Thursday, 9 August 2007

Taiwan Trip Afterwords

If I hadn't decided to go back to Taiwan I would've gone to school for this term and finished my undergrad degree in computer science. Now that the trip is over, I'm very happy for the decision to go back to Taiwan with my brother rather than going to school. School can wait, but the experience won't wait. Because of my brother, I am way more inclined to go on trips because there's someone to go with. We also have different interests and wanted to go to different places. At the end we went to all of those places. We were a great team as well. He was booking the hotels and getting the tickets while I managed our schedules and booked engagements. I couldn't have asked for a better companion. Thanks Daniel!

I want to also thank all of the relatives and friends who have helped us so much and just treated us like two kings. My brother and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You took your time and energy to make our trip such a wonderful one. I can't ever forget it. There is way too many of you for me to list out, but you all know who you are. Thank you thank you thank you!

Also, thanks to my parents, who never allowed us to forget who we are, we were able to enjoy Taiwan to its fullest not just in its tangible aspect but also its intangible aspect (culture, for example). It really was an enriching experience. Thanks!

Although Daniel and I were considering to delay our flight date, but we've decided it's time to come back home. As much as we would love to stay longer, we do need to get back to Canada and get back to study/work. We'll save certain parts of Taiwan for next time!

I often think of what I've learned through this trip, but man, the answer to that came like a giant tidal wave. There were too many things!

Going back to Taiwan was a great experience because I was in the culture again. It's like getting together with an old friend. So familiar and yet refreshing. I was able to compare the Taiwanese and the Canadian culture again, and put my life under a different lens. I feel more assured of who I am and where I'm from. That was very valuable.

Throughout the trip I've also interacted with many people who told me stories or their own experiences in Taiwan. There are so many lessons within these stories and they come from some of the most unexpected times and places. I'm grateful for all those who shared their life stories with me. They are inspirational and I'll always keep them in my heart.

Things I'll miss the most about Taiwan (other than the people and the culture):
1. Convenience. I'll miss the 24 hr convenient stores that are 200 m from wherever I am (Taiwan has one of the highest densities of convenient stores in the world), the cab that comes to my door 3 minutes after I call for one, and being able to get many things done quickly.

2. Weather (somewhat): being able to walk out and exercise any time of the year.

3. Food. The many varieties of fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood. Oh, and also the roadside vendors.

4. Beaches.

5. High Speed Railway.

Things I won't miss about Taiwan:
1. Summer heat of up to 37 degrees, and the humidity.

2. The crowdedness and pollution. Taiwan is very crowded in general. To have the space we enjoy in Canada we have to pay way more.

3. The pests. Flying roaches, super smell-sensitive ants, etc...

In the future, I hope to see Taiwan improve in at least the following ways:
1. Education. I hope it focuses on a cultivating in students the diverse skills practical to the job market and caters to the specific gifts of individuals. I hope the kids in Taiwan can learn about their unique ability through fun activities and be able to see how their skills can be valuable to the society. I hope kids can learn to be more innovative, daring enough to dream, and be more entrepreneurial, while at the same time being great team players. I hope children of this age can learn to think more critically and know how to use technology as a tool to discard faulty information and gain truthful and valuable information.

2. Government. I hope the people can have more trust in the government and that the government would set more reasonable laws and execute them fervently.

3. Technology. I hope Taiwan keeps taking advantage of its unique government/business relationships and quickly advance in technologies. I hope the software and hardware industries can grow hand in hand, complimenting each other. In the future I want to see some global brands from Taiwan having its own products, and not just mainly OEMs. I also hope that technology can play a bigger role in education and in the general daily lives of Taiwanese people, not just in entertainment.

It's a lot to ask for, but I'm hopeful that people in Taiwan can do it. These changes will be gradual but there are already signs of such trends. Every trip to Taiwan I'm pleasantly surprised at how far we've come. I can't wait for my next visit!

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