I knoowww, I'm posting this so many days after the fact, but I promised I would.
I went to Peng Hu the first week of September with my aunt and her students (taiwanese; ages 18-19). They do an annual trip every year and this is their last one before graduating.
I learned a few things on this trip:
1. i get sea sick and the best way to deal with it is to be out on the deck, wind whipping my hair back, water and surrounding area clearly visible.
2. how to fish, though not well...i caught nothing and it wasn't even in the "wild" it was in an area blocked off next to a restaurant on a boat designated for customers to fish & if successful, purchase, cook and eat on the spot. Okay, so it doesn't count as learning how to fish...
3. taiwanese boys love basketball. i asked a few of my aunt's students (the boys) if they watch american TV and they said yes, The NBA and they love it. they like the Lakers by default because they think Kobe Bryant is badass. i will never forget when I watched Kobe in that Guitar Hero commercial and my mind about him changed 0.1% though I was attracted to him 100%. i could write a whole blog post about him in this commercial including how much I love his sock surf intro. refreshing your memory:
4. taiwanese girls watch Gossip Girl and also confessed they are more attracted to american celebs than taiwanese... i asked a few of the girls who in particular and one answered george clooney and i accepted this response. another said usher. also completely legit.
5. how to adapt to shtty living situations...the first night we stayed at this really shabby, old, dirty little hostel on one of the smaller islands of Peng Hu and it was just tough, especially the bathroom. i won't go into details but let's just say it was a new (low) experience and i've been grateful ever since.
overall, i had a wonderful time exploring the island, eating lots of seafood and talking to real live taiwanese students, some of whom i've become friends with. most were shy and didn't initiate conversation with me, but those who weren't shy, were genuine and hilarious especially after a few beers (legal drinking age is 18).
Japan post coming soon!! and excited to report i've booked my China trip (Oct 29- Nov 7)! It will be a quick trip, but very special: my first time in the large country of my great great ancestors, and one with my bff and her boyfriend. we're going to Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou & maybe Suzhou. stay tuned everyone...