mood. There are reasons I shouldn’t be, but revisiting Gaoxiong was truly great. Thanks!

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