Sunday, December 31, 2006

The highlight of my Taipei visit!!!

I got to spend Saturday afternoon and evening with Lee Hom's (former) personal assistant!!! He was my boyfriend for the evening...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wo shr pingguo gongzhu! :)

Wo xiang wode pengyou, Alex, gei wo liuxia shenke yinxiang! (But my grammer is still so bad)! Wo xiahuan shaohua jhongwen! :) I can also read and write characters too!

And for those who keep asking....Max is my friend. And I'm not saying this out of ignorance, I just think it's funny: I think he's related to Alex. They have the same surname and are from the same city. Wouldn't that be really funny if they were related!

I'm going to Taipei on Saturday. Apparently, people want me to stay up for New Years. We are going to Taipei 101. I don't know how I'm gonna do this. I never stay up that late!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hao Luh Ma?

I think Alex secretly wants me to be Taiwanese. But Alex, don't you know that I am? (Hey, I'm using more Chinese in my posts!! I really wish I had the characters on my computer much cooler)!!

AJ gave me a gift for Christmas (since I gave him a large sum of money, which he was very reluctant to take) today. It was really nice of him. He gave me two small dolls. One looks like him (ei. it's hip hop) and second is supposed to be me with blond hair and a tube top! haha!! But the girl doll is hip hop too!

Max trained me today instead of AJ. It was really fun to teach him some new English words and I learned some Chinese...the big word for me today was wangji! "Wo wangji!! Wo wangji!!" Ok, funny story about last night. Max called me to confirm my appt today. This was the conversation:

Max: "Hi, Nicole. It's Max."
Me: "Hi Max!! How are you doing?"
Max: "Good."
Max: "Ummm"
Me: "Max, tomorrow?"
Max: "Yes. Um..."
Me: "Max, 6pm?"
Max: "Yes!"
Me: "Max how is your leg?" (He was in a motorcycle accident on Monday and his leg got burned).
Max: "Ok, bye!"

He hung up on me!!! I called him back and left a message on his phone in Chinese. "Ni hao Max! Wo Ni Ke. Qin Qin Ni. Bao Bao Ni. Yi San Yi Si, Wo Ai Ni. Ok, ma? Ming tien jian!! Ok, bye bye." He thought it was very funny. I'm really looking forward to going to Kaohsiung once a week to meet with him. It will be very good times.

I think going to the gym is the highlight of my days.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Two more earthquakes last night.

Both 5.4...not as bad...but aaahh!!

My First Earthquake.

7.0.....7.0....I was in my room and the room started to move. (Actually, there were two tonight. I was driving so I didn't feel the first one). At first I got in my doorway, but then I heard all these Taiwanese girls screaming and running. I thought the building was coming down. I ran outside and then went back to Jessica and Jonathan at the coffee shop. I was a little shaken up because it's been years since I've been in an earthquake. I think I was just caught off guard. My Taiwanese friends thought it was really funny. All I could say was "Wo pa!! Wo pa!!!"

I'm so amazed how it doesn't phase people here. The keep shopping, etc and the earth is shaking!!! Jonathan officially welcomed me to Taiwan today. Ha!

Read about it.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A New Apartment!!!!!!!!!!!!

Totally a gift from God on Christmas!!! Right now I pay almost $8,000 for my hole in the wall: just a bed and a desk. I found a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, very close to downtown (and much closer to my schools) for $10,000 a month!!! The guy is moving out and I will buy his furniture, so I don't have to run around buying new things!! (Just some decorations). Oh, and I have a view of the entire city on the 9th floor!!!!

To give you an idea about how big this place is....if you've been to my apartment in Indiana...the whole apartment can fit into the living room!!!

Here's the catch: I have to take it now and lose 2 months of rent here. But after seeing some other places, I think nice (and big) apartments are few and far between. I wasn't planning on moving until the end of February, but in a way, it's really a huge blessing. It gives me time to slowly move things (all I have is a motorcycle) and repaint.

I'll be in New York for 1/2 of February and when I come back I have to hold a workshop for another school and then a week later give a presentation in Taipei (3 days long....).

Merry Christmas. Thank you God for my blessing.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Another sad day.

I had to make the decision to kill my rabbit today. This is the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I'm having a difficult time coping with the fact that it's my decision to let him die. If he died on his own, it wouldn't be so bad. I don't like the fact that I have to choose whether to let him live (and suffer) or die.

Update: Bunny died at 3:30 am. He had convulsions for 30 minutes and then finally gave up. I really wish I would have taken him with me.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


My aunt died on Friday.

My cat walked out of my mom's bedroom and died today.

My rabbit is really sick. He went to the vet yesterday. My mom told me if he doesn't start eating really soon, he's going to die.

What the heck?!?

A Taiwanese Wedding

Today our staff was invited to our director's wedding on New Year's Day. I think I can bring a date. Yay!! I just have to see which one of my boys (AJ, Aaron or Max) has off....haha

Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday night.

Jessica and I went for our free facials tonight. We found out since we are VIP or something, we can go once a month for a free facial (and there's no pressure to buy anything)!

Jonathan met us at Oguma. Then we went to the Greek Restaurant I like for dinner. He convinced me to try some kind of catcus jelly. It was actually REALLY good.

At the Greek Restaurant, we went up to the 2nd floor. No chairs!! There were some other Americans there with one Taiwanese woman. I wanted to throw something at them. The guys were so incredibly rude, cursing and rude to the waitress. It made me so angry. You know, if you ever go to a foreign country, try to learn even a few words in it's language. Don't get mad at people because they don't understand your English! Shame on you if you do.

A sigh of relief!!!!

So, for all of those who heard about my horrible eval on Friday....I feel a bit better. I had a meeting with the principal after school day about it. He said he heard I was upset about Friday and wanted to know why. Well, let me tell you how many misunderstandings there were!!! I told him that I was under the impression that the whole thing was negative. I actually understood what the panel was talking about in Chinese, although, I only understood the negative parts and no one would translate for me. This led me to believe the entire eval was negative.

After talking to the principal about it...apparently, it's not. He also said that the school thinks I'm doing a good job and that they trust me. (Which to me is the biggest compliment one can get....)

So, anyway, I feel so much better!

My aunt died this week. I'm a little sad but very angry at the same time. Not because she died, but because of the way she treated my mother the last couple of years right up until this week. And the only person who has ever taken care of her (and is taking care of all her mother)! I have a great deal of respect for my mom.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I also want this for Christmas

The Costco Experience!!!

The Costco experience was awesome!!! It's a mad house there!!! It was like the Taiwanese people took their whole families for lunch there! (And I'm talking 3 - 4 generations of people in one family). There were little grannies pushing people to get the free tea. And they don't mind if they get run over by carts. Amazing!!

Costco mostly sampled out teas...blah....But anyway, I took the train one hour to Kaohsiung and got a taxi. The taxi driver was hilarious!!!! He spoke very little English, but tried! I got to speak a little Chinese to him. I gave him a really good tip because Costco was a few kms from the train station. My taxi driver on the way back was quite mean. No tip! ha!

The people who worked at Costco were so much nicer than in the one I go to in America. One of the girls who worked there even helped me with my knee support. She watched my cart as I ran to the ATM, when I came back she said that I should change my size of the support and she would measure me just to make sure. Then she also gave me some tips for storing my vitamins in Taiwan....keep them in the fridge! The check out lady separated my purchase (most of it's for school I get reimbursed). Every store I've been to in Taiwan, the check out person tells me I'm not allowed to separate things.

I can't wait until I move in February and have a kitchen.

This is what I carried home in my backpack:
4 lb bag of pistachios
4 lb bag of trail mix
1 box of 36 pop tarts
bengay (my muscles will love me)!
2 boxes of knee support
3 lb bag of string cheese
1 container of vitamin C

In my second bag I had:
8 containers of hot chocolate (total: 33 lbs)!!!

In my arms, I carried 3 containers of mini candy canes: for a total of 9 lbs!!

I think AJ should be proud of me!

The lady at the ticket counter in Kaohsiung gave me a ticket for a train that left in 3 minutes. It's quite far to the platform!! I couldn't run with everything. I walked as fast as I could and I took the wrong staircase down. Thank you Jesus, that I had to pass the conductor (the staircase I took overshot the train). He told me "slow down. slow down. I wait for you." My seat was all the way in the last car!!! The conductor graciously waited until I was on!

The worst part was I had to walk 4 blocks and down a hill to my motorcycle (in the terrible wind and rain we are having). Surprisingly, it all stayed on my motorcylce while I was driving!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Some revelation for me tonight.

Apostle Willie Tolbert broke it down for me tonight:

When you are taken out of your environment, you should still be who you are.

And it's freezing here again!!!! Where did these horrid, scary winds and the rain come from?

I'm being observed tomorrow by the Education Department....yikes.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I had a fight today outside of the English Competiton

I had a verbal arguement with an official from the Tainan City English Competition. The rule book states that only 5 people (in total) may be on the stage from each school when the STUDENTS perform. Several schools had 7 and 8 students performing. Several students had ADULTS performing. These schools had extra people playing the piano, flute, drums, keyboard, and guitar!!! I brought this to the attention of the official and told him it's against the rule, why wasn't there a deduction? (Schools were deducted 3 points if there were any words on the the cd). He then accused me of being mad because our school was deducted 3 points for 4 background words on the cd. I told him he wasn't listening and that wasn't the issue. I knew that we would be deducted and fully accept that. He said that the rule change was announced at some meeting (in which I had a representative there). I told him that it is completely irresponsible, unprofessional, and unfair to change a rule 3 weeks before a competition verbally. The main point was it should have, first, been in writing, and second, sent out to EVERY school involved. At some point, he changed his story to something else (which means he lied). I don't believe this man, and I don't believe that the rule was suddenly changed this year. Why? Because the same schools had 7 and 8 people on stage last year...and those schools won. Was the rule changed last year? Why is it not in writing.

What a terrible thing to do to students!! Many of those students worked so hard, including mine. I never expected my students to win anything because I know the English ability of other schools' students. There's no way any other schools have a chance to win when other schools have 5 students singing and a complete rock and roll band on stage!!! Our losing has NOTHING to do with this. I just think of all the negative messages this sends to all those students.

Oh...and my students went from this....

And after 2.5 hours of hair and makeup......To this...... (the biggest change is Lucy....right of the boy....1st girl below....WOW!!!)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It really makes me sick.

I've had co-workers not like me before (typically because I'm a pain about rules), but never in my life have I felt so much resentment from a co-worker.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I finally left Tainan!!!

My school invited me to spend the day with them in the mountains. Every thing was FREE!!!! (Bus, admission fees, food, etc) We spent 3 hours on the bus to get to Alishan National Park in Chiayi County. Our first stop was at an elementary school in Chiayi County. We were warmly received by the students and teachers. We spent about 45 minutes and then continued our journey. We arrived at the park and had a typical aboriginal lunch. Then we walked down the mountain to the entrance to the nature park. We hiked up the mountain to the main entrance, up some more, and down to feed the fish. We walked back and got to see the Saviki people perform native dances. Then we were invited to do a dance. The student teacher and I went...

On the way back, we stopped at some town that's famous for these two long suspension bridges. I don't know the name of the town...but I ran up all these stairs that had a temple on top of the mountain. I saw some chickens and a really large snake. I tried to catch the chickens, but they ran from me. I yelled at the snake and said, "If you come out, I will kill you." I don't like snakes. He didn't come out. What authority!

It was a beautiful day for a mountain trip. It was pretty warm. I had my "winter coat" with me. I never needed it, except on the bus. I had such an amazing day with some really great people whom I love (all my co-workers). Enjoy the slide show.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Quite Sad.

This is from where I live.

Taiwan bus crash leaves 22 dead
A TOUR bus in southern Taiwan plunged off the road and into a ravine killing 22 people on board and injuring 24 others, an emergency official said late last night. The bus, carrying 46 passengers, crashed through a concrete barrier on the side of the road and fell 30 meters into a ravine in southern Tainan County, according to cable TV station TVBS. The passengers were members of a parents' association from an elementary school in southern Kaohsiung and were on an outing when the accident happened. It was unclear how many children were among the dead and injured.

Today really sucked.

I feel like any drama that goes on at school is my fault. Not because I did something....just because I'm here. And I can't talk to anyone about it; it'll just make things worse. I feel very awkward because I don't even know how to respond to situations. If I respond the way that I would in America, it will probably make things worse...if I don't respond, perhaps I might be perceived as not caring? I don't know. The only thing I know is that I've been running to the throne more because of it.*******In other news, I'm completely impressed by my worst 6th grade class. I've been working so hard to "lay the smackdown" on them. I think it's FINALLY starting to pay off!!!!! Praise Jesus!!!*****And I responded to my food my comment. I failed to say why I felt that way....I downloaded the Dreamgirls soundtrack today......WOW!!!!!!! WOW!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

This is what I want for Christmas!!!!

Don't ask me why....oh yeah...and it has to be in pink or orange

The Miss A Knife Kit


And it's on sale! :)

Food I actually like...

So, there's this one place near my house that I finally tried. I've been going there about 2 times a week. I'm pretty good at ordering my own food....except I don't know the names of vegatables. So I point. This lady always yells at me. I don't understand her. So, I point harder as if I was going to put my hand through the glass. It's really quite amusing to me. I went in yesterday and there was another, older lady, who spoke English!!! I was shocked!!!! And she was so nice!!! (No yelling)! Anyway, I pay $50 (um, like $1.50 USD) for a fairly large piece of chicken, rice, and 3 veggies plus a drink. Yesterday, the English speaking woman told me I could get a second meat for only $10!!!! (um, 30 cents?). I was so excited!!!

Their food is really good. The only thing is I have to always take my food home and stick it in the microwave. Taiwanese like to eat everything ice cold!!!

I'd go there tonight....but it's night market night!!!! yeehaw.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


It's so cold here!!! It's 72 degrees!!! I'm sooooo cold!!!

Yesterday, Christine and her boyfriend, mr. handsome, Vicki, and I went to see our friend, Jackie Chan, play volleyball. He was playing in a tourney. His team won the division and would play in the finals today. Here are some pictures.

Also, last week I practiced putting make-up on my students for the English competition. Here are my girls. The were reluctant at first. By lunch time, they all wanted touch-ups!! I tried different colors to see which looked better and which would last the longest.

Friday, December 01, 2006

My doctor visit...

So why have I gained so much weight and have been exhausted for the past year? Underactive thyroid...

The doctor didn't give me any medicine because he wants to see if my level of hormone production stays the same or becomes lower (it's already below what it should be). I have to go back in 3 months. My response? I have to feel like I do for 3 MORE MONTHS?!? AAHHHH!!!

My Promise....and Denzel!!!!!

I promise to make Alex a hot pot when I return in JULY!!!!! haha! *can you bear the heat?!?!*

I saw the new Denzel movie, that man just can't make a bad movie!!!! And even if it were bad, I'd still go see it...I think I have a problem.

It's not fair that my friend Tim was in New Orleans when he was filming this movie! I mean he was like a block away from him (or relatively close). Denzel just keeps looking better and better with age......*sigh*

(Ok, enough with my stupid girly post...)

I go to the doctor tomorrow to find out what's wrong with me. yippee!

And today marks World AIDS Day...get educated.