In July 2019, I made a prompt decision to celebrate Christmas abroad. I was lucky enough to book a USD630 ticket from Taiwan to London (thanks to the strike in EVA Airline). I was wondering between London and New York and finally I chose London because I viewed it as a journey to trace my root in studying English literature. My love for English derived from the indescribable love for the country UK, which has long attracted me since I read a comic book depicting UK and her story in junior high school.
On Christmas morning, I left Taipei and arrived at Heathrow airport on Christmas evening local time. There was no tube, no Heathrow Express, the airplane only had few passengers since most people were spending time with their family.
During my 9 days in London and 1 day in Paris, I experienced several culture shocks which I didn’t quite expect and below are 5 of them.
1. Language diversity
Most countries in East Asia regions, China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and of course Taiwan, have their own major language, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, and mandarin. Though we do have some local dialects, when you walk on the street you can easily identify it is either mandarin or non-mandarin.
However, when I was on tube, in shop, on street in London, I can recognize more than 3 languages, not only the ones I’m familiar with (English, French, German) but also Italian, Dutch, or others that I don’t know.
This may be very common for those living in Europe but for me, it is a whole new experience. And by that time, I finally understand why we need a common/universal language, now English, to communicate.
2. Melting pot: can’t tell ones’ origin from his appearance
In Taiwan, we can identify those from mainland China by their accent. We know the appearance differences between…