While Googling I came across one blogger’s impressions of Kaohsiung. It’s a nicely-written post with lots of pictures. One notable thing is the interesting diversity of insects and wildlife here in Taiwan. As a relatively isolated island, there seem to be many species that are unique to this country.

Today I woke up at about 8:45am. My host family had already left for church. Service was at a different location today due to baptisms, and fortunately L. left a note for me, indicating where I should go. I arrived exactly on time, at 10am. It’s a pleasant walk from their home to Morrison.

Little did I know, the baptism service was really extra special because M., the daughter from my host family, was being baptized. I’m truly happy for her. Though at 8.5 years old, she’s really just getting started. Her testimonial was pretty uninspiring — but that’s fine. It’s just the beginning, and she has a long road ahead.

While at church and afterward, while talking with the people there, I was struck by how well-connected the Morrison Academy community is. They almost all know each other. It’s really like a big family. I talked with people who know Dan Sutoyo. I know him from church in Walnut. It’s pretty interesting to see their connections all the way over here in Taiwan. We’re truly a global community now.

I talked with a guy named Daniel who was born in Taiwan but speaks English. He went to the US to study at Baylor University, and now he’s back in Taiwan. He’s still learning Chinese with a 1-on-1 tutor. He recommends this as a faster and more effective way to learn.

I discovered that L. is leaving today, for a 9-day trip in France, after a brief layover in Amsterdam. As a family we all took the car to Taichung HSR, where we enjoyed some coffee before heading off. While L. went to the Taipei airport, I went the opposite direction: south to Kaohsiung. I thanked the Rs for their kind hospitality, as I truly had an amazing stay there. Not only was it pleasant, but I also managed to complete some good work thanks to their speedy Wi-Fi.

The 1-hour HSR trip to Kaohsiung went quickly, thanks to having 3G service via my iPhone. I used my laptop, doing reading most of the way. There were a few spots (tunnels, I guess) where the service dropped out, but it worked pretty well most of the way.

Upon arriving in Kaohsiung, I was struck by how awesome it is. It’s hard to describe exactly why, but it’s a very nice city, and I quite like it here so far. I’ve read that it used to be run-down, and it has since gone through a radical transformation. I would definitely recommend Kaohsiung to my family and friends who visit Taiwan. It’s a totally different experience from Taipei.

Tonight I’m staying at Cozy Planet Hostel. They offer free laundry service at noon each day. It’s clean, decorated, and homely. In the guest book, one guest wrote that this isn’t a hostel… it’s an apartment that the owner, Sam, shares.

After dropping off my large backpack at the hostel, I went to Kaohsiung Arena to meet my new CS friend, Betty. We went to a large Night Market and enjoyed quite a few delicious snacks. The first thing I got was some dumplings, 35 TWD for a bag of about 3 veggie dumplings and 5 meat ones. We then got some deep-fried squid. It was quite good, even better than Sam Woo back in the States. Next, we got jelly tea drinks. Betty noted that these particular jellies are famous here. Finally, I went for something healthy and snagged some broccoli, mushrooms, and fish cake– which I initially thought was tofu.

Now I’m back at the hostel using their free wi-fi. If I get around to it, I should add some pics to this post.

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