Considering how ordinary and easy this day started to be, it’s quite funny how hectic and exciting it turned out to be. Everything went almost as planned, I was sitting in the auditorium not paying much attention to the lecture (I only wanted to know what the answers were for the test we wrote last week but the professor didn’t seem like he remembered such things and just held a regular lesson – for about 30 people instead of 180…) when suddenly my phone started to ring – I got a call from a… not mobile number. I ignored it but it called again so I couldn’t wait for the lecture to finish so I can call back and get to know what could be so important randomly in the middle of the day. It turned out that the contact person called me from the Taiwan Representative Office, because the appointment of the oral part of the scholarship application was today at 2pm. And I got the phone call at noon. I stood there completely in shock wearing only a pair of really really short white shorts and an emerald green sleeveless top and started panicking. Okay, I managed to get there by not going into the (olny useful and interesting) lecture in the afternoon but I didn’t have time to change and most importantly: to prepare! I had planned that when I get the appointment I’d meet with my former Chinese teacher whose girlfriend lives in Taiwan nad had got this exact scholarship earlier to help me get ready. And I just wanted to write a neat introduction about who I am, what I want in lify, why I chose Chinese and Taiwan – but about one and a half hour in stress just wouldn’t have been enough for that at all. I didn’t have a chance though, I had to rush to the Office just as I was -not the sophisticated charming lady I wanted to seem, but the summer-loving girl with the oversized Adidas sportsbag on her shoulders and wind-blown wavy hair… My nervousness escalated when the -otherwise unbelievably nice and easygoing- Taiwanese woman who previously held the information session for us told whom we’d have to talk with. I don’t remember the exact positions, but they were really important men, three of them. But when it was my turn, I took a deep breath and put a big smile on my face as I stepped into the conference room where they waited sitting at a huge table. My first thing was to apologize for dressing so inappropiately and they were really understanding – they must have felt my embarrassment. Then they asked me to talk about myself and I did, althoug it didn’t went as well as I expected from myself – I just didn’t know what I could talk about. I mean I could talk about myself for hours but what is what they want to know? There were times when I stopped, being a bit clueless wheter that was enough, but they just sat there all quiet so I quickly started talking again. But once we were over this whole “You talk we listen” thing the whole conversation got a lot more.. comfortable for me, though for example explaining what I like in Chinese language wasn’t such an easy task. That’s a thing I can’t describe with word, that’s a feeling. How the words sound, how it feels to write, to draw the characters, hot amazing the knowledge is that I understand the writings on a Chinese painting… This is a thing only those can understand who experienced the same, who learn the language, got the essentials of it, who are really dedicated to it. I’m not sure how successfully my interpretation about it was, but somehow they still semmed to understand. Maybe because they also feel that way? However, I don’t know if it’s possible since it’s their mother language.. Nevermind. Anyway, the overall impression was surprisingly really great. One of them told me how good it feels to listen to me as I’m speaking in English because even though it’s not my mother language, I don’t have an accent at all. But the greatest compliment of all was when one of them told me that talking with me was like talking with the future – like he could see one of my country’s governors, which one just an exaggerating joke, but still haven’t taken the value of the first part of the thought. After I said goodbye and left the room, I was still just as nervous as at the beginning.
I was shanking but just couldn’t make the huge smile on my face disappear. I felt that I went really well, which actually scares me – a lot. Going to the Far East to learn Chinese, either to Chine or to Taiwan was always an option -but I always handled it as something in the far future, years ahead. And when I handed in my application for the scholarship I still didn’t feel the “weight” based on – I don’t have a chance anyway, my command of Chinese isn’t as good as tha other applicants’ might be, and I’m not prepared from the culture or the arts or anything related really, so… But after this experience I starting to dare to believe that there’s a chance for me to get the scholarship. Which means a whole year in Taiwan. Starting the end of summer. Which is only four months away. Living all alone -which I never have- apart from everybody I know in a totally different culture at the age of 19. I guess it’s normal to be a little bit afraid, right?
As I stepped out the building I recognized it started raining, but I just didn’t care. I tried to call mom but she didn’t pick it up so I called a really great friend of mine whom I met today right before this to tell him what happened. I was still so excited, so I spoke a lot, really fast but it was so good to talk to someone about whom I know that really cares and understands. It felt so good that I realized only after hanging up, already sitting on the tram that the “it’s raining just a little bit” changed into POURING rain. I accidently said uhh-ohh out loudly because of course I didn’t have an umbrella with me, and it was that kind of rain when without that it doesn’t matter if you can find a “safe place”, after 2 seconds you’re dead. Symbolically. And this was exactly the case, I hopped off the tram and I was SOAKING WET just after a split second. I didn’t even try running somewhere, I calmly walked about 5 minutes to the gym – I didn’t care about my hair, my clother, my shoes. I was just laughing on my way, feeling so damn free, it was so good I can’t explain. It was funny though when I walked by the main gate of the university, there was a group of guys standing there to avoid getting soaked and they started whistling and applauding and laughing – but it only made my mood even better. I was laughing so hard when I reached the stairs leading up to the enterance of the gym, where the receptionist guy, whom I know well was standing and laughing along with me as he saw me coming – all wet and happy. By the way, that’s what I call dedication! No matter what, I go to the gym to have my workout, nothing can stop me! Haha!
My clothes couldn’t dry while I was training, so in the end I had to come home in my training gear – that’s a first for me, but I kinda enjoyed it. Especially since the sun decided to reappear and shine on brightly, so I didn’t have to worry that the rain will ruin my Nike. Overall, this day was nothing I expected, but still great even though I expected much worse. But it makes me remember that you should always seek the positive side of everything!