I'll be honest: I don't like the idea of posting a travel blog. I had a long conversation with a classmate from my study abroad program against the idea of travel blogging and I'm no more in favor of it than I was last night. To a large extent, I feel it is an unoriginal way for me to hurriedly cram anecdotes into a space on the interwebs when I can just as easily regale my friends and family with tales of my adventures upon my return. I like to think of myself as a pretty good storyteller, but even so, my pictures speak volumes for me. Isn't that what Facebook is for?
I was reading my current favorite blog, called "The Rejectionist". The author is an editorial assistant at a famous New York publishing house. Her posts are not only wacky and hilarious and insightful, they occasionally feature posts from other writers. And these guest posts, as she called them, were good. Really good. And finally, I thought to myself: it doesn't matter how many times I've tried and failed to start a blog; it doesn't matter if I don't think I'm as good of a writer as these bloggers who seem to ooze talent and new ideas from every pore of their being. I'm going to write. About Taiwan, about my thoughts, about books, about the world as I see it. As much as I can. Ideally, I would like to use this space for disciplined creativity--I keep telling people I want to write a full-length novel, but that's going to be pretty hard to do if I let my writing skills atrophy. You don't run a marathon without training--writing's not much different.
So, don't expect too many pictures or anecdotes. Yes, I'm in Taiwan and it's amazing, but right now I'm a bit more concerned with why I'm here, not just that I'm here. I'm about to sign off now, so I will share a short update before going to sleep.
Today my classmates and I took a Chinese placement test, had lunch in a Yunan-style restaurant, went to the National Palace museum and the Shulin night market. All of these things were fine except for the fact that it rained. All. Day. Long. I left the restaurant to get my umbrella back in my dorm and accidentally walked in the wrong direction, which left me soaked so I changed my clothes when I finally reached my room. It was certainly a good day to go to a museum, which was filled with bronze and stone carvings from the respective Bronze and Neolithic Ages, but my clothes never fully dried. Supposedly there's a typhoon coming in a couple of days, which intrigues me. I have never witnessed any kind of extreme weather, so I'm fascinated by the idea of trees flailing helplessly in the wind while heavy rain all but flies horizontally. Tomorrow, my group is off to the center of Taiwan for a two-day cultural immersion trip of some kind. I wish I could provide more details, but so far my head is more or less spinning from following around my group as we move from place to place. I'm looking forward to the beginning of classes when things will settle into more of a routine. But, yes, Taiwan is awesome and I'm glad I'm here.