Tag Archives: me

When things starts to get normal

Today I have been travelling for one month and one week. I started to notice that I don’t get excited about trees or plants anymore (that often) and I don’t even notice the weird architecture or different customs people have here. It feels normal. Like everyday normal. With some things that is good; I don’t need to use much energy trying to understand how things work or what is proper behavior in certain situations. With other things, I don’t like it that much. Now I need to remind myself to see what a beautiful surroundings I have here. I need to make some effort not to live inside of my head everytime I walk to hospital but to really see where I am walking and enjoy it fully.

People are getting familiar too. First I was curious and I was staring at people as much they stared at me. Now I have got used to what people look like here and what is so called normal behavior (like singing everywhere no matter who will hear you). The annoying thing is that I’m not getting familiar to them. People are still staring and whispering when I walk past them. It is completely understandable, I can’t get familiar to all the people in this city so that they don’t consider me as a strange person.  I have started to realize that this is how it feels to be a minority in somewhere. To be the one that looks different, talks different and acts weird (like doesn’t take nap every lunch hour in hospital) when I’m just acting as it is normal to me and just being me. The difficult part is that this is something I can’t change with my behaviour. Even if I behaved exactly like others I would still be that white girl.

I can’t even imagine how it would feel like to always be the one who stands out. In addition to that how it would feel if others would act as I would be somehow less than they are just because what I look. I must affect the way people think about themselfs if all they hear everyday is something nasty about what they are. Even in here, even when people are usually really friendly, nice and only curious with their comments or questions or behaviour towards me, it sometimes feels rude.

I have used to think that we don’t have that much rasism in Finland. That we are quite okay with foreingers. I have started to realize that it is not that simple. It doesn’t necessarily need to be negative behaviour when just treating people differently is sometimes enough. All in all this is really good experience and it really opens eyes. The fact that I know when I’m going to leave here makes it easier.

Home alone

I have been waiting for homesickness to kick in. This far it is nowhere to be found. There has been some grumpy days or more likely grumpy evenings, not even whole days yet. I have been wondering why is that.. Of course we are just three weeks in, so I really cant tell just yet. This far everything has been new and exciting, even the first week at the hospital. Even though I now know roughly how my everyday life here will be it isn’t yet that everydaily to me.

In addition to the all new things here, I think there is more to this than just wondering about new. Here I’m all the time surrounded by people. In dorm I have my roommates, at hospital there is usually other students along with the advisors and patients who are all communicating with me. Then there is my travel companion who goes to have lunch (and dinner) with me most of the days. On weekends there is usually some activity where I go somewhere with someone from Finland or some locals. To be honest, I’m more lonely in Finland than I am in here. It is not just the surroundings, I’m more social in here too. Maybe because I feel that I have to.

Now my Finnish roommate is moving to another city and I feel quite sad about it. It has been fun to have someone similar in here. Even though many times when we are home at the same time we sit back to back on our computers without talking that much. But it is not all about talking, it is the possibility to share my daily life with someone who understands my language and the cultural background I’m coming from. I will still have my travel companion, fortunately. Before I consideret it strange to hang out with people from the same country while abroad. Why would one want to do that when there is so great an opportunity to get to know some locals?!? Now I understand. If I was the only Finn here, I would feel much more alone and homesick.

Adventurer! ..to be?

As I have told you earlier, I’m a boring person who likes to follow rules and routines. I have noticed that I feel a bit uncomfortable here when I can’t read all the signs, so I can’t know if there is something I’m not supposed to do. In Finland I usually read most of the signs and I’m well aware what is expected behaviour. If I’m not, I might not even attend an event. I like to watch and learn before trying things myself. I want to know I’m doing things right before I do them.

I kind of thought that by coming here, I would become an adventurer. Just by changing the environment I could change myself. Weeeelll.. Not quite. I just noticed yesterday that me and my classmate are completely different with this. He is asking everything when I’m just trying to figure out myself just by looking. He is going to shops that clearly don’t operate in english and just trying to comminucate in some language when I’m just avoiding places where I think people don’t speak english. Soon, he might even know more chinese than me because he is always asking how can you say this and that while I just observe. Noticing this difference was a bit of shock to me, because I was thinking myself as a curious and outgoing person and I noticed that I’m still more of an observer than a doer.

paitateksti

I even bought a shirt to remind me not to make all these excuses and just do things.

It took me a while to accept the situation and to decide that it is okay to be like this. At first I thought that I can’t be adventurer if I’m like this, but later I just decided to change the concept of adventurer in my head. Because I’m different from what I hoped to be doesn’t mean it is wrong. I can also change the way I act when I pay attention to it and try to not to be so overly cautious about everything.

First week accomplished!

I left from Finland about a week ago. How I feel? Confused.. I have been having this vacation feeling because we don’t have that many classes at the moment. We have had time to see stuff, hike, walk, eat, adventure.. You know, the basic holiday stuff. Today I realized that after couple of weeks this feeling will probably go away. When the real deal starts. It is a bit scary.. It means that I have to accept that I’ll have my boring weekday routine, just like home. Actually I don’t know.. This is all just a bit confusing at the moment. I feel like I don’t want to have a routine and basic weekday stuff, but having everyday adventure for 3 monts will be a hard task to accomplish.

panda

Chiang Kai-Shek Memoriall Hall entrygate.

Am I energetic enought to change my daily routine from what I have at home? I hope so. I’m boring at home. But maybe I’m demanding a bit too much from myself. If I continue this, I will just stress about having fun. Sounds reasonable right? 😀 Well, that is me. Usually I have one or two things I stress about, without any real reason.

maisema

“the Battleship” rock from Mt. Junjianyan.

It will be interesting to see what happens!

Thoughts about leaving

This going to abroad for 4 months thing is really not my  kind of thing at all. I am a person who always wants to know everything beforehand. How things are done and what is the right way to do things. I’m terribly afraid of failure and I don’t like to try new things if I don’t know what is expected of me. I like rules and structure and boring stuff. It makes me feel safe and in control of the situation. Why on earth am I going to Taiwan?

I already pity my travel companion, since he is the one who will see the worst part. I like travelling alone because then it doesn’t matter how many times I check the timetable or my tickets or the flight gate or time or what ever. Once in Amsterdam I checked five times that I was going to the right platform while waiting for the train. In worst cases I check something and walk couple of steps just to turn around and check it just one more time to be sure. Luckily my travel companion is maybe the most relaxed guy I have ever met.

All in all.. Even though this is not something I usually do or maybe just because that is the case, I’m really excited. I trust that I will learn a lot. Not just about school stuff but about life and myself. Sometimes you just have to go to places and situations you are not comfortable with. Otherwise evolving doesn’t happen. What is the point of being the same all the time if there is a chance to be better?

kalenteri

8 days!