After being out of Taiwan for at least a year (2 years here), what are the big things that hit you when you come back?
In my case, I’d say:
- Unbelievably high volume of students “talking” in coffee shops and the like. Doubled if playing cards.
- Temp and humidity higher than I remembered.
- How irritating it can be to have people compliment your Chinese all the time even when you know they mean well (I know that sounds stupid, but it’s kind of like having people continually say, “You walk so well” after you’ve reached a certain point.)
- How you can give a little kid “the teacher look” and s/he will subside and quit his annoying behavior (usually)
- How it takes 10-15 minutes longer to get anywhere than you thought it would, no matter how carefully you estimate
- How irritating the “extra fees” can be (the “you plugged your laptop into our electricty” fee, the “and then you were using the wireless Internet, weren’t you” fee, the “and we saw you breathing just then” fee…) at coffee shops
- How much easier it now is to get (paid) public Internet access (WiFly or Chunghwa) and how many places you can get online
- How many more individuals are putting password protection on their wireless networks
- How unbelievably clean the MRT is. Could have eaten off the floors of the cars on the way to Tamsui this morning.
- Did I mention how loud the students are? Can’t hear myself think or I’d probably remember if I’d already said so or not.
Also of course the usual stuff like missing shops that “should” be there, new shops that need checking out, and so on…