Day 21. I have officially survived my first 3 weeks in Taiwan. I knew from previous experience that the first month would likely be the hardest, and I am almost through that stretch. There are some things that just simply take time and cannot be rushed. For example, learning my new job, finding my way around, making new friends, and learning to communicate better, whether it be English, Mandarin, or a combination + hand gestures (I am a very expressive person, so I excel in the silent option...).
Tonight I attended a company dinner + happy hour hosted by one of the firm's teams. They have started this new tradition that each month, a design/construction team will plan a group outing for the entire firm, sponsored by the firm. It is a chance for everyone to get to know each other better and have some fun outside of the office. For me, it was a really great chance to get to talk to people! Not at thier desk. To actually have some meaningful conversation. I also took the opportunity to corner many Taiwanese coworkers and speak to them in English... :) as they tend to be very shy about thier English skills, but obviously thier English is better than my Chinese (somehow this fact escapes them) - so I try to make it clear to them how helpful it is for me to be able to be included in the conversation!
I finished the night - scandalously, I suppose, depening on who you ask - with about as much fun as a young married girl is allowed to have... I got a ride home with a boy from the office on the back of his scooter! This was my first scooter ride this trip (have ridden one multiple times during my previous visit to Taipei) and it's fun. What can I say? I was careful, wore my helmet, and I have not bought myself a scooter... but it was a blast riding across the city with the wind blowing in my hair.All in all, I think tonight was great - one more step towards getting to know my own team members better and making new friends at the office.