Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2012 wasn't the end of the world then...

Well it's 2013 and we're all still here. The world did not explode or come to a climatic end as many mad men told us it would. 2012 came and went in a blur. I sometimes feel like I'm not achieving anything, or doing much with life and that I could be doing way more. Then I take a step back and try and look at the bigger picture. 2012 saw me living not only in England but in Taiwan (and 2013 will also)...so how can I feel like I haven't done anything?! As I've mentioned before I think it's really important to remember all those little successes and victories we have in life.

This weekend I got to see how a party is done Taiwan style as we had a 會眾交往. I will be honest, I was a little dubious about it when I first heard about it. From my experience, I've come to realise that Asians love to be super organised, everything is planned, structured and you stick to what you've planned. (We all know that is not my style...at all. It's not uncommon for me to decide to do something last minute, or to find my plans changed at any given moment. I like adapting and uncertainty!) So I was kinda unsure how a party could be fun whilst being structured. But I was proven wrong! 

It started out with song and prayer before eating a buffet kinda meal. Noodles, rice and many different dishes. And here I go again raving about all the different cultures in one place...Taiwanese dishes, Korean dishes and the Westerners brought the sweet side, with cookies. I really do love having an eclectic mix of cultures all together! 

After the buffet, an American friend sang, accompanied by a Taiwanese on guitar. He had prepared a couple of songs. One of the songs he had prepared was 'Stand by Me'...he then decided he didn't wanna sing it alone. Sooooo...somehow me and three of my friends ended up being his backing singers (complete with finger clicks and dances moves.) Really wasn't expecting that curve ball, but it was good. 

After that it reverted back to be being a very typical Asian party...interviews! They love to interview people here. I hear this has come mainly from the Koreans, but on the whole the Asians enjoy a good ol' interview. So 4 names were called out of people to be interviewed. Unbeknownst to me I was one of them. I was merrily chatting with friends, laughing away. Heard my name...and that laughter quickly turned into a look of panic upon my face. So us chosen ones had to go to the front and be interviewed...why were we here, why learning Chinese, our plans and goals and the like were the kinds of questions asked. My friend translated the questions for me and to my shock and surprise, I managed to answer them in Chinese myself! (Not perfect Chinese I am sure.) I was super stoked! This kinda interview thing happened to me on a much smaller scale when I first arrived. It was just in a persons home and there was hardly anyone there. At that time, I had to answer the questions in English with the odd sentence in Chinese and have a friend translate. The immersion technique really works with learning languages! I'm not fluent, I'm not amazing...but I know my survival Chinese and enough to hold a little conversation. My responses are basic, but with time I hope to get better! 

Then came the time for the party to turn to Latino roots. The Mexicans taught us some dances. Think line dancing with flair and finesse. Great fun. 

After that there was a few games. The Asians aren't late birds though, we were done by 9pm. It was a really great experience. It's amazing and such a privilege to have been able to meet so many beautiful people. And in such a short amount of time, to have made lasting friendships.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich - Is That You On That Plane? Ah this song is so emotive. I love it.

anxiously waiting to be interviewed...hoping no one asked me anything weird!

but at least there was enough edamame to console myself with. (reminded me of work back home, as edamame was on the menu. Back then I thought it be somewhat special, but here you can get it by the bucket load!)

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