STUDENTS@EVONIK BLOG: ANNE IN TAIWAN
#2 - About Taiwanese delicacies and travels through the country
Dear people interested in Taiwan and internships abroad,
my last blog entry ended with raving about Taiwanese food. Let's start there again and stroll together across a typical Taiwanese night market. Imagine my very first night market visit after only one day in Taiwan. For this you should know how high Taipei’s density of population is and also that it was a Sunday evening. I walked in between the crowds of many locals and tourists from stand to stand, where the tastiest food revealed itself to me: freshly cooked mussels, oyster soup, breaded chicken, octopus with cheese, fruit juices, freshly fried or grilled food, sushi, dumplings, soups, rice dishes, tofu pudding. But to be honest, I was overwhelmed by so much squeezing, how can I stop at a queue and order something? In my opinion impossible back then. Okay, let's skip the adjustment period and move on to a night market later, maybe not on a busy Sunday evening this time: The motto is to show what you want and to line up at the stand with the longest waiting line! Yes, the Taiwanese love that and I quickly learned that it would be worth it after I did the same! Fast eye contact with the salesman to show what you would like with a determined look. And you should leave your backpack at home. I don't have any more tips, because now it’s time to enjoy and eat all kinds of things for little money. Like stinky tofu. Stinky what? - This is fermented tofu that smells a little rotten – but it tastes so much better than it smells, especially with lots of coriander, garlic and chili sauce. Not everyone will agree with me, I know. But I promise you, it is worth the dare. Try it out and see for yourself. But honestly, there are two camps - either you hate it or you love it. I'll hope that you can join the last camp.
I am straying away from the topic. During my time at Evonik Taiwan Ltd. I did not only eat, of course, although I must admit to you that in my eyes it is one of the best ways to get to know the culture of a country and to get into conversation with the locals. But it was also the diverse landscapes and the people that made my stay so special. With the days of vacation time that were given to me during my internship, I could travel Taiwan extensively. As the country is quite small in geographical size and has very good train and bus connections, it was also possible to get an insight on the weekends by short trips: Most of the people live in Taipei in northern Taiwan and on the west coast, which is characterized by exciting cities, such as the beautiful old capital Tainan, and industry. The north is a bit rougher, with bizarre coastal rock formations, old gold-digger ruins and the bustling port town of Keelung. The south, on the other hand, offers white-golden sandy beaches and a national park where I was able to see wild monkeys for the first time in my life. And in the center of the island? Some of the mountains there are 3000-4000 meters high, which is why it is not so easy or almost impossible to drive "fast" from the west to the east. The most popular travel region is the eastern coast of Taiwan, where mountains tower up and plunge into the Pacific Ocean due to the collision of two tectonic plates. In the villages on the east coast you can get to know the valuable culture of the various indigenous tribes and experience (sub-)tropical agriculture: Who can say that he cycled through rice fields, pineapple and papaya plantations while enjoying the view of the Pacific and the mountains at the same time?
Besides the internship itself, these experiences are the reason why I am more than happy about my decision to do an internship abroad at Evonik. My next blog will tell you more about how the internship abroad came about and what to consider in advance.
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