Sunday, September 11, 2016

Differences between Taiwan & Malaysia (Part 1)

Hello from Taiwan! I have been in Taiwan for more than a week now and am here on a student exchange program for 1 semester.

With my parents at the airport <3

Came here with my bf, KS and our friend Mike. We're all from the same uni and course back home. Came here to the same uni and course as well. haha. There's actually 4 of us, Lisa who is also from UM but a different course. We only got to know her through this program.

This is the university I am at now which is National ChengChi University (NCCU), located at the Southern part of Taipei, Taiwan. 

I used to think Taiwan wasn't THAT different from Malaysia. I mean the population is majority Chinese, we don't have a time know that kind of really obvious differences. But there are actually many things that are different here that I have noticed so far.

1. Daylight / Sunset

Daylight for Taiwan is like 6am. Literally the sun is fully up by 6.30am whereas it's still quite dark in Malaysia at this time. Then when 6pm comes the sun is already setting and it will be pitch black by 7pm.

2. Public transportation

They have very good and systematic public transportation. So far we have rode buses and the MRT. It rarely comes late, even if it does it's probably only a 5 mins difference, and not like some half an hour delay *shifts eyes to our KTM* Also, everyone lines up properly to get on the public transportation.

This Easy Card is used to pay for the public transportation. Very essential for us!

3. Recycling

Taiwan places a lot of emphasis on recycling. It's so hard to find a dustbin to throw trash by the road but there are tons of recycling bins everywhere. Good for the environment, but troublesome when all you need is a dustbin to throw non-recyclable rubbish because we have to wait for the garbage truck to come.

The recycling bins allocated in my dorm

4. Food portion

I think this is something I am struggling most at the moment. Their food portion is HUGE. I always thought Asians generally have about the same sized food portions, but apparently not. In Taiwan, a meal is like fit for 2 back in Malaysia. Initially thought it was my own problem because I am a pretty small eater, but the guys also mentioned that their portion is really really filling. It's frustrating when I can barely finish a meal but I know if I eat anymore I may throw up.

This was ordered by KS and I at GongGuan Night Market. Super huge portion!

5. The toilets

They do not have pipes in their toilets (which gets me thinking what if one day the flush is not working?! what happens then!? lol), and most of them are those squat ones. Also not allowed to throw any tissue in the toilet bowl. All goes to the rubbish bin allocated in the toilet.

6. Night markets replacing Shopping malls

In Taiwan they are mostly famous for their night markets. So far I've been to XiMenDing Night Market (西门町), Shilin Night Market (士林夜市), GongGuan Night Market (公馆夜市) and FengJia Night Market (逢甲夜市). Seems like shopping malls are quite uncommon and even if they do have them it's mostly quite atas like KLCC. According to my buddy who is a local here, seems like mid-range shopping malls like Mid Valley, 1Utama, DP...etc are not as common if compared to Malaysia. Instead they have night markets which is like a 5 times better version of a pasar malam.

7. Humidity

The weather here currently is still Summer. Still hot at 30+ degrees celcius. But in Malaysia once we step out of the door we will be drenched in sweat. But here, even though you can be walking under the hot sun for 15 mins, you will hardly break out into a pool of sweat. 15 mins under the sun here is like 1 min under the sun in Malaysia. Also they have pretty cooling winds from time to time, which helps a lot.

So far this is what I have gathered. There are many others that I am slowly discovering, hence this is only Part 1. Will update more as the list goes on!

I have also created a new label on my blog called M ♥ Taiwan Exchange, future posts regarding my life in Taiwan will be listed here :D or you can checkout the hashtag #MandyTaiwanExchange on Instagram for pictures only :D

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