Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Start of Taiwanese School!

Just as an opening note: When you walk by a man smoking and you think the cigarette is scentless, you know you're in Taipei Taiwan. Your nose will be so full of  smog you wont be able to tell. Well, only a little.

Also, I started Chinese class. It's at an university. But the teachers don't really speak english. At all. They can only say 'my name is... nice to meet you...' simple things like that. The university is nice looking though. And there is a library and a computer lab I can use once I get my student ID card. I'm excited about that. It's near my school too so that's convenient. The first day of Chinese class I took this test, but the teachers couldn't explain in English what to do, so I think everyone got zero points. I left my umbrella in a room and told a teacher I forgot it and she told me to go alone and get it. Needless to say I got very lost and almost cried. But then a fellow student found me. I think it was very stupid for them to send me, a nonchinese speaker, into a university it was my first time going to alone to get my umbrella. What do you think?

To be honest it was very disorganised. After a 30 minute test, we spent 3 hours in a room doing nothing but waiting to be picked up. And they didn't tell us anything, like when was the next class, or what time to be there. I asked many times, but no one seems to know anything.

BUT, I got a Chinese textbook and a Chinese workbook. And you guys should know by now, I LOVE language text books. It's so exciting. My host mother also got me a bopomofo workbook a week ago when I asked her to. I've been practicing it in school.

On to the REAL topic, Kai Ping high school!

Today was my second day, but my first full day.
My teacher speaks some english, but mostly she is too lazy to try. She is however, very nice.

My school is rather... furio... rundown. I think it's a school mainly for kids who slacked off. Which suits me because I wanted to go to a social school in Taiwan because that way I will learn faster. ((I'm sorry for my run on sentences. I'm really losing my english. At first I thought people who wrote things like that that were full of it... but it's true.))

But my school has real charm. It's sooo laidback. And the food tastes sooo good. All the teachers are nice too.

As for my classmates, I can't really talk to them. There is a funny story to this actually. On my first day this kid sat next to me and he started talking english. It was very broken down, but I could still understand, which is a big deal. But he would only talk about Nazis and how the Japanese went to war with China. And he drew pictures of people dying. I later learned he's not all there, if you know what I mean. I avoid him.

There is another classmate who speaks english, but mostly he's too lazy to speak it. He's not really at a good level of it... He used to live in Canada when he was 2 or something. He thinks he's hot stuff. He told me he would turn me into a "bad girl" and take me to Taiwanese night clubs... OH FUNNY STORY ABOUT THAT!! Remind me to do a post about that. I told him I doubt that very much. (Friends from home- Don't write about your personal feelings regarding this. Rotary reads this! PG13 okay?) I guess he thought I would walk in looking like a used stripper, but I disappointed him. Even though I'm American, it doesn't mean I'm a crazy party girl. (Friends from home, watch yourselves!) He's okay.

There are a few girls who are nice to me. Nothing worth writing about though. There are more boys than girls in my class. It's mainly boys.

There is also a boy who takes me home and takes me to school. Oh my god, this kid is my happy place in life. He saves me from everything. He's made it his mission in life to protect me from getting lost or going crazy. I'm so grateful. More about this later. Oh, and he doesn't speak a word of english.

There is also a boy who I really like. Isseikun is what I call him. He's half Japanese and half Taiwanese. His mother is nihonjin. I adore him. We talk in Japanese and he's so cool. He's the only classmate I can really talk to. He has great style and personality. I want more people like him in America. If only... XD David is getting so mad reading this.

So I wake up at 6:45 and I have to walk to the bus stop by 7:25. Then the plan is to wait for my Taiwanese hero. Today Peggy took me. At 8 or whatever we get to school. We then sit around until the teacher gets there. Which sometimes takes an hour or two or one half. No one knows when she will walk in... ._.;
For every 15 minutes of work is 10 minutes of rest and freetime. I'M SERIOUS.  The teacher told me. But she randomly leaves, so we have MUCH more rest time. At 10 I order my lunch. Today I spent like three hours talking to the Japanese teacher. Her english isn't so great so we talk mainly in Japanese, but she can sometimes explain somethings to me in English/Japanese mixed. She's going to teach me one on one because she says I'm way ahead of every class. But I want to see what a class is like also. I will see her everyday.

I'm going to ask the school for Chinese lessons too.

Today after I went back to the classroom I had fun eating a REALLY good and cheap lunch. And an HOUR of lunch time.

Then we leave school at around 4:30. Sometimes it can be really boring because I don't speak Chinese. But I study Chinese and Japanese when I'm bored. Or I pass notes to Isseikun. He's so cool. <3

Today I got REALLY REALLY lost even with my hero. He didn't know where the closest bus stop was so we took MRT and bus and walked. But we went to the wrong building. But then I gave him my address and he found it and walked me to the door. He was so caring and he never gave up. He even drew on his hand to explain somthing to me. He went through such an ordeal for me. I think tomorrow will be easier because he knows where I live now.


School isn't so bad. I haven't gotten my uniform yet though. Yesterday they fitted me for it.

I need a backpack. My host sister is letting me use her's but when I go to the next family I can't take it, so I should really ask Peggy for one.

Also, all the toilets are just holes in the floor. I have pictures and videos of everything. I'm too tired to post them now.

But my Japanese is getting really good in Taiwan! XD

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stuff I bought or stuff which was bought for me!

Another video!
Do you guys like videos or writing better?

Enjoy!

Host family and hotpot!

Ni hao everyone!



What is hotpot? Who are these people?!?! >.< Click on the video and it will take you to my youtube video and under my video is a note from me telling you all that.

Feedback

I was looking at my information concerning my blog. Most of my viewers are from America. That's expected because I'm from America. But what was interesting is that I'm really popular in Denmark! Hello people from Denmark! Why haven't you commented?!?!

Also, you all click on David's posts. Do all of you like his posts more!? What's up with that?! XD He would be pleased to know how many of you clicked on his posts. My viewers are so supportive of him. You may not comment too much, but actions are louder than words and I am hearing you loud and clear.

UPDATE: It's going to take 69 minutes for my next youtube video. O_O

House Tour!!!

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to let you know before I start this post that I will not be posting for the next couple of days because I have a rotary camp program thing.

So let's get to it! This time I talked and I am in the video! I took this video today. And I'm posting it today. Usually I like going in order, and I have a lot of videos I've already shot, but you requested this video, so I'm putting it on first!

This is my house. The maid's name is Adi, she was in the kitchen.

(This video has been taken down. Sorry.)

Enjoy!

Part one of this video is telling me it's going to take 36 minutes to upload. Joy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Poster I made!

So I have a three day, sleep away, Rotary Exchange Student program coming up. I was told to make a poster introducing myself.

This is it.






What do you think?

Yes, I'm aware it's sideways and upside down. But are you aware this computer is Chinese? Everything is in Chinese, it's amazing I can use it at all. Don't ask me to fix it. ;_;

I tried to make it simple so everyone could understand. I also wrote everything in English, Japanese, and my host sister (Demi) helped me with Chinese.

It took a long time. I had to go shopping and make it. It took over three hours even though it's so simple.

I went and had dinner and still youtube hasn't finish processing my video. -_-;; So slow.

Room Tour!!

This one I did a video of. I hope you enjoy it, I hope you go to my youtube, because I wrote more about it there.



As always, comment, rate, and subscribe. Comment in both places!

I know you're all waiting for that one thing you want to know. Please wait a bit longer. I'm working on it.

It seems like central air doesn't exist in houses in Asia. Every room has the air systems. Which I really like actually. They all have remote controls and are very fast at cooling. They're pretty much a dream come true in cooling. Why don't we have them in USA? I feel like I would like to import them if I had a house... and money... and was 15 years older... Because they're so efficient. I think when I go back to USA, there are a lot of things I wont be able to live without. So I think I will have to come back to Taiwan often.

I went on a tangent. But that's because the video is loading on Youtube. So, I have nothing to do while it loads.

Keep telling me what kinds of posts you want. And if you are a new viewer, say hi! I want to say hi to you back!

Well it's taking a year for this video to process so I'm going to edit the video into this later.

ENJOY!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm so proud of myself~!

Today, just five minutes ago I went out of the house all by myself and went for a walk! I didn't get lost at all! I was too afraid to cross streets though. In Taipei, the driving is like a New York City on coke. It's safe to cross streets, but I am not ready yet. I wanted to see if I could find my way out of the house and back. I'm so happy and proud. Baby steps, you know!

Plane tips and my experience!

Hello again!

I will tell about my experience first. My flight was at 6 am. The airport was about an hour from my house. So I left home at 3 am. Because I had to leave at 3am, I just didn't sleep that night. I'm not sure if I recommend this. It's a personal choice.

My total plane ride was 28 hours.
I had never been on a plane on my own. I've been on planes all the time, but always with my family or boyfriend. And if you know me, you would know my sense of direction is not my strong point. BUT, I am here to tell you, it's not hard to flight alone. And some rotary clubs send students together, mine did. The first few flights were alone and then I met up with other exchange students for the last two flights.


I would bring a blanket, just a small one. A blanket is good because sometimes the planes are cold, and even when they give you one (they don't always), it is very thin. Also a blanket can be folded into a pillow! I really enjoyed having a blanket. And now I sleep with it too. It's comforting. But don't take a big blanket or it will be hard to lug around the airport.

I brought a book and food, but to be honest I didn't use any of them. I was way too tired at the start, and then I was too excited. I would bring something to do, but you may or may not use it. I used my cell phone a lot.

Bring some pins with you.

Your blazer will make you hot, you don't want to smell like sweat when you met your host parents so it's okay to take it off sometimes. Bring it so people will know you're with rotary, but you don't have to wear it every second is what I mean.

My time on the plane when I was alone was a little sad and sometimes very sad. I kept asking myself what I was doing. Expect that. I did. Comfort yourself!! It works. When I was with people, I much more happy. Try to joke.

Smile when you meet your exchange parents.

Remember to drink water or you will feel sick.

I also brought my airplane ear plugs. They even out the pressure for when you are on the plane. You can reuse them and they are pretty cheap too. There's no reason  for you to have to suffer on the plane!

I didn't buy any food from the airport, because  my planes gave me a lot. There was no need to waste money.


This is CA. CA was one of my stops. I had never been there before. Look at the ground, it's so weird for someone who comes from CT.



All pictures are taken with my phone because I cannot afford better. Sorry everyone! But I try hard to get them with good quality.

Leaving my boyfriend (David) at the airport was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. But we are doing great. I talked to him on skype today.

You will probably cry, I don't know, maybe not. I did. But when I was alone I tried not to cry. Don't cry by yourself, you'll be too sad. It's normal and okay to be sad. But try not to be too sad, okay?!

Okay, that's all for this post. BUT, if you want me to add something or answer a question, please tell me!! I love to hear from you guys. Even if you say only that you read this, that's okay!

Xie xie (thank you) everyone!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's coming!

Hi Everyone!

I'm going to let you know what's coming up on my blog and give you a small update. AND if I have enough time/energy, I will do a "real" post too. But that's an "if." Okay?!

Update:
I do not have my own computer. I have to buy one. But I do not have enough money right now. As a result, I can only go on the use computer when it's free. Which is only at 6am-10am. Those hours suck. But here I am at 8:27 am devoting myself to serving you! And in Taiwan everyone is awake past 1 am at night. I'm thinking about starting a paypal account so people can donate to me. I am a student. And I am not allowed to work in this country. Also, my parents are "low on funds". Right now I am having to pay for a lot of things. Please comment if you would be interested in donating money to me through paypal and I will sign up for an account. If you have questions, please ask. I would really be grateful and as an expression of my thanks perhaps I could send you a Taiwanese gift or write a post that you request.

Moving on!
I will be writing:
-Plane tips and my experience (done)
-Room tour (done)
-House tour (done)
-Host family (done)
-I have been taking pictures of breakfast every morning, so at the end of every week, I will post that
-First Taiwanese meal
-Trying Hotpot (done)
-Going to bookclub
-Taiwanese tomato culture
-And something I would like to call "strange things"
-Sage, one of my readers, has asked me to write about culture shock. However I want to wait until I have been here two weeks or so. Before writing anything that could be negative, I have to make sure it's how I really feel. There are a lot of factors. I will go into this more at a different time. BUT, it is coming!
-Language tips for those coming to Taiwan

After seeing how long this list is, I think I will start with a "real post!"

Please comment. If you would like to see a picture of something or read a post on something I didn't list, please let me know~!

Also, if you want a Taiwanese product, don't be afraid to ask me! Maybe we can help each other! ~Just an idea.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hello from Taipei!

Ni Hao Everyone!!

I am writing from Taiwan. Today is my first day. I'm tired. I'm going to write a few random things.

-We have a cool bathroom.
-I was wrong about my host mother worries. She's so nice and speaks great English.
-The other exchange students are fine; I really like a few of them.
-We have a live-in maid.
-I have taken pictures and videos which I will post soon.

Stay with me guys!


I have to write about my last rotary meeting in USA.
I have to write about the plane ride.
I have to write about my room.
I have to write about my first night and day.

Well, I'm alive. I'm happy.

Michelle

As a note, leaving David at the airport was horrible. He was so good to me and did everything to help me, but it was such a sad thing. After landing in Taiwan though, I have found new strenth.

I hope to talk to you all soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Voyage Begins

Hi this is David again.

Today was a very hard day for both Michelle and I. Even as I write this she is on the third plane of her journey to Taiwan. This plane left will be arriving in Tokyo in about 4 hours. From there Michelle will board her fourth and final plane to Taipei. Her total travel time will be around 28 hours.

At 3 A.M. this morning I traveled to the airport with Michelle and her family. I got a security pass that allowed me to be with her until the moment she passed through gate 21. Watching Michelle board that plane was undoubtedly the hardest single event of my life. I don't say that lightly; I may be a bit of a romantic but my life has not been without hardship.

But still, I am happy for her. Michelle has dreamed of escaping the U.S. for many years. Though the knowledge that we are separated both by over 10,000 miles in distance and a year in time tears at my heart, I am confident Taiwan is where Michelle belongs right now.

In case any of you more rambunctious followers are growing weary of a boyfriend's ramblings (you know who you are), I do have a little more information for you. So Michelle's elder host sister, Lynn, will be departing for Canada in a couple of days for her Rotary-powered gap year. We have also learned that her host family has a dog named Dida. Michelle will be arriving in Taiwan with a group of other Rotary Youth Exchange students in about 10 hours.

Unfortunately that is all I have to report at the moment. I'm signing off for the night.
Thanks for supporting Michelle everybody!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another Perspective

Hello world
My name's David; I'm Michelle's boyfriend
Some of you may have been wondering why Michelle has stopped updating and commenting. The reason is simple; she has no internet to do so. She'll get back to posting ASAP. In the meantime I thought I'd share some of my thoughts with all of you.

So Michelle and I have been dating 7 months now to the day. We met at camp and decided to date despite the 2.5 hour drive that separated us. Since we are already accustomed to having a long-distance relationship, and since we love each other very much, we decided to stay together and outlast this almost-a-year-long adventure.

As we enter the final ten days before Michelle's departure I am getting excited, concerned, and sad.

I know that this trip will be among the greatest experiences of her life. I know she will be thrilled to be enveloped in a culture that has always fascinated her. I know she will love her host family and that this experience will help mold her future. For these reasons and more, I am excited.

Yet despite this I am both sad and concerned. Though I will have my own gap year plans to help me through this time, I will miss Michelle too much for words to describe. Some days I wish she wasn't going to Taiwan at all, but then I remind myself how important it is to her. Heedless concerns try to support the case against her going to Taiwan. What if her host family is mean? What if she doesn't like it after all? But we already know her host family is nice, and I have no realistic doubt that she will love Taiwan.

Overall I'm still not entirely sure how I feel. It changes on a daily basis.
All I know is that, one way or another, we shall still be together when the dust settles.