Tag Archives: sleeping

Dormitory living

In Finland I have my own flat. About 25 square meter of my own space with my own kitchen, own toilet and own laundry machine. Back in Finland I wondered a bit about how am I going to survive living in a dorm. I thought that I don’t like to live with other people, that I like to be alone more. I also thought that I would need my own space and I wouldn’t be able to be considered enough for other people.

First thing that surprised me was how dirty one room can be. When more people live together it is easier to let things go uncleaned I guess. I don’t clean every week in Finland, but I certainly clean more than I have done in here. I have to admit that sometimes I go and sweep the hallway because all of that dust irritates me. Funny thing is that I sweep the hallway more often than I sweep my room..

I am really surprised about how well I have adapted to this dormitory living. Here I live in a room made for 4 people. We only have two here, me and my roommate, so there is enough room for my ego too. There is shared toilets and showers in every floor as there is a shared laundry room. Washing one machinefull of laundry costs 10 NTW so practically it is next to nothing. This dormitory has a kitchen in the first floor and couple of refridgerators in hallway. The Kitchen is a chaos and fridges always so full that there is no room for anything there. You are lucky if you can close the door after you have mistakingly opened it to see what is inside.

eteinen

The hallway with fridges.

keittiö

The kitchen – I never use this

pyykkitupa

Our lovely laundry room.

Something really essential here is earplugs. Most of the people here don’t go to bed in reasonable time (in my opinion). So there will be noice and light from the hallway even after the midnight. At first I also used something to cover my eyes, but now I don’t need that anymore. When I arrived here and the weather was still cold, a pair of slippers was a choice for winners. Other slippers for shower are also quite essential if you still want to recognize all of your toes after spending some time in here.

suihkut

Some of the showers

vessat

Long row of toilets. There is both kinds of them.

Even though living here is so different from my life in Finland, I still haven’t had that much troubles about adjusting to this environment. The thing I miss most is cooking and being able to store food in my apartment. As I am a lazy Finn, I would love the opportunity to just be in my room and get some food from fridge if I get hungry. Always getting out to get food is starting to be a bit annoying.

All in all, I need surprisingly few things for my daily living. In Finland I have a huge amount of stuff in my apartment. Here, I have realized that I wouldn’t need most of them to live well. Maybe I need to do some cleaning after I get back..

katto

My favourite place in this building <3

study study study, must be funny

Today I will talk about studying! You might think that studying in Finland is hard work. Well, I think it is! Or at least that was my opinion before I came here. There is so much to learn and not enought time. There is also so many hobbies one needs to attend and family and friend needs to be seen occasionally. And all the student partys and holiday trips abroad.. Yeah! Must be difficult for us..

Here I have noticed some things. Funny thing for a Finn.. For example last Monday one of my teachers came to our table (me and three other students) in the beginning of our lesson, sat down and started asking about what have we read on weekend. My mind went through all the funny web articles I have read before I realized that she was talking about research articles and books. I am happy that they couldn’t see my impression inside my head. I was like: “… WHAT?!? O_o” Later I asked about this from my tutor and she told me that students are expected to read more material for their subjeck at weekends. Material that is not included in the most essential readings and that you need to find out yourself. Okay, I understand. Reading is good way to learn and sharing the information is really beneficial. But really..?

Next day the same teacher came to our table and we were expected to tell about one article she had given us to read. First one of us started (we had divided the article to four parts) and then teacher started asking questions about that part. From that we had a good conversation about first part and in the end we had drifted so far from the subject that we didn’t have time for any other parts. Thank god, because I don’t know if I had survived that with honour. This was not the funny part. The funny part was that teacher asked really tough questions and students were expected to be able to answer then. If not they must find out for the next time. Do you think you could remember all things you learned in the class?

These students are really nice and they asked me to write my name for them so they can find me from facebook. Next day I asked why they haven’t added me yet (haha) and the reason was that they hadn’t had time to go to facebook. Come on, really? Who doesn’t have time to go to facebook? But when I have asked about what other students have done in the evenings or at weekend, they usually ansver that they have been up until 3 AM making some school assignments or waking up really early to do more school stuff. So basic answer to “how are you?” is “Really tired..” If this would happen in Finland I think there would be a student uprising or something. No wonder students (and other staff too) take naps on the lunch hour.

My tutors have school on weekend, one Saturday, Sunday or on both. They also have part time jobs couple times a week. In addition to this they help us and go to take us all kinds of different places to experience nice stuff. I have no idea when they eat or sleep. There is no student partys. I have not seen alcohol used once since I have arrived here. If students do not study they have extracurricular activities like taping club. Yes, also school stuff!

I have noticed that even though I am foreing student and teachers are really not that strickt with me, I still have much to do every day. Today is Saturday and I have used most of my day this far to do school report and other assignments because I just don’t have any energy to do those on weekdays after working 9 hours at hospital. I have said this before: I really enjoy being here, but I think I would have heart attack if I would study here for several years.

First day in Taipei

People here are amazing! We had a really nice day yesterday. One local girl showed us the school cafeteria. It even has some food we can eat.

One of the local students who had his exchange period in Finland met us aroung noon and showed the campus area. I even felt a small urge to study. It was interesting. It seems like the facilities are quite okay here. The library is big and there is a huge activity center. Even the university president lives in the campus (in his own house) and he invites some students to his house for dinner every month to discuss about how to improve university.

pääportti

The main gate. Name of the university is written from right to left, in “a old way”.

 

kampuskartta

The campus area. I live in the top part of the blue area.

We used the MRT for first time. It seemed easy and we got an english version for the MRT map. Inside the MRT they have all stops in chinese and in english, so finding the right place is relatively easy. Although all the places sound similar..

ruoka

Our nice lunch place. Nomnom food!

Later we went shopping and tried to find thicker blankets. We were really lucky and bumped into two other students familiar from Finland. They helped us to communicate with the salespersons. Actually we were in one a bit pricy place at first and then Alice and Jerry showed one other place for us. It was closed though. That seems not to be a problem here, because some women who had a small food booth at the street started yelling to one stairway to the shops owner. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the owner came to open the shop just for us!

After walking back to the uni we agreed to meet later for dinner. The cafeteria closes already at 7PM and so we agreed to meet at the Family Mart. Couple hours later a surprise waited for us when we met Jerry and Alice. Jerry has a scooter so he had driven to the night market to buy a lot of different foods for us to try. So amazing! Food was good and we had fun evening.

illallinen

Nightmarket food including some fruits, shrimp omlet, chicken soup, tofu etc..

Only problem for me at the moment is jetlag. I still don’t fall asleep easily and time is usually past midnight before I can sleep even if I feel really tired. But that should fix itself in a week or so. I’m feeling more excited and less scared all the time. This will be a great adventure!

First expressions

After badly slept night I can tell you that it’s really humid here! That means when it gets dark it gets also really cold. I could sleep after I put my wollen socks on and took a extra shirt plus my jacket on too. Today I need to buy a thiker blanket.I also need to buy indoor slippers. The floor of my room is not the cleanest one and other floors are most likely a bit wet. It also rains all the time, or that is what they tell me.

The corridor outside my room.

The corridor outside my room.

Surroundings of the uni are great. We are located on a hill, so view is great and there is forest all around us. The buildings are really different from Finland. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is quite a bit of mold in here. The toilets are different. Seems like you have to have your own paper with you (wherever you go..) and people don’t dry their hands after washing them. I was wondering why my tutor asked me several times if I had some “tissues”. Well, now I know. 😀 I heard that in some places they don’t have the western type of toilet either, but a squat one. Basically that means a hole in the ground.

The dormitory

The dormitory

There is a Family Mart about 100 m from my apartment and buss stop other 100 m away. On the grocery store, there is much you can drink but not that much I can eat (I eat only food with no gluten in it). So I guess I will be eating a lot of bananas.. If I want to eat anything else, I deen to take a buss or walk down the hill (locals tell me it is a 20 min walk) to the MRT (mass rapid transportation) station where all the other stores are. Yesterday I ate stinky tofu. Not that bad, but not my favourite.

I have two roommates. One of them is from mainland China and other is from… Finland! They study nursing. The Finnish one is from JAMK also and we have met before. So small world it seems to be. Other than that I have not located that many exchange students. They might be from around here (other parts of Asia) so I wouldn’t recognise them.. Actually me, my roommmate and the classmate who came with me are the only western looking people I have seen this far.

Tap water is not drinkable, but we have a water vending machine here at the dormitory.

Forest around the dormitory.

Forest around the dormitory.

All in all I feel weird. Everything is so exciting and terrifying at the same time. But the people here are really friendly so everything is going to be okay.