Photo Diaries: First Week in Kaohsiung

Monday, July 02, 2012

Hi!! Yes, I'm still alive. I'm not going to put up pics from my stay in Taipei, although I will say that I was hit with a stream of bad lucks during my first week in Taiwan. I had a really bad stomach problem on the second day that started with food my grandma made, probably because my stomach wasn't used to the food there yet. On one of the days I was supposed to meet up with two friends, one for lunch and the other for dinner, but I got so sick that I couldn't meet with the dinner-friend :'( And then a huge rainstorm occurred on the day I was supposed to leave for Kaohsiung, so to be safe I decided to take the High Speed Rail (HSR, fastest way to get around Taiwan) the next day.

My first two days in the lab (Thursday and Friday) were so-so. My professor/mentor is always busy, so I learn how to do my experiment for the research from his assistant, Tina. Sometimes I help her out with some small things in her experiments like pipetting. Otherwise, I just chill with my laptop every few hours while waiting for stuff in my experiment to mix together and such.

3 professors share a lab room where each get their own lab bench. Each bench is ridiculously crowded. I'm not sure if all Taiwan university labs are like this, but the ones in the US have much more space, and even if professors need to share a lab room, they each get at least 3 long lab benches.

I love my dorm room! It feels larger because of the super high ceiling and has so many built-in shelves. But I need to keep a fan on to keep the room cool and non-humid.

On Friday, I got off work early, and since I wanted to ride the MRT somewhere to explore on Saturday, I wanted to get some recommendations about places from Fred, another one of my professor's assistants. He told me some places but ends up offering to show me how to get to Sanduo Shopping District by MRT because Kaohsiung's MRT is different from Taipei's. I thought he was going to just drop me off there, but we ended up walking around the area, walking to Central Park (which is another great place for shopping)some other random places, and then ALLLLL the way back to KMU. In other words, we walked a good chunk of Kaohsiung City in one night (circled below in blue) =.=

But it was so much fun! He's pretty spontaneous, so he'd say, "oh, let me take you to see ___!" We talked about everything, and yep, he went through a crazy, fun-filled high school and college life. He took me more places on Sunday, including Cijin Island off the coast of Kaohsiung, a night market, Ikea, and Dream Mall. We went to the latter because I've never been to either and we wanted some free air con ;D

愛河 (Love River)

Dragon-Tiger Pavilion on Lotus Lake

Dream Mall

Cijin Island

Work got more interesting over the next few days. I won't bore you with the details, but I started understanding more about my research project, especially since my mentor told me about the presentation that everyone in his lab needs to present Thursday night. It needs to either be about the data you collected over the week or about a report on a few research articles related to your project. I spent a crazy amount of time on my powerpoint, and even though I don't like presenting, it's a great way for me to improve my public speaking skills and a quick way for me to further my knowledge on my project through other people's research.

On Wednesday, a typhoon hit Taiwan, and it rained so hard that the government canceled school and work. So I didn't have to go to work that day! :D I went to eat sashimi with Fred for lunch, although the place we went to only had tuna and blue marlin...which I both love, but I had expected there to be salmon, which is my favorite. oh well, I love fish, no matter what it is!

P.S. I started this post 2 weeks ago, but never got around to finishing it until now...

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  1. lol I just realized I already commented...but when I was in Boston, the researcher I shadowed shared a bench with a bunch of others too! And I thought they were rich with funds. But I guess the people I was shadowing has other labs they use like mouse labs that were at other places. And what they did mostly at their benches were pipetting anyway...But yeah. tiny benches. At least they look brightly colored and new unlike the lab I work in at USC where everything looks pretty old...