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Settling in

As some of you have noticed, we managed to fix the internet connection yesterday. I have no idea what the problem was, because I know too little about Ubuntu and so does Ben. However, after manually copying the configuration (including parameters that should be set automatically by the ISP) from Ben’s computer, the connection suddenly came alive. I do not think I can explain how important this is. Even if I spend much time with other people right now, and even though I did not go to Taiwan only to speak with friends in Sweden, it is a great relief to be able to communicate properly with people I know. It is nice with new experiences, but overload is a danger, I think. Anyhow, I will probably be online around the clock, even though I obviously will not be available all the time.

Today, I spent a fair amount of time on my own. I needed a day of rest and I needed to settle in, establishing some of my old habits from home. This included studying, reading, hand walking and stretching. There is a fairly large track and field area on the campus, which is excellent for all sorts of exercise; I even found a nice staircase ideal for practicing hand walking! I noted two things, however. First, the running track gives off its colour, something I only noticed when my white t-shirt looked like it was soaked in blood (although it is pretty cool to have gloves that look like that). Second, exercising is best done after eight o’clock. The temperature dropped below thirty and a cool breeze made the evening pleasant. Possibly, the weather is even better before sunrise, but I will see about that later.

After stretching and showering, I set out on a new food adventure (I assume there will be at least one every day for quite a while). I found a place close by and after ten minutes or so, I managed to get something to eat. The proprietor knew one word in English (“okay”), but he was very kind and eager to talk anyway. My Chinese vocabulary is fairly limited, so I spent most of the time searching for the right word or trying to understand what he said. Still, we managed to speak a little bit about Sweden, Taiwan, China, names, where I live and what I do in Taiwan. This was excellent practice, because the option of using English to cheat simply was not there. I spent around two hours in the restaurant and I will definitely go there again. Apparently, they close at two in the morning, so it will be an excellent place to go when everything else is closed down.

I am still either a little bit anxious to make some mistake or just too shy, because I feel uneasy approaching a group of stranger, none of whom speaks English, and try to make myself understood in Chinese. Everybody will listen and even if I know that nobody will mind my taking my time, I still do not like it. This time it went better than last time, and my chat with the old man was great. In a few weeks, perhaps I will be able to do this without feeling uneasy at all, which would be a big step indeed.

Walking home, I noticed that it had rained while I ate; the air was fragrant and pleasantly cool. Climbing the steep street leading up to the university gates, I felt very happy. The chat with the proprietor boosted my confidence enormously. Writing and reading will of course be very hard, but since there are so many opportunities to speak with Chinese people, I think I will learn to that fairly quickly. Also, I assume that it will be even easier once I have raised my level a little bit, because then I will not have to rely on the patience of strangers. This evening has been very good indeed, a sweet mixture of old habits and new experiences. Assuming that I will enjoy my language studies, I think I will like it here.

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  1. Xhakhal’s avatar

    Jag tycker fortfarande att du kan börja fotografera maten lite också! … om du nu tvunget ska äta ;)


  2. Alva’s avatar

    Fota mat låter bra!
    Och det låter som att du har det bra där borta :)

    många kramar!


  3. ingrid’s avatar

    Olle! Så underbart att läsa det du skriver. Det är så schysst att du även skriver om din oro och dina tvivel, att du inte är rädd att dela med dig av det. Jag är såklart 100% säker på att du kommer klara av allt jättebra. Fortsätt skriva så personligt och ärligt! /Ingrid