Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hello! Everyone!

I 've been more social. It's so easy to get carried away. Everyone wants to go out everyday. It's hard to say no to someone you like. Yet, I have to. I doesn't mean I don't want to go out with them. But I have to study Chinese and work on college sometime.

I'm learning Chinese so much faster than what I thought possible. I think the key is not to rush. Many people here pressured me. "Oh, you're not learning fast enough... blah blah." That is, of course, not helpful in anyway. But we have to set our own pace. If you're learning by someone else's style, you wont learn effectively. My Chinese teacher has been key in my advancement as well. {She understands saying a word 2 or 3 times and then continuing to say 30 other words (without writing any of them) is not "teaching." A person can't learn that way.} Today I won an award in Chinese Class. I feel so happy about it. Working at the bakery in my school was also key to it. I can't wait to learn more.

Speaking of my bakery job, I went home and made myself an iced coffee. I now know how to do that. I can make milk tea as well. Iced or hot. And I can work a real coffee maker. Not the kind you have a home, the kind real cafes use. I'm so proud. XD

Things are going well. But you have to remember that not everything will be perfect, because not everyone you will depend on here is thrilled about you being here. Most people are, but it's a luck thing; will you get the people that are thrilled or the people that don't really want to be doing what they're doing? Probably a mix. Like me. But that's life, you have to take the good and the bad. Be ready for that. Try not to complain too much. Complaining at all in Asia is a no no actually. It's better to wait things out. But do what you want to do. Because no one can understand you better than yourself.

People who don't usually comment: I know you're here!!!! I can see when I have new readers!! And I can see how many people read this but don't leave feedback! You can always post anonymously! Please let me know what you think of what I'm saying. Or if you think a piece of advice I wrote, you'll be able to use when you go abroad. Or anything like that.

I know it's a little hard to understand what I'm writing sometimes. Sorry. You have to understand I'm forgetting english grammar.


  1. You're always so worried about your grammer. Don't worry it looks

    I'm glad your Chinese is going well. I guess there's no better place to learn chinese right?

    You'll basically be trilingual when you get back. You can teach me
    usefull phrases in chinese, just like the ones you taught me in Japanese

    YOU CAN EVEN JUST pronounce WHAT I WROTE IN ㄅㄆㄇㄈ !!!!

  3. @Alicia

    XD Thank you! But your english is 1,000,000 times better than my chinese! You're amazing.

  4. Hi, first comment for me. I was wondering, since i'm applying for rotary and first choice is japan, what was your experience in the application process. I know you wanted Japan, so do you think there's a particular reason you might not have gotten the first choice?

    also, does life/school ever get incredibly boring on exchange?

  5. @Anonymous commenter

    I adore you for asking me!

    There is no "real" reason rotary can give me and not get in trouble for. But my Taiwanese host mother recently told me the reason Japan didn't take me was because of my health. I have no idea if that's true. Or how she would know. But I can say, if you have any health problems, even if they are from years ago, it's best to try not to involve them unless you're really going to be at a lot of risk. Don't think some really kind person will understand your heart. Or some smart person will understand the facts of it being 5 years ago. They wont understand. At all. This has been a huge problem here. Not my health, but their reaction to what they think my health is. For the record, I'm 100% okay.

    School, some people get lucky, some people make their luck, and some people just get really unlucky.
    Asian schools aren't as boring as it would be to be an exchange student in America. I can say that. I go to a cooking school so I'm pretty lucky.

    But a warning, you will most likely be with 14 year old students. Which, in Asian years, means they think that they're 10 years old in their heads. Not all! But a lot. Try to make friends with people in the higher grades. Try to be proactive and make friends with them. See what they like, do stuff they like to do. Ask them to teach you something, they love that. Teach them something. Playing cards in class is a big thing in Taiwan. I taught my classmates Crazy Eights and Spit. They adore it. Make friends early, but always be open to more. It will save you form bordom.

    Books are always good to bring to school. And studying the language is also a good bet. Many schools let exchange students go on the computer and take walks too. Not mine, but I get to cook everyday, so that's pretty cool.

    Don't ignore your classmates. They can really help you at times you least expect it.

    And no, life doesn't ever get boring. There are so many other exchange students. I get invited to so many things, I have to turn some down. But if you're in the countryside, that might be different.

    The application is daunting. Be careful about what you write... The host families will get to read it. And they can refuse you based on what they see.

  6. Wow, I'm so proud of you working @ the school bakery. :) I'm impressed that you know how to use the commercial coffee makers and that you can also make iced coffee and milk teas. What did you win an award in Chinese class for?
    I say keep you head up Michelle your a very strong-willed & determined young woman. Your very healthy and strong, and I don't think your health should be a primary focus for anyone right now. Enjoy your time there- for it will be over before you know it. Do you know when your coming back home? We miss you.
    Love, Mom & Matthew

  7. So that means not ONLY are you going to be making me delicious treats when you get back, but I also get delicious café quality coffee?? Since I'm such a generous person, remind me to let you have a pillow in your new cage I set up for you when you get back. You and Tanaka will be cage mates, so get excited!!!

    On another (less sarcastic ;D) note, I agree that taking your language learning into your own hands will give you results that will surprise you. I mean, as much as I feel your mention to Keiko's teaching style helped me how to say "handicapped female" and "the smell of old people" in Japanese, buying your own materials and extending what you learn in class is the only way to please your craving to get better, if that even makes any sense. At least you have an excuse for not making any sense >O< Jibun de benkyou shiteiru no o tsuzukete ne ;D