Late into my last semester of university ever, I realized I was essentially completely unprepared to face the wrath of adulthood. There is a strange transition period between being a student and being a so-called ‘adult’, where you don’t know exactly what you want, can and should do with the rest of your life, and I was effectively stuck there; a situation that demanded rectification. Said rectification came in the form of plane tickets to Taiwan.
Long story short: I applied for an internship with Jia-Jia Accommodation, Traveling, and Creation Company, and will be working as a Design Assistant in their Tainan-based office for the next two months. It’s all very exciting and much better than unemployment!!!
In all seriousness, I am very happy (and slightly relieved) to have received such an opportunity. Internships are cool in the sense that you get to experience working, figure out what skills you need and what you lack, and also get a better idea of what you actually like to do. This is all made better by the fact that you aren’t permanent staff, so you don’t have as many inhibitions, and you don’t have to be afraid to try new things or learn about things you didn’t know before, because you are allowed to have things you don’t know.
Here’s the thing about Tainan; the city sometimes feels like it’s on fire. At this time of year, the average temperature hits 33°C, and it’s not the type of city where you’d easily find shade and air-conditioning. Remember this and dress accordingly should you plan to visit during this time. Also, for those who are into makeup, invest in good, long-lasting foundation because anything less than that will melt off almost instantaneously. The dewy look is not for Tainan; go for matt, and the heat will dew it up for you. Here’s another thing about Tainan: the city itself is so incredible you would willingly tolerate the burn.
Tainan is Taiwan’s oldest city, and it’s quaint and full of stories. Taipei might be dubbed as ‘Little Japan’, but Tainan is the true hidden gem. Walking along narrow streets bustling with street vendors, motorcycles zigzagging through the traffic, and the occasional temple, you can’t help but notice how effortlessly romantic the historic city is. This isn’t a curated old town for foreigners to gawk at; this is an example of a city where culture has managed to flourish in a modern era. 7-11s blend easily with old traditional houses, and the woman dressed in chic Taiwanese street fashion greets the old uncle selling squid noodles with familiarity as she orders her usual lunch. As I wander through winding alleys with my friends, stopping to greet the chubby and charismatic man who sells beef stew at the street corner, we stick out like sore thumbs in a virtually tourist-free town.
Tainan is great for many reasons, but if I only had a minute to convince you to get here I’d just stuff a salapao in your face. Or milk tea, your pick. The food here is plentiful and delicious, and very rarely will you find such good quality freshly-prepared local dishes at affordable prices, but I’ll elaborate on this another time.
Of course, working in a foreign country comes with its own set of fears and worries, but traveling and starting something new is thrilling, and I’m looking forward to what this experience will bring.
Yeah, I could get used to living here.