Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Hey everyone! It’s already the Mid-Autumn Festival in Taipei, and looks like summer finally noticed that it has already overstayed its welcome. It seems like the leaves just suddenly turned yellow and the summer flowers just randomly started falling. We got a nice breeze and light showers today too. A perfect time to celebrate!

In Taiwan, the Mid-Autumn Festival (also called Moon Festival) is the time when locals get together with their family and friends for a night of great barbecue and stories. Since foreigners like me don’t have family in Taiwan, some people from our department arranged for a barbecue for all international students and some local classmates who aren’t coming home for the holiday. Of course, I’m always game for a local experience, so I went!

We started cooking at around 4:30 PM, and we set up our barbecue place at a riverside park near school. We chose the place under the bridge so that we wouldn’t get wet just in case it rained.

The view of the park from our school!

At first, I thought we were the only ones meeting up at that place, so just imagine my surprise when I saw so many people there!

Our group!

Our classmates bought a large selection of meat and veggies for grilling; in the end, they didn’t fit into normal grocery bags so they had to put them into two boxes and carry them all the way.

At first, I was like, “What’s this?!” Turns out it was baby corn. Lol!
My look whenever I’m excited about food <3

PS: Before y’all start bashing… I’m makeup-free here because why bother XD

I LOVE MY LIFE
I just love Taiwanese sausage so much. It kind of reminds me of longganisa (Philippine sausage), but just a little bit sweeter <3

At first, it was kind of awkward because I was the only foreign student in the group. I mean, I know these people because they’re from my program as well, but it just felt weird being the only one in the group who’s not speaking in Chinese. But like I said, I did want to have a legit local experience, and plunging in and speaking in Chinese just like them would be as local as I could get! Surprisingly, they understood what I was saying and nobody laughed at me, so that was pretty encouraging.

This year’s freshmen! <3 Our program is one of the university’s international programs, which means that all courses are taught in English. These were created to cater to foreign students, but many Taiwanese students also choose to apply for these international masters programs instead of the normal Chinese-taught programs.

After an hour, a freshman from Thailand and another one from Japan came and it was so nice that they were actually the ones who approached me. Maybe because they’re also foreigners, and I’m the only foreigner out there. Lol. But anyway, we got together and during the course of our conversation, we realized that we were all beginners in Chinese so we came to a random decision to practice our Chinese with our local classmates. It was loads of fun and again, I didn’t realize that I knew so many words!

I really admire the Thai freshman’s determination to practice the language. He literally just started learning Chinese 2 weeks ago, but he really just wants to go out there and talk to people, despite his accent and all. While we were practicing, I realized that I should be more like my Thai classmate; I shouldn’t be too self-conscious when trying to speak Chinese. I think that’s one of the best things that happened today!

Everyone just gathered and talked while eating until sundown, which was very chill. Somehow, I really like it. I’ve been so used to our house parties in the Philippines where we would always have a karaoke machine and big tables, so I didn’t realize that I would enjoy something as laid-back as this barbecue party. I would love to do it again.

Yeeeep, still eating even after sundown.
And still cooking.
By nighttime, the whole place was packed. At first, I wondered why the people crammed at the spots under the bridge while there are so many vacant spots outside, but it was explained to us that they can’t use the other open spaces because the government only designated certain spots for barbecue parties. You can be fined if you get caught setting up your grill at any other place in the public park that’s not a designated barbecue spot.
Sukrid (from Thailand), me, Ayaka (from Japan), and Tony (a local)! Most of those who attended were freshmen, and Tony and I were the only seniors. OMG time flies, sometimes I still feel like a freshman!

The riverside park at night
We had to take a lot of group photos but nothing turned out well because it was already too dark lol. But anyway, here’s to a great semester! XD

PS: I don’t usually include a lot of photos along with my posts, but I guess I should do it more often to force me to document stuff! I only have a few months left in Taiwan so I really should capture every moment 😛

8 Comments

  1. Wow so much food! The Moon Festival looks awesome. I totally agree that you should try documenting your time in Taiwan while you’re there!

  2. Glad you had a fun Mid-Autumn Festival! The food looks amazing and it sounds like such a wonderful experience. So glad to hear that you’re doing well with Chinese as well!

  3. I’ve heard of Mid-Autumn festival from my Taiwanese friend actually – it was awesome to read up on your experience. It looks like you had lots of food; HAHA, I love your excitement over the food! Adorable!! By the way, you’re so beautiful without make-up, nobody is going to bash you – you’re so beautiful *cries*

    I’m so glad that you got to practise your Chinese. I love your determination and willingness to immerse yourself in the local culture. It’s super admirable!

  4. This looks and sounds so fun! I absolutely love that you guys all got together and ate under a bridge. This might sound silly, but I find it so beautiful that you guys turned a usually bare place (at least here where I live nobody hangs out under bridges) and brought life to it, making memories.

  5. Oh man, I can’t believe the Moon Festival is already around the corner! I love the moon cakes that are sold in supermarkets XD. It’s so cool that everyone brought food to cook and share. UGH I LOVE TAIWANESE SAUSAGES…. AND DON’T GET ME STARTED ABOUT LONGGANSIA! It’s great that you felt great during this gathering. Everyone looks like they’re having fun. Hope you ate lots of delicious food ;).

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  6. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! That’s great that there was a barbecue for those who weren’t celebrating with family. I’m amazed at how many people were there, and the food looks good! My family doesn’t do much for it, but we’ll usually have dinner together, and my mom always makes sure to give me a couple moon cakes 🙂

    I’m glad you really got in there and used your Chinese! That seems like the best way to practice, and good job on being able to converse with the locals. Looks like it was a really fun event!

  7. Summer overstayed its welcome in Seoul, too! It finally started to get chillier a few days ago! I am glad it’s starting to feel like fall.

    Ah, the good ol’ Mid-Autumn Festival. We had that, too, but I didn’t do anything special except for getting a pastrami burger, haha!

    All the food here looks so delicious. And you look pretty without the make-up!

    It’s clear you had a wonderful time! What a great celebration with good food and company. Have fun with your remaining time in Taiwan ^^

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