7 Years! (#14)

Our first week in Yuli
October 16, 2004 I arrived in Taiwan with no idea what I'd be getting into. I was originally only planning to be here for one year... but 7 years later I can say that I truly enjoy my life here. It still feels a little surreal that it's really been 7 years. They do all kind of blend together after awhile, there was the year in Yuli, the year I broke my leg, the year I started commuting to Taipei, and so much in between. A song that I've been listening to a lot lately is Never Once by Matt Redman, and part of the lyrics say:
Scars and struggles on the way//but with joy our hearts can say// Yes our hearts can say// never once, did we ever walk alone// never once, did you leave us on our own// you are faithful//God you are faithful
I've had plenty of struggles along the way, and one long scar down my left ankle, but it's true God has been so faithful in big and little things, and it is true, never once in these 7 years have I ever walked alone.

If you're still reading, I want to end this post with an excerpt of my first impressions of Taiwan, how things have changed!!

Arrival: I arrived at the airport at around 3:30 local time, which was about 12:30 am back home! I was met by a taxi driver with a sign that had my name and we drove through the city. My first impressions were that there weren't as many palm trees as I thought, and that the traffic wasn't as bad as it was in Brazil! Not to say it isn't scary to cross the street! The walk lights have this little green running man who runs faster when the light is going to change. It's really cute actually.

Danshui: We took the subway down to the waterfront, close to where the river meets the ocean, and walked around for a few hours, we saw both historical buildings and really busy marketplaces, where i discovered that you can buy almost anything on a stick, from chocolate covered bananas to squid! Neither of which I tried today... maybe i'm not that adventurous quite yet!
Shilin Night Market: This evening, we went to the night market, which is one of those things one must do in Taipei! It’s basically a lot of narrow streets lined with shops and filled with throngs of people. It’s almost reminiscent of a mosh pit, an impression which is aided by the music coming out of the stores! It is really hard to get used to being that close to that many people, or even seeing that many people in one place at once!
Learning Chinese: We have been learning a phonetic chart (lovingly called bo-po-mo-fo) which is definitely reminiscent of learning the IPA in linguistics, well except that there are sounds you have never actually made before with your mouth!! Today we learned greetings for all times of the day, food, clothes, key questions, colours, and self-introductions. I'm not sure how much of it I'll retain, but I guess we'll see! My Chinese name is Oh Tsai Lin which sort of sounds like my name (last name first here) and means "vibrant." 


  1. Happy Taiwanniversary!!!

    I love how your excepts, especially the ones on Danshui and Shiilin, are full of exclamation points. :D

  2. P.S. I really love the poem you have at the top of your blog in the header. I don't think I've ever noticed it before!


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