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Hello Taiwan

It is now almost ten in the evening and I have finally arrived safely in Taiwan. I have been travelling since half past seven Tuesday morning, although much of the intervening time was spent on waiting or is due to change of time zone. Taiwan is eight hours ahead of Greenwich, so that means six hours ahead of Sweden at present, because of daylight saving time. If I have planned my sleeping correctly, I will hopefully be able to sleep in a short while, just as soon as I have finished writing this.

There is not much to say about the trip, actually, because everything went smoothly and exactly according to plan. I refer to my previous post about what the plan was and perhaps I can add some comments. First, I did not feel either nervous or anxious at any time, which of course is good. This is partly because of the friendly contact with people here in Taiwan prior to my departure; I felt I would be taken care of once I arrived, but more on that later. Other than that, I suppose I might me a little bit anxious at times, but seldom nervous.

The long flight from London to Hong Kong was not as bad as I thought. In fact, I did not even watch a single film, although I had the battery time to do so. Instead, I spent the time listening to audio books and reading, which was just fine. Sleeping some five hours helped, of course. Cathay Pacific, which managed all three legs of the journey, was very nice and there was much I brought along that it turned out they provided for free on the flights (toothbrush, for instance).

Unfortunately, I had no real opportunity to see Hong Kong. I spent an hour on the airport and such a small amount of time vanishes quickly with transport from one gate to another, security checks, boarding and so forth. I did notice it was pretty hot, though, around thirty degrees centigrade.

The flight from Hong Kong to Taiwan was more comfortable than that from London to Hongkong, which is somewhat odd. I guess the aircraft was newer or something, but this one-and-a-half hour flight vanished quick as a wink. Once in Taipei, I found my luggage after two minutes and was able to pass immigration in thirty seconds. Amazing.

Outside the customs, it turned out that not only one person was there to pick me up, but five of them! They guided me outside and I got my first impression of Taiwan apart from the airport: humid, warm, dark. The drive to the university to a little less than an hour. Once here, I was shown my room and could leave my bags before they took me shopping: a mattress, a pillow, water, toilet paper and some other essentials.

Everybody has been extraordinary nice so far, chatting mostly in English and offering to help at every possible instance. The first few hours here could hardly have been more welcoming and friendly. I have been in the very capable hands of a student called Jerry (unfortunately, I do not yet know his Chinese name; remembering a lot of new names is difficult in the first place, but learning names in Chinese is just too hard).

I now know a lot more about practical matters than when I left Sweden. This apartment is much larger than I thought it would be (I think it is actually somewhat larger that my corridor room in Sweden). Please see the photographs provided below, although they are actually taken on Friday, which explains why I have already unppacked. The room is on the fourth floor and in the same corridor as Jerry (he has also been kind enough to introduce me to a lot of people). I am not fully clear about the rent, but I am told that it should be around 5000 TWD, which is roughly equal to 1200 SEK. Do you not find it a bit strange that an apartment in Taiwan is bigger and cheaper than in Linköping? I do. Perhaps there is a university subsidy I am unaware of. I have access to toilet, shower, sink, fridge and a microwave oven of dubious status. I might be able to cook some food, but not something advanced.

I apologise for the bad image quality. Either I have not yet figured out how the camera on my cellular works or it is just too lousy to take good pictures with.

As you can see, I brought some things from Sweden just to feel at home. I am glad I did; this room would feel much emptier without the pictures.

Regrettably, I have no impression of the neighbourhood yet, because it was dark when I got here around seven. Tomorrow, Jerry has promside to meet me for breakfast at nine thirty and take me on a campus tour. Perhaps, he will also help me buy a new cellular, and he has already investigated the possibility to access the internet from here. It seems possible, even convenient, which is very nice indeed.

My brain is now overloaded with new impressions, but perhaps more importantly of heat (the air conditioning is not working properly, but Jerry has lent me an electric fan). Thus, it is time to take a shower and go to bed. Tomorrow will probably be even richer in new experiences than today, which considered mostly of airports or aircraft. Good-night, everybody, and hello Taiwan.


  1. Martin’s avatar

    Dags att komma hem nu? :)


  2. Olle Linge’s avatar

    Nej, jag gissar på att det är ungefär tio månader kvar tills jag kommer hem. Minst. :D


  3. Xhakhal’s avatar

    Åh, jag ser Spemmily på väggen! :D

    Det ser riktigt fint ut, faktiskt, och mitt stackars hjärta kan åter slå lugnt igen nu när jag vet att du är väl omhändertagen ;)


  4. Olle Linge’s avatar

    Ja, jag tänkte väl att du skulle lägga märke till henne. :) Jag är väldigt glad att jag släpade med mig saker hemifrån, faktiskt, just för att det verkligen känns så mycket mer hemma då. Och bra att ditt hjärta slår lugnare, det vore synd om det gick sönder ju.


  5. Lu peiying’s avatar

    Welcome to Taiwan!!!!