Photos by Malcom Willig (University of Puget Sound), Student Correspondent for CET Taiwan, Fall 2019 Hours after we landed in Taipei! One of our roommates showed us to the local Ikea where we bought various household and kitchen utilities. These proved incredibly useful in the weeks to come, especially with a typhoon warning making most restaurants and food places closed. About an hour after this photo was taken I went to bed (around 5pm) due to much needed sleep from the 13 hour flight! On our way to orientation during our first week here. After taking the incredibly conven-ient, fast, and clean 捷運 (jié yùn, also known as the MRT) we walked over to 台灣大學 (táiwān dàxué), the college where we would be attending our Chinese classes. Scoot-ers are incredibly popular in Taipei- a day does not go by where I don’t see a series of scooters in the street, which are especially present during the morning work rush. At 二二八和平公園 (èr’èrbā hépíng gōngyuán), or in English known as 2/28 Peace Memorial Park. 二二八事件 (èr’èrbā shìjiàn)-2/28 incident- is a very heavy subject in Taiwan because of its sad history. The park commemorates the lives that were lost on February 28, 1947, when thousands of Taiwanese protesters were killed by the authoritarian KMT government. The night before, on February 27, 1947, several KMT soldiers arrested, stole from, and beat a woman who was selling contraband cigarettes. This led to several civilians swarming the soldiers, causing one soldier to fire into the crowd and kill one of the protesters. The following day, protestors all over Taiwan rioted against the rule of the KMT, leading to the KMT declaring martial law over Taiwan for the next 38 years. We toured this beautiful park, learning about Taiwan’s history and culture. Eating some ice cream at 雪王冰淇淋 (xuěwáng bīngqílín), or Snow King Ice Cream, near 西門 (xīmén). This shop is famed for it’s delicious and incredibly bizarre ice cream flavors. Ranging anywhere from typical Taiwanese ice cream flavors, such as mango and lychee, to the not-so-typical, like Taiwan beer or chili. I bought 苦瓜 (kǔguā) flavor, or Bitter Gourd. The name perfectly describes its flavor- bitter. I actually really liked it. After grabbing some delicious ice cream, some of us walked over to downtown 西門 (xīmén). In most neighborhoods in Taipei, one can find a group of 娃娃機 (wáwá jī), roughly translating to claw machines. One rarely finds a single 娃娃機 by itself, they are often seen in clusters, with prizes ranging from stuffed animals to expensive elec-tronics. I tried a few times, wanting a Pokémon-themed gameboy, but to no success. Taking a gondola to 貓空 (māo kōng), a small village at the top of a large mountain. The village is know for its scenic views and its impeccable tea (we tried some free samples there, it was incredibly tasty). A picture of us at 花蓮 (huālián), a city and county located on the western coast. I have never seen an ocean as blue, with grand waves crashing right before our feet; seemingly dangerous, yet incredibly graceful and enticing. I actually waded in a little too far and was met with some strong waves, nearly knocking me to my feet. The 阿美 (Āměi) peoples, one of the 16 officially recognized indigenous peoples in Taiwan, graciously let us into their hometown and taught us cloth-making and gave us some delicious food. The night prior, we danced and sang with some of them, while drinking their homemade alcohol. Some of us on the balcony of our apartment on 中秋節 (zhōngqiū jié), or Mid-Autumn Festival. I am not too knowledgable of the legend celebrated on 中秋節, but the tradi-tion here is to grab some family and friends, a grill, and make some delicious food. We had a variety of meats, snails, vegetables, and tofu. 象山, or Elephant Mountain.