My super old blog title “Linus Goes Japanese” was created with a hypothesis that the new environment in Japan could have an impact on my personality, like Anakin Skywalker when meeting his new friends from the Death Star or something. Based on the cover of the above video it could be understood that some (dark) forces took part in a radical change where I now fully dress up in Japanese cosplay costumes. It never went too far and I still feel like as I was born out of an IKEA box.
The Exotic or the Familiar? The Exotic is a world of knowledge, wisdom, and insight. It is a mental attack, challenging the Brain of Familiarity 1.0, where theory is put into practise. The Familiar is safety shooting down risks to restore harmony and to avoid cognitive dissonance. Exposure to something exotic, aka unfamiliar, is an opportunity (or threat to many) to magically transform something exotic to familiar, but that is a personal choice.
The blogging year of 2011 has sadly declined into permanent stagnation but a new exciting year is slowly rising and it will (hopefully) bring lots of new posts. Let me briefly explain what happened in 2011, a year when I moved from Japan, to Sweden, to Taiwan, to Korea, and finally back to Taiwan.
What is the latest news from Korea? Actually I am now living in Taipei since two days ago and I am probably five posts behind. But the short and intense semester is finally over and I have more time to produce something creative. Being creative in the school bench in Korea (at least at Sungkyunkwan University) was more than easy.
A new fresh start of the blog with the first post from Korea and Seoul. I have been here for two weeks now trying to collect photos, sing up for courses, and eat a lot of spicy food.
A few expressions and newly experiences about Korea so far is that the weather is pretty cool compared to the extreme weather in Taiwan. Korean food is spicy, spicy and you almost always need to be more then one person when you go out to eat because the big majority of the dishes are for two people or more. The variety on the menu is often limited to just one or maybe a few dishes if you go to a Korean restaurant.
A fantastic summer ended 10 days ago when I had to fly to Seoul, Korea to start my next semester. The last days in Taiwan I finally made myself up to the Taipei 101, the world biggest building some years ago. The view is nice and there is an even more nice food court in the basement that is worth visiting. I also did some small trips outside Taipei plus hiking around in the mountains in the city. My Chinese pronunciation slightly improved the last month and I learned some nice Chinese songs that we practiced in the karaoke room in the school.
I am in the middle of the second week in Taipei. There is a Chinese session every weekday except Friday. Each session is about 3 hours and we have now started to write and read in Chinese characters which could be useful. I now also have a Chinese name “Gão Li Kuãn” and it means something like “very reasonable”, not very supercool but okay.
This completely irrelevant post is for those who are not very satisfied with blood sucking flying insects named mosquitos that tries their best to keep you awake as long as they can in the night. I now have had some hardcore experience with my new unwanted room mates and gladly share a tiny tutorial of how to get rid of the mosquitos.
The first week in Taiwan and Taipei has now passed and it is time for a short summary. I had my first Chinese class last monday and it was I quite intense start of learning the new language. The teacher rushed through how to count from 0 to 100 in the first 30 minutes and then we had to learn how to present ourselves. Rough start but the tempo slowed town over the next three days. Chinese grammar is very simple, the most difficult thing is how to pronounce the words.
I arrived safely in Taiwan yesterday. The travel went well but I would have appreciated some sleep on the plane. From Frankfurt to Beijing I had a seat next to a lady with a baby in her lap. It was a pretty nice seat, next to the window and with decent place for my knees. Before takeoff a flight attendant asked me if a could take another seat so that the lady with the baby could have some more space. The new seat was one of the not so good ones. Surrounded by flushing toilets and not enough space for the knees made it impossible to get some sleep. So I was pretty tired when I arrived in Taipei but choose to stay awake until the evening to adjust myself to the time difference.