Friday, May 16, 2008

Only in Taipei

Tuesday of this week I finished my second Chinese final exam. While the quarter is not quite out, only two more weeks to go, our final exam is over and done with and the stress level is somewhat less than before. Our test spanned over 7 chapters of chinese, we studied 10 total this quarter, and covered over 40 new grammar points, approximately 300 new characters and a wide range of topics, from history, politics and sports games to beauty contests and so on. I spent over a week working hard on reviewing all that material, and it paid off. I passed with flying colors.

After the test was over we really had to come up with a way to celebrate, and one of the Shida students certainly came through. Last night starting from Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall 中正紀念堂 and headed to Taipei 101 台北一零一,we embarked on a journey that can possible only be completed here in Taiwan, a 7-11 crawl.

Our mission, to walk from C.K.S. to 101 stopping at eleven or more 7-11's on the way and buying one alcoholic beverage on the way. There are 4.770 7-11 stores in Taiwan, they have a great selection of beverages, and drinking on the streets is legal, albeit frowned upon in Taipei. We had more than 30 people total in the group, and it was slow going, but a ton of fun. We only had the cops come once to a 7-11, I think the clerks were a little nervous when 30 plus people were standing out side sipping cold ones. The trip took a little over 3 hours to complete but we did make it to 101, although by that time the lights were out and there wasn't a single 7-11 in sight to have a celebratory drink. It is something that I don't think I will do again, but dang it was fun.

I still have two more weeks of school left but after that we get a break before my final quarter. I planning to take advantage of the days off and head down to Tainan 台南 by myself to have a bit of an adventure. Should be a lot of fun. I will be sure to write a few blogs about my trip. After the break I start my final quarter of school. Instead of having a 3 hour or 2 hour normal class I have selected a one of one class. Basically I will have 10 hours of individual lessons a week, I can select my own course material and set my own pace. It should really get me ready for 7th semester Chinese, which I am taking back at UWM in fall. I figure I should include a picture of my and my class mates in this blog as well. It's me and another American, two Japanese students, one student from Thailand, one from Indonesia, and one from the Philippines. This quarter has been a lot of fun, but I am looking forward to next quarter even more.


Tom Gill said...

Hi Jake,

Nice blog, sounds like you had fun in your unique celebration of post-testing-potation. It was nice to talk to you about your plans to do the crawl and then get the lowdown on the experience. 11 drinks, wow. That's why they call it a crawl, it's how you end up and that's not even considering the shortage of public restrooms! Congrats on your test success and choice in the intense-intensive next round of schooling. We've been toting around our Taiwan book and spinning tales of our trip, thoughts of the experience still make me smile and get a hankering to head to an Asian store for some dumplings and bao zi.

With Love, Dad

Jake Gill said...

truth be told, I only had 9 beers. I don't even think we saw 11 7-11's.

tom gill said...

Only 9! Having become a "count em on one hand" guy, I reckon 9 is a youth thing!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a well-deserved celebration! Looks like a fun group.

We just celebrated Bret's graduation from UW-Whitewater yesterday with sushi after the ceremony. He probably would have preferred your method of celebration.

A. Deb

Aunt Carrie said...

Hi Jake,

I got through my semester and celebrated as well. While it may not have been 9 beers walking, it was a bomber of New Holland's Night Tripper. 22oz of an Imperial Stout split between your uncle Steve and myself. That beer was a nice end to a well focused semester. I start my summer class in mid June.

Stay safe and take care,