Sunday, June 23, 2013

First day of BACT

Today was the first day of the BACT program! I can't believe that all of the trip planning, and preparation is finally done with so we can enjoy and learn with these students! I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the other participants to Taiwan, for a month now.
We all meet at the dorms for a quick hello and then we were off to the university's conference room. There we all got to have breakfast with each other, as well as introduce ourselves with our presentations. It was so cool listening and learning about where everybody came from. There were people from Singapore, China, Australia, England, Canada, USA, and also here in Taiwan. All these students, all coming for the same interests. It makes our world seem even smaller. It was so easy talking with everyone here, it seemed everybody instantly clicked!
So after the self-introductions and announcements, we had lunch at the mrt's Taipei Main Station stop. This was a huge food court on the top level; so many people! This is one of the busiest stops because it is also the stop for the high speed railway, and the train.
It was starting to drizzle a little bit as we all made our way out of the station towards the National Taiwan Museum.  This building was so pretty! Inside there was a lot of exhibits about the history of the island, the culture, what people dressed back then, ect. A little bit more knowledge of Taiwan was a good way to start off the program! We were then going to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, but unfortunately the rain turned violent with some pretty big thunder and lightning strikes in the sky. So we retreated back underground to the mrt to head back to the university area for some dinner and last minute things.
Some of the students who are from Taiwan wanted to show us Shiling market place, which is really popular for young people (our age!) It was almost like a mini times square, but bustling with so many people and shops! there were many alleys that had a huge row of movie theatres and different food stalls. Music was everywhere! Such a neat atmosphere! Our big group split into smaller groups, and we were off. My group found an ice-cream stand that serves the soft serve in a cone, seems normal enough, until they hand you the cone and the ice-cream is longer than your face! A bunch of us got some, I tried the mango flavor! It was fun to try and balance the ice-cream so it won't topple over, and also eat it fast enough so the humidity and hot weather won't melt it! I posted some pictures from our first day below!
lunch at the mrt station! This is Jiling  (we both tried some squid/noodle dish!)

the entrance to the museum

the very big ice-cream! It was already starting to drip down the side!

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