Living in Taipei has made me a morning person, so I start my days bright and
early with Chinese class at 8:20 am. Before class, I usually take a 30-second walk to
the nearest 7/11 to buy breakfast for myself and an iced latte for my roommate Yuki. My
friend Colin introduced me to the breakfast sandwiches at 7/11, which have been my
go-to almost every morning since. The man who works at the counter every morning
always offers to heat up my sandwich, and I always take him up on it. Then, I eat
breakfast at my apartment and chat with my housemates, sitting at the kitchen table
eating or doing some last-minute studying. I sit through my class until 11:10 am, and
then I am ready to explore.
Noodles for dinner.
My housemate Russ and I usually pick up groceries after class. We learned that
most grocery stores only accept cash and do not provide bags, which we learned the
first time we went when we did not bring any bags. Luckily the grocery store is right
across the street from the 7/11, so we were able to carry everything we bought home.
Russ and I have been going on many walks to explore the city, so we’ll grab our
umbrellas (it’s currently the plum rain season) and pick a direction and just see what we
find. We’ve found many boba places (Taiwan is the birthplace of boba), gorgeous street
art, fruit markets, little restaurants, cute stores, and adorable toy vending machines.
Shaved Ice From a Night Market.
After walking around for a while and drinking boba or eating food, we usually
head home to study with friends. On top of 3-hour-long classes, almost everyone
spends at least 3 hours studying and doing homework. I typically have to go over new
characters I learned, practice writing them, listen to the textbook dialogues, write
sentences, and work on my workbook. I’ve been learning a lot very quickly, and it’s been
reinforced by speaking to people when I go out or buy food. After people start finishing
their homework and get hungry, we go out to eat; usually, we go to a nearby restaurant
or a night market. I love getting steamed buns from the night market, kebabs from a
stand near my apartment, or noodles from a small restaurant nearby. After dinner, I’ll
walk around to find a place to eat dessert. I especially love eating shaved ice, and they
usually have fresh mango toppings because it’s mango season! After eating, I’ll head
home with my housemates and then unwind by watching tv; I’ve been watching a
Chinese wuxia drama called 且试天下 (Who Rules the World).