I moved to Taichung City 2 and a half years ago. Now, I am studying Chinese in the Chinese Language Center of Feng Cha University. Before I moved to Taichung, I taught Japanese in a language cram school in the neighborhood of Hsinchu Science Park. This May, I became a student again. I am so excited to live in Taichung.
The biggest attraction of Taichung City for me is the Taiwanese culture. I think this is the best city in Taiwan for me to live in. I cannot speak any Taiwanese, but there are so many people that can speak Japanese with me in Taipei, just like other major cities in the world. Not being able to make substantial progress in learning the local languages doesn't make much of a difference regarding living in Taipei. I am also bored of the life of Tokyo. It's almost the same as my daily life. However, living in Taichung City, the metropolitan area situated in the middle Taiwan, I can feel and learn from a different culture and people, and every day I realize how this place changes me.
In Taichung City, my favorite activity is to shop in the traditional marketplace. Most of the vendor women bargain with me in Taiwanese. Actually, I can figure out how much should I pay until I count the change the give me. It is so amazing to shop in Taiwan. There are so many vendors in the market selling piles of unknown vegetables. Also, the market butcher sells different kinds of pig and poultry organs hanging on the stands. Sometimes, when I walk by the stands, I hear the butchers slam the head of a pig or chicken on the desk of the stand. I also wonder why there are vendors selling underwear in the market. In addition, there are also many fantastic goods in the market, for example, fresh soybean milk, unpacked eggs, clams sold by weight and many other goods.
My other must-visit place is the night market. In the neighborhood of Feng Cha University, there is a night market. It always excites me when I pass the night market as I go home after classes, no matter how many times I have walked by the area. It is so easy to make me shop walking by the area. I can hardly take my eyes away from the pretty commodities. If the price is affordable, for example around NTD 100, I always buy it. As a poor student, I am not sure if this is a good place for me.
As a foreign resident, especially a Japanese girl like me, Taiwan is a very friendly country. The people here are so friendly. I am so happy to live here by myself. I should thank all my friends in Taiwan. Even though I can speak only a little Chinese, some of them still invite me to visit their house as a guest, and some have even invited me to join them on a family trip, and help me in my daily life. I hope I can do something for them to return their hospitality.
In the beginning, I came to Taiwan as a Japanese language teacher. Now, I learn Chinese to be a better Japanese language teacher. For my friends, I should try my best to learn Chinese to help the Taiwanese students to enhance their Japanese.
My dear Taichung City and Taiwan, I will try my best to achieve my goal; please continue to support me, as in the past.
Note: The author-- Yasuda Katsura was born in 1975 in Sapporo City, Hokkido, Japan.