Thursday, March 21, 2013,
Where I am from in the USA, public transportation just... isn't a thing at all. Everyone owns their own cars, and if they are too young to have a car or don't have the money for one, then they must rely on others to take them places in their cars. I know this isn't the case everywhere in the USA, however.
In Taiwan, public transportation is extremely popular and convenient! It's a great place to be an exchange student, really, because Rotary rules and the law don't permit exchange students like myself to operate any sort of motor vehicle. Therefore I must rely on public transportation, allowing me to be independent and not bother anyone unnecessarily.
There are subways in Taipei and Kaohsiung, trains with access to basically any habitable part of Taiwan, buses to cover the smaller main stations .
To the to-be-exchange-students:
Do not freak out about taking public transportation! I don't know why people do, but for some reason there are exchange students who freak out when they hear that they have to take the bus or train, worrying that they will get off at the wrong stop and get lost. First of all, they should equip you with a phone before you go anywhere alone, secondly you get used to using it really fast, thirdly you need to adapt, and last but not least even if you did get lost it would be an adventure, very memorable.
I'll save my train story for another time.
I really like public transportation, and now that I'm comfortable using every form, I can easily visit friends in other places! I feel like there are no boundaries. For those who will live in Taiwan, check back in for some tips on how to use the train, MRT, and buses. (: