The Joys of the Unexpected - in Taiwan

Hi, it’s Emma from Taiwan again!
Today, I thought I’d look back at what I was expecting when I came to Taiwan, and what I’ve actually experienced. When you say the word Taiwan, maybe you think mass production, electronics and plastic toys – I did! But I’ve been so surprised in what I’ve found on my little explores and adventures around the island.
When mum and my sister Nicola visited a few weeks ago, we took a trip to Yingge, a small but renowned ceramic township. Here there was an artist village, where we found a great exhibition of local students work (all around the theme of eateries and restaurants). Some of the pieces were really quirky and made us all smile. I was delighted to find good design and skilled craftwork, and such a lovely display too.
Outside of the indoor gallery area, we were met by small sculptures that were dotted around the park – it really was a lovely day out!
A similar thing can be said about the kindergarten where I work every morning; I teach small class (2-3 years old – very small!) and they have a routine which they all follow every day. At first glance maybe this seems too disciplined and doesn’t offer them a chance to use their imagination, but I disagree. My kids all feel very safe in knowing what they are supposed to be doing at certain times, and throughout the day they have plenty of time to play and invent their own little games. I love watching them during play time, as I can see new worlds come alive every day – a recent play time turned into a garden filled with spiders and angry mums chasing them
I loved this collection of Post It Notes from one of my classes, welcoming Teacher Emma's Mum and sister to Taiwan:
I have found so much more in this country than I was ever expecting; the people are all so friendly and can’t wait to offer a lost looking foreigner some help; the landscape is very varied and much of it is incredibly beautiful and full of natural wonders.
I’m hoping to go whale and dolphin watching soon, and am planning to stay another year – there’s still so much I want to see and do. The kids I teach are lovely and I couldn’t wish for nicer Chinese assistants in my classes! Why wouldn’t I want to stay!