jingning: (Sazh and Dajh)
[personal profile] jingning
The late afternoon sun broke out from between the clouds as Lara and I approached Joyce sitting on a bench outside of the main entrance to NTU, one day before the Moon Festival (中秋節: literally, Mid-Autumn Festival). The streets were very busy, as many people return to their homes and families during this time to celebrate the fullness of the moon as a representation of the wholeness of the family. We were lucky to get a glimpse into the life of a traditional Taiwanese family that night as well as have Joyce and her older sister guide us through the famous areas around Sansia (三峽).

家家戶戶都團團圓圓 - Every Family Reunites )


Sorry for the unusually long hiatus. We will be updating more regularly now that we have adjusted to moving into a new apartment and schoolwork/language exchange. We've done much exploration and documentation during our break from our blog so rest assured that there will be more to come~!

Also, Lara forgot to bring her camera during this journey, so we apologize for the lower quality of the photos and the lack of photos for some parts. We do plan a re-visit of the aforementioned areas and will post pictures in a later blog and on our online photo album. Thank you!


-- Sara

Disclaimer: Photography in this post done by Joyce and Joyce's sister. Thank you~!

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jingning: (Totoro Playing)
[personal profile] jingning
The Moon Festival (中秋節) is a very important holiday in Chinese culture that signifies the reunion of good friends and family, in which people make their way back home to spend an evening eating delicious food and Moon Cakes (月餅), while enjoying the beauty of the full moon. The holiday is held every year on August 15 of the Lunar calendar, which usually ends up being near the end of September and the beginning of October. This year, the festival was on September 22. First, however, there was a need for some spontaneous exploration of downtown Taipei, graciously hosted by a Taiwanese friend of ours that we had met in the States.
Enter Joyce.

捷運台北車站 - MRT Taipei Main Station )


When you've lived on the other side of the world, you begin to feel an indescribable feeling welling up inside of you. It is a feeling that transcends all the feelings of doubt and worry, one that makes you feel like all of your troubles are ephemeral, that the world is vast, and that while you stay up late at night writing inane things in your travel blog, there is someone back at home getting ready for work in the morning, making breakfast out of last night's leftovers, or just starting to fall asleep from a long night of video games and energy drinks.

Indeed, the world is so vast I almost feel as if I will be consumed by it. However, being all the way over here while everything I have ever known is all the way over there is not swallowed up by loneliness. I feel that I have friends that are going about their lives all across the globe. And, even while I sleep, there are amazing things happening and amazing people thinking of me, of you... somewhere. There is always something in between the distance, connecting you to me.

我們一定有緣。 (We are definitely tied together by fate.)

Thank you all for being in my life.

-- Sara

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jingning: (Traveling Ginko)
[personal profile] jingning
I think I will put my personal cultural/living notes in bold from now on. If I am mistaken about these notes, please feel free to leave a comment below with corrections/additions. 謝謝~!

新世界 A New World )

View of Taipei from the roof of the GuoQing dormitory at NTU.

-- Sara

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jingning: (Twilight Fills the Air)
[personal profile] jingning
I will not bore you with details of the 2-hour flight from Portland to Los Angeles, nor with the sleeping that was had on the 13.5 hour flight from Los Angeles to Taipei.

Instead, I'll jump right into the thick of things, much like how I felt when I first arrived.

你好台北。 I hope we can be friends. <3 )

-- Sara

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taiwanderland: Sara and Lara outside National Palace Museum (Default)
何靜寧 & 何靜嵐 --- Sara & Lara

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