How I connected with locals at an interesting picnic
Having missed the first picnic from FRNCi, I was determined to join the second one. Therefore, on this warm and sunny Saturday, I rode my bike to the middle of Daan Park, next to the amphitheater, and went to meet the group already settling down on the grass. The organizers divided us in 4 teams, trying this way to get the same ratio of locals and foreigners in each team and also separating friends in order to make everyone really interact and speak with new people and not stay in its comfort zone. After a brief general introduction and rundown of the picnic schedule, we got to discover more about the people in our team (usually around 15 to 20 people) by introducing ourselves. When we finished this, we started to discuss among ourselves and I was impressed by how everyone was willing to interact and was trying hard to speak English, no matter the language level. We finally chose a team name once we knew more about each other, which brought us closer as a group!
Someone then offered to start playing a game of Avalon, a complex board game famous in Taiwan, and fortunately more than half of the people from our team already knew how to play. Thus, each experienced player played together with someone who did not know the rules, forcing them to talk and interact. After a few games which were exceptionally fun, we chose to focus on the food as everyone was getting hungry. We all unpacked what we had brought and put it in the middle, briefly explaining what it was, especially for foreigners that had something from their home country.
We proceeded to eat and try a bit of everything for an hour or so, while talking in smaller groups: there were Taiwanese specialties such as fried chicken or stinky tofu, some food from other countries (Germany, Spain, France...), but also more popular things like pizza and cakes. During the rest of the afternoon, we also tried some activities FRNCi planned for us, which went from funny costumes to playing flatball as a team, until the time came that the event finally ended, maybe a bit early as many people seemed not willing to say goodbye.
I really appreciate all the efforts FRNCi took to organize this picnic, planning so many things so that everyone would have fun and would have to blend and contribute. It was a pleasure to enjoy the good weather by chilling in Daan Park and meeting new and interesting people, all curious from other cultures and willing to share as much as possible. I was glad that so many locals were there, as it always is particularly important to me, but I think some of them were expecting more foreigners (especially foreigners from outside of Asia) so I strongly advise the people reading this to come next time as it truly was a great and unforgettable experience. Hope to see many of you, as I will be there for sure!
No idea what to do on Saturday afternoon? Just arrived in Taiwan and have no idea what's worth tasting or visiting? Been learning Mandarin for a while and wanna try speaking in real life? Hesitate no more, come join us at 【 FRNCi SpeakEasy】Let's go picnic!