Saturday, November 29, 2008

Busy Day

Today was such a busy day that it deserves bullet points.
  • went to 台灣銀行 (Taiwan Bank) to deposit the rest of my traveler's checks today. i now am starting to regain my faith in Taiwan banks again because the whole process took only 15 minutes while my last experience took almost an hour. Plus the service fee was less at this bank. I now know which bank to use if I ever decide to open a bank account here.
  • got my Taiwanese ID (身分證). i somehow lost my ID the last time I got it. kinda funny cuz the guy was like...where did you lost it? um....california? yea...but now i have a new one again! woo!
  • went mucho shopping at 五分埔 since i have money again. we were there for a around 4 hours. pretty crazy. i ended up getting one shirt and two hoodies. probably the most money i've spent on a 五分埔 trip. @@
  • made three phone calls via skype [thanks to lil sherry for letting me use her account!]. my bank. paypal. my savings account bank. end result? claims have been made at my bank and paypal. and i now have access to my savings account again. am no longer broke in the US. [long story short: my paypal account got hacked into and that person took $470 from my bank account and my savings account got locked so i was denied access]
Hm...i think the point of bullet points was to make things succinct. Guess that didn't work. @@ Thanksgiving break kind of just zoomed right by. The official weekend has started and for some reason I don't feel like I even had a break. Probably because I spent break doing things I would normally do so it doesn't seem any different.

This past week I've been feeling super busy. And I feel like I'm behind in things and am having a hard time catching up. Maybe it's because there's only two weeks left of ICLP and all the teachers are trying to jam in as much stuff as possible so homework is starting to get heavy. Plus I need to start thinking about my future and prepping myself for the spring semester. Bleh~ @@

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Kenting (Long Entry w/ Pics!)

So last weekend was the crazy trip down to the most southern part of Taiwan, Kenting. I planned this group trip all by myself with some help from a couple of friends. I must admit that I was super nervous at first because I was not confident in myself. I mean me...planning and booking stuff in Taiwan? I have to speak Chinese? Crap! LoL. But everything worked out fine. So thank goodness for that. And I wasn't super stressed about it all so was able to slip in some fun time for myself.

So Friday night we (13 people) took the overnight train down from Taipei to Kaohsiung. Left at 11pm. Arrived at 5:30am. Unfortunately, the seats in the train were not very comfortable so I only managed to get like 1 hour of sleep during the ride. Some people didn't get any sleep at all while others managed to sleep the whole ride down.

Mr. Paul here is the only one who managed to sleep the whole train ride down. Lucky dude.

Once we arrived in Kaohsiung, we got picked up from the train station and then driven to our 民宿. A little 12 person van with 13 people in it. Originally we were all going to sleep on the van until we discovered that this van has KTV on it. So I guess you can guess what the ride was like...LoL. Felt sorry for the poor driver

死了都要愛~~~~ LoL. 這麼早還飆歌...
Arrived at our place. Freshened up. Left our luggage lying around and then talked about what to do during our time here. I had only planned the essentials (transportation, living, etc) but didn't make any plans for activities since I figured we would all want to do different things. So in the end we decided to pay the driver and have him bring us around for the day. So off to tour Kenting we went!

Went to a lot of scenic places that I've actually been to with my family before. Like this lighthouse place. And went near the water. And we also went go-karting too.

This would be the 12 person van that drove us around all day.

The famous lighthouse


By the time we got back to our place, it was like dinner time. And lucky for us, the place I found just happened to be located at the end of 墾丁大街夜市 (night market) so we explored the night market.

Kenting Nightmarket
Did some gift shopping. Had some nasty American dinner. The night market was small. Shilin still beats it by a bajillion. But the souvenirs they sell are probably only found there. So yep.

The boys had bought some sparklers and fireworks earlier during our tour so around midnight-ish we decided to set those off. Quite fun. Can't wait til New Years when we get to go all out. xP

(Left) setting up the big stuff. (Right) playing with sparklers.

The next day was beach day. Lucky for us again, our place was really close to a beach. So we all headed off to the beach. The weather was beautiful, very sunny out. And the sand on the beach was super smooth and the water was pretty awesome.

After we got tired of the beach we went back to Kenting big street. We ate a late lunch. Did some more last minute shopping. And then got back in the van and headed back to Kaohsiung. Took the Kaohsiung MRT to the High Speed Rail station in 左營. First time on the Kaohsiung MRT. Quite different looking than Taipei's.

On the Kaohsiung MRT
Took the HSR back up to Taipei. Only a 1.5 hour ride. Not enough time to sleep and I got bored so I took pics of myself (like a true FOB. xP). Here's one.

Arrived in Taipei at 11pm. And we all headed back to the dorms. The end. It was a fun and tiring weekend. And very successful.

And here is the one group picture that I have on my ( bro's camera):

All 13 of us

And now it is Thanksgiving break for us ICLP kids. No class today and tomorrow. Most everyone has gone off somewhere (HK, Japan, Korea, etc..). Unfortunately my Thanksgiving trip to Hong Kong got canceled. But I will take this time to relax and catch up on work that I've been putting off for a while. And there's always that Saturday concert to look forward too...=)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bad Day

Traveler checks are a bitch. End of story.

Sometimes when I'm in Taiwan I think to myself, "yes, i'm doing just great, i can get myself around and everything." And then other times I think to myself, "what am i thinking about possibly living here in the future? i don't belong!"

This morning would be a "i don't belong" moment. I go to the bank this morning to exchange my traveler checks and the security guard there doesn't know if the bank even does it or not. So he tells me to go to the counter and wait and ask. So I wait [this whole entire time I'm waiting the person behind me in line is bitching about how the service here is really slow and bad and everything]. And probably like 20mins later the security guard comes up to me and was like...oh it's not possible to exchange traveler checks here because you need a bank account in taiwan. And I'm this other bank told me to come to this bank because they said I can do it here. And he was all like well...他們[the other bank]不負責任. [basically saying the other bank isn't taking responsibility by referring me to this one] The eff?!

Anyhow, right at the moment it's my turn and the person behind in line was just like..don't listen to the security guard, go ask the counter. So I went to the counter. And once again I get asked the stupid question: "do you have a bank account in taiwan?" serious? why the fack would I be exchanging traveler checks if i had a tw bank account? NO LADY. and she just stares for a while. makes a couple of phone calls. and hands me a piece of paper to fill out. she had no idea what to do. and then she gets someone to come help her and i get asked the same question about the bank account. how many times do i need to repeat myself? serious. that helper leaves. another helper comes. more phone calls are made. i'm getting effin frustrated. i send an angry text to my dad. he calls. i yell in the phone while tearing up "NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO DO ANYTHING HERE!" [in english]. finally get my money. and i leave while continuing yelling into the phone. [i'm really only yelling because he couldn't hear me].

And that would be my entire morning. A big fat waste of time. The end.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another Weekend Over

There's too much to talk about. So I guess bullet point again?

Fri - Danny's Birthday
  • KTV at 西門町. super fun! KTV always makes me happy. especially when we sing duets and harmonize perfectly. sounds so pretty. =)
  • 007 at 西門町. tons of action. forgot what happened in the last movie so there were parts that i didn't understand. the action parts were cool. the rest of it was kinda boring.
  • pigging out. after the movie (which ended around midnight), we were hungry so we got some sausages. then when we got back to the dorm we decided we wanted to eat more so we went to 永和豆漿. super yummy. finally went back to the dorms around 2amish.
  • super fun day. i was in such a happy mood when i got back. no idea why. wasn't celebrating my birthday. LoL.
Sat - NTU 80th Anniversary
  • BEAUTIFUL weather. the sun was out. it was finally hot again.
  • big day for NTU. so lots of activities. there were club performances. food stands. games. concerts. was introduced to bands i've never heard of. quite exciting.
  • 通化街 for dinner again. third time there. and i finally got that bag i've been staring at everytime i go. good thing i did because the one i got was the very last one he had. if i had waited any longer there might not be any more the next time i go back! also got some scarves.
Sun - Student Exchange Fair
  • back to CRAPPY weather.
  • NTU student exchange fair! i didn't volunteer to help out but i went anyways because i wanted to help out. it was actually super fun talking to locals who were interested in studying abroad about the UCs. i think it's probably the only day i've ever talked to so many locals. was sad i had to leave for tutoring.
  • tutoring...frustrates me. i still don't know if im approaching this the right way. BUT. at least he now has his days of the week memorized and almost all the months memorized. so at least there is some sort of improvement. =)
  • went to sogo after tutoring cuz they have their anniversary sale right now. well sale or not...sogo is still damn expensive. and i think i spent most of the time there wandering makeup counters (read: following sherrys and erica around). but at least the food at sogo is really good.
  • i now have a camera to use again! received my bro's camera from my mom's friend who brought the camera over from china. so yay for pictures in the future! ^^
Okay. that was the weekend. next weekend will be kenting. Pretty much everything for that has been planned out. Hope it goes well *crosses fingers*.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Lots of strange things happening in Taiwan recently. Besides the blackout (which still hasn't been fixed yet), it apparently hailed last night. Hail in Taiwan? Unbelievable! I remember when I was super surprised that one time it hailed in Texas [when I was still living there]. So does hail jus randomly appear in really hot places once in a while or what? @@

Coooooooooooooold. I need more fall clothes. Gotta go shopping soon. But weekends are filled. What to do....@@

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Say what?

So I'm taking a break from work and playing my DS [discovered a new game that's pretty fun!] and then suddenly...the room gets darker. I was actually confused for like a minute as my roommate and I look around the room wondering what just happened because we knew something was different about the room but we couldn't figure out what it was. And then we looked up and saw that our room light was out. LoL. I open the door and poke my head out and the whole hallway is pitch black. Of course...everyone else is also poking their heads out their doors too. Weirdest blackout ever because it's only the room lights and the hallway lights and the sinkroom lights that are out. Our desk lights and the electricity in the room still works seeing how my laptop didn't just die too. And the showerroom lights work too. So weird. The other funny thing is that there are emergency lights in the hallway but they do jack shiet since they are located in a lit area. Haha. Makes walking down the hall an adventure especially since things look even fuzzier without my contacts on and I have to watch out for all the drying umbrellas in the hallway.

Okay that is all. Just had to share. xP

Sunday, November 9, 2008


So this weekend has just been rainy and yucky. And today the temperature decided to drop major to I don't know how many degrees. But I went outside for lunch in jeans and a t-shirt and I was FREEZING. I don't remember Taiwan ever being this cold before but maybe my memory is just bad like it always is. @@

Had my second tutoring session today. The transit there is long. I don't particularly like that. The kid is quiet. Can't do much about that. And my lessons are not organized enough. I keep underestimating things. I hope I can get myself straightened out soon though because I only have 2 months with this kid and I really want to be able to see improvement when I leave. The mom is really nice though. And super friendly. I've often thought about dropping this job and trying to find a closer one. But I feel committed already and the parents are super nice so I would feel bad about leaving them. and my issues. But it's okay. Think of it as an experience since that is what I need if I really want to go down this path.

I think I might be getting sick. Had a headache all day long even though I got 9 hours of sleep today. Might have been from the short walk to and from the lunch place without a jacket on because it was sprinkling and freezing cold. Well...the headache is currently gone. So hopefully I'm okay. *crosses fingers*

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away......

...never come back another day. @@

So today Taiwan's weather decided to do a 180 going from nice weather to disgusting weather. It's....POURING! Like crazy Berkeley winter rain pouring. And I was dumb enough to attempt to brave the rain because we were going to go to a free concert at 淡水 today. Well...I ended up not making it to the MRT station. One-third of the way there, my jeans were completely soaked. So we decided not to go. When I got back to the dorms my shirt was also soaked. Disgusting. HAD to shower when I got back. At least my underwear was still dry. LoL. Not as bad as that one football game where it poured all game and we could only stand in the rain shivering for 2 hours.

Sad that I can't go to the concert. But I have a feeling it will be canceled since it's outdoors. And it was my second chance to go see 卓義峰. Sigh...guess 老天爺 doesn't want me to go hear him perform live. xP

I finally got myself a butt pillow! Now I don't have to deal with the holes in my chair and the hardness of the seat. Woohoo! xD

So I guess people are starting to realize that we are halfway through with the semester and are trying to get in as many trips as possible. You don't really think about it until you start getting asked about trips and realize that there are barely anymore weekends left. Let's see...

Weekend Plans:
11/15-16 NTU 80th Anniversary + potential day trip to 日月潭 (sun moon lake)
11/22-23 墾丁 (Kenting)
11/28-29 V-Power Concert
12/6-7 阿里山 (Ali Mountain)
12/13-14 for finals?
12/16 Last day of ICLP!!

Yep...looks like the remaining weekends are pretty much packed. I'll still have another month in Taiwan when ICLP ends so I still have free time to go places though most of the UC kids will be leaving once the program is over.

I don't know...I'm having mixed feelings. I want to become friends with locals [which I'm currently in progress of doing] but all I can do right now is talk to them online. They don't seem to have time to hang out on weekdays and then weekends exchange kids have plans. Meh...too much thinking. @@

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just Another Day

Today was just another reminder of how much me + health-related places = no good.

No, I'm not sick or hurt or anything. My friend on the other hand, twisted/sprained/SOMETHING her ankle/foot/SOMETHING. So we brought her to the campus health center to get it checked out. Two hours of waiting and we don't actually find out what that SOMETHING is. She gets an x-ray of her foot to see if anything is fractured. Find out nothing's factured. And they ask if she wants to borrow crutches or a wheelchair. Crutches. Then they ask if she wants to be prescribed pain medicine. No. And then they send her to another room to get her foot wrapped. And that was that. I get this piece of paper saying how to take care of self if you twist your ankle [扭傷]. And that was that. They didn't actually tell us what was wrong, just gave us that paper. So there was really no point in us going because someone from the dorms had already wrapped her foot. All we really needed was to borrow some crutches. End of story.

And it had to pour in the morning too. So I was not in the mood for class. Hence I skipped Taiwanese. First absence this semester! Now I have four more excused absences left for that class. And I found out how much more enjoyable ICLP is without Taiwanese class. Wish I could skip it everyday now. xP

We sang Jay Chou songs in the second class today. Now I'm currently loving 稻香. Had it on repeat until I got sick of it. But yea...for once it's a song that's not about love but about hope and dreams. I like the lyrics. 不要這麼容易就想放棄 就像我說的 追不到的夢想 換個夢不就得了. Good message he's sending out.

The day ended with a nice surprise from a friend I haven't talked to in almost two years. =)

Tomorrow's my first day of tutoring. What oh what should I do? @@

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Say What?

I bought myself some perfume today. My first real perfume ever.

Wtf. Taiwan is making me more and more girly every single day.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Proudly Present to You...

The Music Man Band!!!!


Well it's not Halloween here anymore...but it's still Halloween in the US! xP

So after the last midterm (woo!) a couple of us went to 太原路 (i think those are the right characters) to get some last minute Halloween costumes/accessories. Despite the limited number of stores [Halloween isn't really celebrated here. Only the little kids dress up because their English classes teach them about Halloween.], we were lucky enough to find all the accessories we needed.

Then...probably half of our floor went out on campus in our costumes and walked around saying Happy Halloween and passing out candy to people. It was pretty fun. Though walking in heels was not that fun and my feet still hurt from it. xP

After walking from one end of campus and back, the dorm party began! Dinner at like 930pm...but it was so worth it! Delicious food from some fancy restaurant because there was like a dish from every country out there! I wish I could've taken a picture.'s some pictures from Sherry's camera.

So what was I for Halloween? I was the guitarist for the Music Man Band! LoL. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the band because Sherry didn't take one but you can see the two out of three band members in the top picture. Only person we're missing is Leehom. Haha. I'll post a picture once I can get it from someone who has one. xP

Party lasted til around midnight. And that was the end of that. It was a fun Halloween. =)

And now what to do for the weekend...