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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

A Rice Farming City in Rural Taiwan

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Written by Matthew Merritt (Yale College), Pupil Correspondent for CET Taiwan, Summer season 2023

What do you hope to expertise when touring? Throughout class this week, I discovered vocabulary related to journey, like “expertise,” “style,” and “broaden one’s horizons,” which led me to contemplate this query.

I consider the very best plan is not any plan, so an instantaneous reply eludes me. After I journey, I’m hoping to expertise no matter that group has to supply; I attempt to maintain my expectations and plans to a minimal. 

Final weekend, my roommate and I booked a prepare to Chishang (池上) Township on a whim. The advisor for the fellowship funding my time in Taiwan despatched me an e-mail saying, “I feel you’ll take pleasure in going to Chishang.” I believed her, so I went. 

After I arrived in Chishang, my host greeted me and let me know the hostel offered bikes freed from cost. He beneficial I try Mr. Brown Avenue earlier than sundown, well-known for its namesake Mr. Brown Espresso and an Eva Air Advert in 2013. Like Takeshi Kaneshiro (the Japanese actor featured by Eva Air), I too biked alongside Mr. Brown Avenue and Paradise Street, basking within the expanse of yellow rice fields and foggy mountains.


Biking on Paradise Street close to Yushan Nationwide Park (left) and a discipline of rice simply earlier than harvest (proper)


For the night, my host invited me to an open mic evening, the place of us spontaneously gathered to sing folksy songs and sip tea (particularly 冷泡茶). Since I solely have one Mandarin music in my arsenal, The Moon Represents My Coronary heart (月亮代表我的心) by Teresa Teng, I sang that albeit with little fluctuation in tone.

The next day, I explored Dapo Pond and a backyard on the base of Yushan Nationwide Park, which gave me ample alternative to take pleasure in one of many landscapes that makes Taiwan so lovely. It additionally helped me mirror on the halfway level of my Taiwan escapades. 


A CET Taiwan student posing and smiling in front of Dapo Pond on a cloudy day

Me at Dapo Pond


After I arrived in Taiwan, I simply hoped to expertise no matter it needed to supply. Notably referring to panorama, faith, and other people. In Chishang, I received to absorb all of those points (together with the near-insufferable warmth) and did my finest to benefit from my time right here. 

Oftentimes, serendipitous moments coalesce to type a life value dwelling. Which is why I consider we don’t have to reply my introductory query. Maybe no plan, besides to have an open thoughts and to satisfy cool of us, actually is the very best plan.

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