Jenny Chang - “On the Road”

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Jenny Chang

An overly sensitive Taiwanese girl, aged 22. Like dogs, food, poems, and traveling.

Before coming to Ireland to study, I’ve been on short travels with family and friends but I never went alone. I’ve enjoyed the planned journeys rather than happenings on the roads, uncertainties and adventures; this time last year, I told myself to try backpacking travels, with new friends or by myself, and that was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I enjoyed the good and bad wholeheartedly, most importantly, they’ve become interesting and memorable stories to tell.

Blessing in Disguise

I caught a bad cold before going on my first traveling to county Cork, Ireland in October with a Chinese-Korean girl I’ve just met. As a girl living in Taiwan, the subtropical area of the world, I’ve never experienced European winter, and the coldness in October in Ireland already hit me hard, giving me headaches, running nose, cold feet and cold hands etc. Gladly, the excitement of going on trip with a new friend gave me motivation; we were merry, excited, swapping cards to board our train as Irish locals did, talked and rested in the comfortable train carriage without noticing the passage of time. Little did we know, there was another surprise waiting for us – we were told that we could not use our leap cards for such a long ride. In other words, we became fare evaders unintentionally because we didn’t buy the train tickets and thus needed to pay a fine. I was shocked, angry at myself, and felt quite depressed (and still felt ill) and I couldn’t believe something so unfortunate would happen.

The next day, my friend and I decided to part for a while because we wanted to do different things. I went to Blarney castle, turning the feeling of constant anxiety after getting the fine into concentration on enjoying the view, and the castle area didn’t disappoint me – it was so beautiful! The winter sun shined through the gaps between the tree leaves, as the ancient castle stone decayed into grey and white in a graceful way, and a stream ran across the whole place. The scenery gave me peace and joy returned to me once again. I returned to the hostel with a lighter spirit and began to chat away with a newcomer in the hostel: later on we became good friends.

At Christmas, I visited this new friend of mine in Germany who was so kind as to offer me a place to stay and really enjoyed him showing me around his city, meeting with his other local friends and so on. I even got to see snow for the first time in my life! Thanks to the seemingly unfortunate Cork trip, I made another friend!

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Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland

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English Market in Cork, Ireland

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