1. How nice the people are
I noticed this almost immediately after getting off the airplane in Canada. As a small 95 lb girl, people in Taiwan saw me pushing a cart with four suitcases on it and holding a dog and they would either a. offer me a sympathetic smile or b. HELP ME. I received neither of those in Canada. Not that people in Canada aren't nice, but we really have NOTHING on the niceness of the Taiwanese. Canadians; fix this.
2. The weather
Maybe I complained about the rain a little too much. What I wouldn't give for some of that rain and heat in this -20 degree weather I'm dealing with now.
3. The cost of living
Everything is cheap. You can eat our for every meal during the day, have GREAT meals, and spend 1/10th of what you would spend doing the same thing in Canada. Even more than the food, rent is cheap. Gas is cheaper. Clothes are cheap. Oh, the cost of living makes it all worth it.
4. Driving a scooter
When I first got to Taiwan, if you wouldve told me I would be driving a scooter to work every day, I would have told you that you were nuts. I was very against it, convinced I could find other ways to work. The ending of this story is that I did end up buying a scooter and I loved it. On those sweltering days, there was nothing better than getting on your scooter and enjoying the breeze. Granted, the rain sucked while driving but now that I'm back in this cold, snowy weather, all I can remember are the good times driving my scooter.Funny how that works eh...
5. #shameless #selfie #nation
If you think that people take a lot of selfies in Canada, you are mistaken. The amount of selfies I would see being taken on any given day while living in Taiwan was astronomical in comparison to the amount that I see being taken in Canada. Its not that Canadians don't take them, its that usually we take them in the privacy of our own home. In Taiwan, there is no shame. At a party? Selfie. At a bar? Selfie. In class? Selfie. And at first, I thought it was a little weird. But it turned into a little quirk that I love.
6. Hamburgers for Breakfast
Not only are hamburgers eaten for breakfast, they were a staple at breakfast stalls. Can someone inform my mother of this?
7. Passionfruit Green Tea with Bubbles
The amount of tea shops available on any street in Taiwan was ridiculous, along with all the different kinds of fruit teas for a super cheap price (please see #3 on the list). My favourite will always be passionfruit green tea; give it a whirl!
He's still in Taiwan..... I personally believe that everyone should move to Taiwan just to see Rick. He'd be worth it.
9. Dumplings and Hot Pot
Two types of food that I ate twice a week each, at the very least. Look it up. Try it. You won't be disappointed.
10. My coteachers
I had the luxury of being pretty lucky in that every one of my coteachers was one of the nicest, most genuine, and helpful people I have ever met. Working with these teachers on a daily basis really helped me when I first started teaching and didn't really know what I was doing and continued to help mold me into the teacher that I am today. I will be forever grateful for each and every one of them.
11. Free time
Being a foreign English teacher in Taiwan = working only 30 hours per week, getting paid a lot to do so, and thus having a lot of free time. Even when we did work, my longest day was 7 hours of actual teaching in one day. I start back working this week and I'm not looking forward to it
12. Ease of traveling
Taiwan is so close to so many other countries in SE Asia and getting there is so cheap that it is almost stupid of you if you don't go and travel a little. Visiting Hong Kong and Thailand was amazing and I am so glad we went to both of those places. As well as travelling around the country itself. There is so much public transportation available for great prices that you never get that guilt while being a tourist that you're paying way too much for stuff. What guilt you ask? Oh, that might just be me and Rick... living in Taiwan has made us pretty stingy...
13. My students
Last, but certainly not least, my students. It is amazing how attached to my students I have grown over the past year. Saying goodbye was very hard and it really made me reconsider if leaving Taiwan after only one year was the right thing to do. I really got to know some of my students on such a personal level and I'll miss seeing their faces every week.
In conclusion, if you're looking for a cheap, beautiful, different place to live; choose TAIWAN. You won't regret it.