Yes! Now I am sure and with all confidence I can say: I will speak Chinese!
My first days at school were wonderful. This Chinese course at Shida just makes me smile and let's me get out of bed easily, even though my alarm clock rings at 7 a.m now, just like it was in old high school days. So why is this guy so enthusiastic, you might wonder. Well, first of all, of course it makes one happy to fulfill his dreams. And as I wrote here before, it has always been my dream to become fluent in Chinese. To take an everyday Chinese class is just the perfect way to make this dream come true. :)
But my first positive impressions are not just influenced by this personal emotions. Let me tell you why I really like this course.
Of course, the two most important factors for a good course are the teacher and your classmates. And both are really good. I was lucky. My Chinese teacher is a very very lively and cheerful woman. She teaches with such a passion, it even gives me more motivation than I already had, and as you might have already found out by reading my blog...I already had a lot of motivation on my own. She makes us talk a lot, which is great. Another good thing is that her pace of speaking perfectly resembles that of a normal Taiwanese person here. She doesn't try to speak extra slow to make it easier for us to understand. No, she wants to make us get used to the normal speed of conversation, and in my opinion that is just right. Of course we can always ask her to explain again what she just said, and she will do it.
My classmates. I am the only westerner in my class and that is great. I am really happy about that. The great thing about that is that I don't chat in English with my new classmates all the time. Instead, we use Chinese to talk to each other. It is rewarding to see that I can have a conversation in Chinese with somebody else who is also studying Chinese. It is like we can directly try what we have learned so far and to see that it is working in real life is just rewarding, to repeat myself. :) Also it is kind of funny when you see a German guy talking to a Japanese....in Chinese! Well, and this happens here everyday. Wonderful. International understanding at its best!
My class has 8 people, including myself.
5 girls. (2*Indonesia, 1*Japan, 1*Korea, 1*Thailand)
3 guys. (1*Germany, 1*Vietnam, 1*Nauru)
I also didn't know where Nauru was or even that it existed. I was even more surprised when I found out that it was a German colony from 1888 on and that they still have German words in their vocabulary. Next to the fact that their president's first name is "Ludwig" which is a very typical German name. ;) To my country's excuse: that is a very old fashioned German name... ;)
So I really like them all, and we have a great deal of fun together. Moreover, we really just speak Chinese (My colonial friend is an exception).
This is our cosy classroom:
We all sit around that table which makes it very easy to communcate whith each other. On the second day we actually moved to a bigger room that has two tables of the same kind. I first thought I would prefer the smaller one because it felt so cosy and not like a classroom at all, but at the end of the second lesson I was already fine with the bigger one.
What both rooms have in common is that fantastic propaganda world map, that doesn't have the PRC flag and makes Taipei the capital of China. And with China I mean the well known People's Republic of China. ;)
What also strikes the eye of the beholder is that two flags are printed larger than the others:
The flag of Taiwan and the flag of the United nations...read more about that on Mark's blog.
So much on my first impressions! Thanks for reading so far and stay tuned!