Sunday afternoon

Today it is Advent Sunday and Sweden and many other places start the Christmas celebration. People hang lamps with star shapes in their windows and light the first candle in the Advent Wreath.

Here in Taiwan the election just got over and DDP will be in charge of most of the Taiwanese districts for the coming period, if you are interested you can read more here.

As I could neither celebrate advent or understand the Chinese news programs I decided to take a walk.

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Here in Taiwan I am constantly surprised by how easy it is to start speaking to people on the street. Sometimes just walking past is enough for some auntie or uncle to walk over and start asking me questions. Most of the time it’s the same questions: Why are you in Taiwan? / How long did you learn Chinese? / Where are you studying?  Easy questions that I can answer without feeling it get’s too intrusive.

But there was once incident today that felt strange: a complete stranger in my age asked if she could join me and started to follow me around. She kept on looking up words in English and used them to make questions to ask me. In some way it was cute, she really wanted to communicate. But as I didn’t know how long she was intending to follow me around it made me feeling uneasy. How to handle that?

I tried to be as much Taiwanese as I possibly can: indirect but still polite. I started walking through stores faster and faster, with her following behind, and I answered her questions without making eye contact. After a bit she got the hint and said it was time for her to go home.

In a park some Indonesian girls started to talk to me. They were here as immigrant workers and are taking care at elderly Taiwanese in their homes. I would really have loved to learn more about their situation but there was no time. At least we took the a group photo!

 

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