Kenting!, Taiwan Different day different beach, Everyone’s dream, a gingers love hate relationship…

When I started to feel better and knew I had to get out of this room! Some friends decided to head to Kenting which is the south road of Taiwan the beaches and beauty lie there.  We did not really have plans just went to the bus station at midnight and played it by ear… Which is very hard for me to do, being as I am control freak at times and like to have some idea of what is going on.. but i desperately wanted to go surfing so I said ok and have already traveled with these guys so knew I would be ok.

It was beautiful but my ginger ( redheaded, pale) self caused the issues as I tried to be carefree… I did not get to go surfing sadly we were not in the right part but we spend a different day on every beach and I of course burnt through the sunscreen I reapplied 3 time within 4 hours… and was laying under an umbrella… Oh well part of life as a Ginger… This ginger finally got her sun… ouch!

So here are some photos!  We had a pretty good time, and the waterproof pouch for my camera worked pretty well!  The last day we went to Kaosheng and stayed with a friends Aunt in a large home. It was much different then any home I had been in but it worked… Although the stairs were so steep they almost seemed to be pushing you backward…  Anyway we went because we were going to go to EDA theme park.. So it rained some that morning but we arrived at the Theme Park and most of the big kid rides were closed for maintenance… Not cool.. So we did not go it. Also it looked like a theme park.. the roller coasters were not the attraction it was a pretty place you could take your kids and enjoy an upscale scenery…

We watched hang over 3 and then went to the bus for the 5.5 hour bus ride home…. I have never road so many buses in my life but they are convenient and much nicer than any Midwest greyhound bus.

First Morning

First view of the beach!

First view of the beach!

 

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And this is how a ginger sun bathes... I covered my legs with a scarf.. We had 4 hours till we could check into hotel, it was 9am... I fried.. Fell asleep here.

And this is how a ginger sun bathes… I covered my legs with a scarf.. We had 4 hours till we could check into hotel, it was 9am… I fried.. Fell asleep here.

 

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how normal people sun bathe.

how normal people sun bathe.

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Our sand castle...

Our sand castle…

Fredrick is the King of the castle! We built an Asian style castle rather than European it seemed appropriate..

Fredrick is the King of the castle! We built an Asian style castle rather than European it seemed appropriate..

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wild Hermit Crab lol, I dont know why we ever had these as pets....

wild Hermit Crab lol, I dont know why we ever had these as pets….

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Amazing Giant coral!

Amazing Giant coral!

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Lunch

What passes for lasagna.. I am pretty sure that prepacked space station lasagna taste better but it was something different.

What passes for lasagna.. I am pretty sure that prepacked space station lasagna taste better but it was something different.

Time to Snorkel!

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The scary bus to the scuba beach

The scary bus to the scuba beach

OK, ready to go, even if the snorkel coaches did not like us.. The wanted to make us wear life jackets and hold on to each other while they pulled us along.... ummmmm NO

OK, ready to go, even if the snorkel coaches did not like us.. The wanted to make us wear life jackets and hold on to each other while they pulled us along…. ummmmm NO

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sandra

sandra

harvey

harvey

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Taking selfies under water does not work so well!

Taking selfies under water does not work so well!

cc

cc

 

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Dinner and the street Night Market, much easier to get pictures of all the crazy food than in the city!

 

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This is actually Sandra photo bombing the Fish...

This is actually Sandra photo bombing the Fish…

giant clams!

giant clams!

a Real three headed pineapple...

a Real three headed pineapple…

 

Second Day, ATV Ride then hitchhiked (much to my dislike) to the South Bay Public Beach! With Umbrellas for my Ginger self!!!

An asian punk with his girl friend on the back and the number 13 tattooed on his shoulder was trying to look cool and ran into us.. Pretty sure he has never even drove a car.....

An asian punk with his girl friend on the back and the number 13 tattooed on his shoulder was trying to look cool and ran into us.. Pretty sure he has never even drove a car…..

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ATV Adventure

ATV Adventure

ATV adventurers??  My midwest friends would laugh at these ATV's.... one break and a thumb pull gas were the only controls..

ATV adventurers?? My midwest friends would laugh at these ATV’s…. one break and a thumb pull gas were the only controls..

 

atv

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For hours this guy just stood around like this randomly stretching and talking to his fully clothed friends....

For hours this guy just stood around like this randomly stretching and talking to his fully clothed friends….

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Umbrella Pimp

Umbrella Pimp

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South Bay beach, day two at sunset!

South Bay beach, day two at sunset!

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View from Second Hotel!

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Sun burn day two...

Sun burn day two…

Third Day, White Sand Beach! (camera died :(/) anyway this is the Beach where life of PI was filmed! I was getting in position to take the photos that would make you

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Sun burnt...

Sun burnt…

363 368 355 356 374notice when the camera died….

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Long Days and Longer nights

I think Jet lag had finally hit me a few weeks ago.  As I truly began to settle into the daily routine of this place, and my knees started making it hard to go up and down the stairs at a whims notice…

Only having somewhere to be 3 days a week for only 3 hours a day is most definitely a strange feeling. Figuring out what to do with your time.. I figure out all the productive things I could get done and then only accomplished about 10%….. Fell into the funk

Well literally Fell into the Funk about 3 weeks ago… I got the Flu for the first time in my whole life, OMG I felt so terrible.  My body could not maintain temperature, I was shivering while it was about 80 degrees and sweating.  My joints hurt, my skin hurt, my brain hurt, I was not hungry and my eyes and nose were filled with junk.  They kept telling me to go to the doctor but I know enough about the Flu from working in the clinic forever and giving thousands of flu vaccines to know that their was nothing the hospital could do for me unless I stopped keeping my self hydrated and alive. and the idea of going down the mountain and getting in a taxi to take me to the hospital sounded worse than death on the worst day….  I went to the school nurse as I was out of Acetaminophen.. and some cough medication from her as by then I had developed a cough also..  Just as I thought I was over it the sinus infection and whooping cough set in…. Yay me.. Apparently end of May beginning of June is the beginning of Flu season here… Yay who would of guessed.

Well anyway with all of that sickness I could not actually lay down to sleep without hacking, My poor roommates, I bleached the room everyday and they did not get sick! Anwyay this was the moment when my western conveniences became so missed.  My recliner to sleep on comfortably, my dog and cat to cuddle me back to sleep..  Family and friends that will bring you comforting food.. A Walgreens or CVS that you can drive your air conditioned vehicle to within 4 minutes.. No real work on your part….

Toward the end I did manage to get a lot of reading done… Not of school stuff like I should of but I had time to read Enders game by Orson Scott Card.. I like that book, Methuselah’s Children, Heinlein, The Social  Contact, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and even had time to read Time Enough for Love, Heinlein I think it is one of the longest books ever…Revolt in 2100 Heinlein, and some random pieces and parts of books on capitalism and communism. I assure you there are only so many ways to curl up on a 2 inch sleeping bad in a bunk bed and get comfortable to read…

I did take a few pictures of the night market the night I was feeling a bit better and was starving… between the flu and sinus infection so Here are a few photos of Shilin night market!ImageThis is fried milk… SOOOOO GGOOOODDDD   It actually creeps me out the crunchy texture with the thick warm creamy inside.. but it is so good!! Just make sure you let it cool for like 10 minutes after getting it. . The milk part stays hot forever!

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The must have list for studying abroad

As an American student, before you go abroad there is usually a little counselling.  They give you some tips on packing and culture shock and other various things…

However this is my list, it might repeat some of what counselors and other blogs tell you, but I have added some.

1.

This is the most important thing to have!  A freaking awesome and totally amazing best friend! Or a set of them!!

This helps you stay grounded, and that you are not forgotten. They can make you smile with some American humor that you really just can not get here, unless you find a group of Americans.  They help keep your things in order and allow you to still continue on with business back home.  When you cry they make you smile, even if you dont know why you were crying.  Sometimes you might feel guilty because they do so much for you while your just sitting around in Asia doing nothing.  Just remember, If they ever need the same thing of you, if roles ever switch than you will do the same.  That is part of the definition of best friend, do not just choose someone to ‘use’ and do your bidding while you are gone.  If you do I hope they kick you.

2.

A scarf… Yes a big scarf you did just read that right. Well number two is tied a towel and a scarf.  Because with out a towel well read for yourself, you should of already.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

quotation from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

So yes a towel. Makes since to me.

But a Scarf... This is mine. I on a whim decided to wear a scarf the morning I got on the plane to go to the other side of the world.. It saved me!  Image

So since I am in a list mood today her is a list of scarf uses….

-A scarf to keep your neck warm

-A pillow

-hides where you dropped lunch on your shirt

-catches food from falling on your shirt (i now take my scarf off before I eat)

-Stylish! can take a plane shirt into something a little more classy

-holds just enough warmth in to use around your shoulders when you are a tad chilly

-it can be a sheet if you wind up in a dirty scary hotel room where no speaks English and the sheets are stained and do not look like they have been washed…

-You can use as a top sheet, not this is very important..  When traveling to hot and humid location there are often many bugs… Also the hotels do not provide top sheets… NONE OF THEM! And a comforter without a top sheet I think is strangely gross. The beds are also very hard so the comforter provides a slight amount of padding.. (imagine sleeping on a box spring) So you have your scarf! A MOSQUITO NET Sheet that is not to hot!!

– Keeps the light rain out of your hair

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-can be used to cover your hair and show respect if you wind up in a place where most women cover with hi-jab. It is always good to show respect when you are in a foreign land alone…

-You can tie it into a bag to help carry some things.

-You can us it on the beech to lay on so you do not get sand in your only towel…

-You can make it into a  sling if you hurt your shoulder, elbow, wrist.

-You can create a compression wrap with it, just be careful

-You can tie objects together, using it like rope

-and OOOO so many more uses I am sure that I have not tried yet!!!

And that is why I love my scarfs!! because now I have many!!!! But it can not be just any scarf, it has to be the really really big ones that are currently in fashion, they are thin and light but rather tough!

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Now the rest of this is in no particular order…….

3.

Good Shoes!

When I say good shoes, I mean a couple pairs.  Good for walking, stairs, climbing, RAIN, Not slippery flip flops, or mesh tennis shoes,or toms….. Its hard to find goood shoes but you should try hard

4.

You Tablet computer! or a small laptop, or both..   Do not think that electronic are cheaper in Asia.. They are not! Some things are about the same price…. about… or WWAAAYYYYYY more.  http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90780/7781053.html

and as I keep learning, they are Cheaper in the US than in most countries in general, I did some research on this.  And it is very simple… Purchasing Power, the US has more people who are willing to buy it so we buy in massive bulk. Other countries just can not do that. And our regulations help out to.

5.

Camera, just like above. Just remember to actually enjoy your time and whats around you and to not live through looking in your camera

6.A good backpack! nothing to expensive but I do not recommend going to Walmart for it, with lots of compartments, but not to big!  Your not hiking for 5 weeks and only living out of it but you will carry it often, and a bad backpack can really hurt your shoulders.

7.

A list with all your contacts on it, somewhere that does not get moved often or touched often!

8.

A few pocket phrasebooks!  They tend to say things in many ways like we do so having a couple of them always helps! Mark the pages of what you need before you go somewhere, and use the cover as notes for the words you really use often. I find that when you attempt to speak the language, well at least in China and Taiwan, the people will be very nice to you and will take the time to help you. If you just come in pointing and only speaking English slowly, well they do not care to help you.

9.

Extra medication if you have anything or take anything.. I kept being told to pack anti diarrhea pills… I did not, I ate in some of the dirtiest places I never would of thought i could eat at, and where I did not see a single bottle of hand soap in that village. but the food was good and I never had any troubles… still have not… but you if everyone is so insistant on it I will just say I am lucky and you should still pack it because if I would of needed it… I would not of been able to figure out what medicine at the store would work to fix it, if and when I could get to a store…..so yah…

10. a travel pillow! as good as the scarf for dirty hotels and planes and buses and bumpy rides….

11. something that is part of your everyday life back home… small enough for the suitcase but a big piece of your heart… I thank my dad for this one… I have a stuffed hippo my friend Alicia gave to me for my 11th birthday I believe.. and it has been on my bed ever since.  I left it in the room at my dads house and when he did the check over he asked me, arent you going to bring your hippo? I put my head down and said no I decided not to because he  takes up valuable space and my roommates will think I am weird..  He told me I better and well now I listen to my dad so I shoved him in my suit case and it does make easier to sleep at night, makes you not feel so far away…

12.

a watch…  The last time I wore a watch regularly back home was in high school with my Fossil watch that had the animated twinkling starts in the back…. Ever since then I have a smart phone in my pocket….So I bought a good! not walmart watch since again I am not doing extreme sports like climbing mount everest here… Which on a side note the other day i figured out I will never be able to afford to climb Mnt Everest…… its like minimum 30000$

13.

Your home deodorant! a few bottles.. Did you know most of the world uses spray deodorant . not like axe but spray deodorant they all think my solid deodorant is strange…..  I tried the spray and it felt really funny….

14. A good water bottle.. My fav. Contigo… I am in love with these things easy to carry can use a carabeaner to attach it to my bag if I dont have space, washable, leak proof, shatter proof.. I have dropped my several times and it still looks new…!  Yes super cheesy that someone should love a waterbottle so much but really this stupid video shows it all…. It is the perfect design….I have stockpiled them..because my family is cursed..LoL as soon as we find an amazing product they discontinue it… anyway..

http://www.gocontigo.com/autospout-addison-lifestyle-video.html

So it is late and I have morning class tomorrow so I must be on my way but  that is my personal list… Really I just wanted to tell you about number one and number two….. they are pretty amazing things to have!

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My daily rant! US Government Petition system abuse….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/provide-necessary-assistance-prevent-taiwanese-people-being-murdered-philippines-and-rebuild/NYw8cM4k

Provide necessary assistance to prevent Taiwanese people from being murdered by Philippines and rebuild friendship.

Dear Mr. President,

As we know, Taiwan is an ally who shares the same values with us. It is sad to hear that a 65-years-old unarmed Taiwanese fisherman was killed by Philippine coastguard on May 9th. 51 bullet holes were found.

Many Taiwanese people were convinced by Philippines that the Obama Administration will connive at this brutal shooting attack. The signal from Philippines is forcing Taiwanese move to the other end of the balance. The situation is severe and may harm the interests of the United States.

This is a tough situation, but the bottom-line is crystal clear; firing on unarmed fisherman’s boat is not allowed.

The cost of losing Taiwan and its influence in Japan and China is extremely high. We, the People, demand our government to provide assistance to Taiwan.

Sincerely,

 

Created: May 15, 2013

SIGNATURES NEEDED BY JUNE 14, 2013 TO REACH GOAL OF 100,000

9,288

TOTAL SIGNATURES ON THIS PETITION

90,712
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now time for my rant…..

Dear creator of this petition, you are not a smart human being…… Please look at the facts and then rewrite this petition. Taiwan is a country in my Eyes but you apparently have no idea what is actually going on in the world. Fox news would not even say something this dumb…. This kind of blind ignorance will be the death of this country and even more so is an abuse to a system that could be used for good purposes, if people would actually take time to read what they sign and understand instead of just saying oh that sounds good I have done my good for the world for the day. Please research this topic…….. #1 the US and Philippines… Alliance #2 Taiwan is unfortunately not actually an Ally, we support them in the shadows so as not to piss of China, also some of Taiwan still believes it should rule of of China or that it does. #3 Yes this was a terrible act but military arms are not always the answer, Taiwan came out and showed its power to the global community without the support of the “big bad US” behind it and solved its own problems. What could the US do anyway… Hmm really. Lastly I LOVE TAIWAN! I believe Taiwan should be its own country but currently only 23 countries see it as such. Until the ‘One China” policy is sorted out there is not much anyone can do for The Republic of China. (R.O.C. Taiwan) and Peoples Republic of China (P.R.C. China)

 

I understand I do not know everything either, however since I am currently living in Taiwan and like it very much here, as well as have spent a little time in China and am severly interested in and devoting much time to untangling the political web of these countries I feel I must say something about the petition. I reported it as inappropriate and if you would to I would greatly appreciate it… Also… If you have any further details please share or any awesome links to help expand my knowledge of this situation please do share!!!  I am still learning but this petition on the most ignorant knowledge of global issues is dumb.

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Power in the world.

The power in this world is a very strange thing… we all know that.  Governments, civil wars, boundary disputes, human rights, trade, economy, poverty, wealth, life, death, military force, orders, demands, authority, democracy, communism, socialism, genocide, superiority, your wrong and I am right……….

Peace I will say would be ideal, but peace will never happen, I am against world peace.  Now please do not think me a sociopath for saying such things. I am not a lover of war, of people fighting bravely for conflict that I do not know what even really caused it on both sides.  I signed my life away in 2005, I signed that contract to my country, do with me what you will. My friends have and many still do.  It is an honor, it is risk, it does pay the bills and it is a way of life for many Americans.  It is true we protect our freedoms even if you do not see it, not everything in this world is directly spelled out for you. Even more they fight to save other peoples freedoms to.. Anyway this is my rant for another random day.

Today I wanted to talk about Taiwan… It is its own country by all qualifications, the only thing that denies its sovereignty is the recognition of the global community. That and China is stubborn…  Over the last couple of weeks or so however they have started asserting their right to not be stepped on.  And after living here for a short time I find it refreshing that they would stand up to another country.  If you have not heard the news, the Philipino Coast Guard shot a fisherman with an assault  rifle, many many times, while they were fishing in waters that are claimed by both Taiwan and the Philippines. 

So the point is that this has been going on for many years only never ending in shooting a man 50 times… The UN has sanctions on how to properly handle these things, now Taiwan might not been able to sign as it is not its own country…. ahemmm but Philippines did.  This murder occurred right before the Philippines election also. So the Philippines made many a shady not positive move. Using dicey language and actions.. Even at one point claiming the “One China” Policy, which basically means they will not recognize the Taiwanese government and would only deal with the Government of China. . . . Which would never happen because China and the Philippines have their own conflicts going on with the South China Sea.  

So Taiwan stood alone sending its Navy south.. Did you know Taiwan has the 27th largest fire power in the world… Philippines is at 53 if I remember correctly.  However China and the United States would never let an actual war happen.  Simply put the US is an ally of Philippines, and well they don’t want to fight China over small things our economy depends to much on China really. Also the US supports Taiwan in “secret” but could never help them with military. So Taiwan has no one to back them up.

Still they stood up against this murder and did not get bullied, they did not accept someone saying sorry who held no official power, they wanted Government to Government, and the word apology used.  We all know how dancing around words can keep us from admitting certain things.  

I know this was written in many strange parts and you can most likely tell when I got called away but he breaks in my fluency…. However I would like to say that I am proud of Taiwan and that this is a big step in the Global Community seeing them as their own country.  

Now the only problem is the people who still believe in the One China… that all of China including Taiwan or the Republic of China (R.O.C.) its formal name.  However Taiwan has created its own life style and it is rather effective with a higher standard of living, better healthcare and education than Mainland China.  In my opinion the would prosper much more as an independent country separate from the mainland. With the ability to enter into more trade agreements and get access to more resources. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22549847

please read the related stories at the bottom of the page also.

This world is a crazy place. Just think how Taiwan might play a role in your daily life yet it sets in International Society Limbo…. HTC…. ASUS…. ACER…. it is and has been one of the worlds top electronics manufacturers. 

 

Oh and one last thing Taiwan is not Thailand in fact they are rather far apart….. But hey they are both on the same continent…… 

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No Stopping the Seasons…or the Arrows of Time

Love the art, but the quote hits perfect bulls eye in my book. Just what I needed… How I go so long without shooting my bow I do not know, it is the only time I actually pay attention to the entire world around me including myself and nothing else matters….. I will have to spend more time with her when I get back home…

Jana Bouc, Artist

On my walk to Peets Coffee and the bookstore today I saw so many things along the way that I would have liked to sketch. But I was feeling tired and under-caffeinated so I made a mental note to take the same route on the way back to sketch them.

It struck me as ironic to see a sign saying “STOP” beside a tree (above) with leaves that are changing colors and falling. We can’t stop the seasons, time keeps steadily moving on, the days get shorter, and I’m so aware of each passing day being one less to do all the things I want to do.

As I wrote that, I pictured myself with a quiver of arrows that represent my days, and each day I select an arrow and shoot it from my bow…and that gave me an idea for a sketch….

And that made me wonder which…

View original post 201 more words

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Relief…. (a rant)

It has been awhile since I have posted a blog… between stress, not getting much sleep, classes with no purpose, a roommate from the burning nether regions of only god knows where, and the heat and humidity…. I have not felt much like doing anything.

I have a distaste for conflict, despite popular belief. I hate living in tension, but I will stand up for my self and not be walked on or controlled. The same for my friends. Since 15 Febuarey I have been living with 5, then one moved out, 4 roommates…. I actually liked it more than I thought I would.  I have become somewhat solitary over the last few years….  It was nice to be able to ask someone a question, or share something funny.  Try new foods from different cultures, exchange language and experience.  Even with this particular German roommate.. 

At first to tell you the truth I did find her quickly annoying. She became more annoying as I started to relate myself to her, and the possibility that, I am perceived the way I perceive her.  I do see the traits we share, and it has taught me to be a little more cautious of what I say, or how I act around others. I know I have always been a little rough around the edges. So I tried to be the better person, she still had many things that were kind of interesting to talk about and sometimes a good story…. This became less and less.  I could also see how it was affecting our roommates.   Her constant mess, her takeover of the empty bed within hours of a roommate moving out after only a few weeks… Her actually knowing everything, her vary vary loud voice and opinions…  I tried to be nice and treat her as I hope someone will treat me if I am ever this way excessively…  Without insult I would remind her we are inside, that dirty dishes cause bugs, that I needed to sleep and she could tell me how cheap her loaf of real bread was in the morning. 

The final draw came with the mold…. the humidity and constant heat and her refusal to turn on the fan, she cant think with the wind and the noise.. I had purchased a fan to put in my bed a few months prior because I need moving air. I put cardboard up so that I could not see the light and to block some noise from the crack in the door to pull air from the windows so we could have some fresh moving air. Then it started to really get hot..I purchased and Air Conditioning card, (we have to pay for our own AC here) and turned it on.  She went on and on about how air conditioning makes you sick and spews out bacteria… ( her words exactly) How it is bad to change from extreme temperatures…. She would just turn it off, saying 25 Celsius was to cold…. Strange really as it was 26 or 27 with 100% humidity outside. It kept going down hill. She complains about everything and everyone, cooks toast at 1 am… ect. ect. ect…… it never ends.  

Finally after yet another sleepless night, I was about to loose my mind, to sleep in 25C is still crazy, I polled several Europeans who do not have air conditioning back home to see just how cultural it was… well it is but even they admitted they had to turn it on because of the humidity, She would constantly ask me why I had not bought the de-humidity packs for my closet. “aren’t you worried your stuff will mold” Well I was not, not if we could live in a decent temperature… I had even cleaned the unit inside and out with lysol.  So I finally had to go to the schools office for exchange students and ask for their help. She was mean to them intimidated them told them lies…. It was Friday they were suppose to move out. ( her and the polish girl who we like but she is not a fan of the AC either) Monday comes and they refuse to leave after being offered their own room….. 

I had confronted her a couple times over the weekend as would shut off the fan that I had asked everyone if they wanted on, and shut off the AC.. I was done I had tried everything I could think of even tried to kill her with kindness. Then she says I had done nothing and called our Thai and Macau roommates sheep that will just nod their head to anything I say.. She has eluded to them as dumb on several accounts. The best part is they both speak pretty good English and have heard her refer to them as dumb and have had their opinions stomped out by her so many times they just do not speak when she is in the room.  So they went to a different school office on Friday also, I was not even aware.

 

Well finally we have our own room. We moved, and within minutes of Katheryn being home after I moved out she had already started to pile stuff on my desk… I have not even had move out inspection yet.

But we now have a new room, its nicer we have our own traditional Taiwanese style bathroom, its meant for four but it is just us three. there is actually a little less space to my surprise but that is ok. I am not here for years just another 48 days or so….meh. :) 

I did however let it be noted spend 2 hours bleaching the entire place and cleaning the new room like crazy last night…. Someone had used the toilet ages ago and not flushed and there was random things everywhere…. ewwww It was the same when I moved into the prior bed…. so if you ever go to this university do not worry much about your move out inspection.

So tonight I will sleep well in the cold, able to cuddle in my sheet and sleep sleep sleep.. Without the paranoia of every noise being her turning off, or before that waking up because I am sweating so perfusly(yes I know it is not technically a word) .. and before that because she is going through every plastic bag she owns … (its a lot) to find her finger nail clippers at 2am when I have a midterm in the morning, or to the smell of burning toast and a ticking noise of her toaster oven at 1am…

To Sleep To sleep, then to figure out how to plan more adventure…..hmmmm

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A-Li mountain School Culture trip

The first image quote I ever made, something I am learning in life!

The first image quote I ever made, something I am learning in life!

Over the past weekend I went on a trip organized by some students at the school. I am not sure who as the school itself did not advertise. However the other campus has a tourism school so I believe this was how it was put together. Anyway, I have a large list of groups and events on my Facebook page since arriving here and it did not show up until last week, so for 1500 NT. Apx. 50USD. It was a long bus ride, but the tour buses here are very nice. Much nicer than a Gray Hound bus!
Our first stop was a what was suppose to be a Culture and Arts center and the agenda said 4 hours here. We all assumed it was very big, but it was very small they walked us around their building on a “tour” to kill some time in the beginning. We watched many videos all in Chinese and then the other campus arrived and we finally started to do something. It was fun and a lot of good interaction. They did a few traditional face paintings, then let us paint on each other….. They did paint Fredrick the II!  We learned to play the traditional drum and I even put on one of the giant puppet suites they use in the traditional dances and dragons dances. At the end they did a nice performance for us!

The main purpose of the trip was to see the Sunrise at the top of Ali Mountain, it is suppose to be one of the best and to see the field of clouds as you are above the clouds, however we did not get see either. The girls “in charge” were super excited for us to go at first and then toward the end of the first day after randomly hiking through the woods for no reason they were tired and kept asking and re asking how many people wanted to go. Everyone raised their hand every time! Every Time! then they kept saying well the weather might be bad so we will cancel if it is not safe. Well…… We all still raised our hand to see it even if it was raining we wanted to go! Well turns out they canceled it for safety even thought the weather was amazing that morning, I told them they would. LoL Sometimes culture is different but when people do not want to do something they will try and convince everyone else they do not want to do it… when that fails they just cancel.  So we woke up at the amazing Bed and Breakfast at like 8 am got ready and went to the a-li mountain tourist area, and looked around.. Once I got away from the 50 people who were following a path and just wanting large group photos, blocking the paths I enjoyed it.  Met a new friend from Hondorus,  and grew up in part in Texas. Berlin, what a name! Anyway we had fun! taking the trails I am not sure if we were suppose to take… LoL.

The bus ride down the mountain takes about 2 hours, and then they started the on bus Karaoke…. Uck. Anyway I made it home safe! It was an interesting weekend with many story’s to tell but I am not sure how to write them out, and It is so hot in my room, everyone is talking and they will not turn on the air…. I may have a fever I am not sure at alll… So as always many pictures and a few videos!

Let me know if you have any quest

Just Waiting.....

Just Waiting…..

And waiting after we wrote our wish that we burned right before we left, but wrote upon arriving...

And waiting after we wrote our wish that we burned right before we left, but wrote upon arriving…

 

Everyone was so excited about the Harley s, they kept saying wooo Jessica look how cool., Yes they are very new and Yuppy, and these are the first Bikers I met here, the wore proper gear and were nice. I understand that Harley is really new here and they did not get to grow up with a dad like me and with all the old bikes... So Yes they are pretty cool and a real minority in Taiwan.

Everyone was so excited about the Harley s, they kept saying wooo Jessica look how cool., Yes they are very new and Yuppy, and these are the first Bikers I met here, the wore proper gear and were nice. I understand that Harley is really new here and they did not get to grow up with a dad like me and with all the old bikes… So Yes they are pretty cool and a real minority in Taiwan.

They wore this doll while running through the Sahara dessert...

They wore this doll while running through the Sahara dessert…

 

Fredrick the II is back thanks to my friends back home! He is taking lessons on how to play traditional drum.

Fredrick the II is back thanks to my friends back home! He is taking lessons on how to play traditional drum.

This raptor can jump! he does not like it when you hit the drum... Click on Picture to view video!

This raptor can jump! he does not like it when you hit the drum…
Click on Picture to view video!

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The drum teachers posing like Raptors with Fredrick! He was a hit!

The drum teachers posing like Raptors with Fredrick! He was a hit!

Parade mask

Parade mask

Harvey the first to get traditional face painting.

Harvey the first to get traditional face painting.

Fredrick the second to get traditional face painting.

Fredrick the second to get traditional face painting.

Berlin Painting my face, as everyone just started painting each other, some have more talent than others.

Berlin Painting my face, as everyone just started painting each other, some have more talent than others.

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I have the first of these photos I  would like to find the rest! AS this photo went on for like 15 minutes as more people kept joining and more cameras... aahhhhhh

I have the first of these photos I would like to find the rest! AS this photo went on for like 15 minutes as more people kept joining and more cameras… aahhhhhh

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This is ME getting into the doll costume......

This is ME getting into the doll costume……

Me trying to dance!I am in the red, It was so hard to see!

Me trying to dance!I am in the red, It was so hard to see!

 

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Everyone watching the real performance! Click on photo for the video!

Everyone watching the real performance!
Click on photo for the video!

Here is us wishing our wishes come true!

Here is us wishing our wishes come true!

Tradition in religion of the Taiwanese is to write your own Wish on the yellow paper and you burn it, to sent it to the Gods! Hope my wish comes true!

Tradition in religion of the Taiwanese is to write your own Wish on the yellow paper and you burn it, to sent it to the Gods! Hope my wish comes true!298233_448583171903332_1665904008_n

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WOOO tour bus!!

WOOO tour bus!!

This was us wondering around the woods in complete darkness, the flash blinded us all, you could not see anything if you did not pull out your phone and point it at the ground... still do not know why we were doing it...... However! the before hand of dropping us off in the middle of nowhere on the mountain and the LIGHTING BUGS are amazing! the sound! it made me so home sick!!!

This was us wondering around the woods in complete darkness, the flash blinded us all, you could not see anything if you did not pull out your phone and point it at the ground… still do not know why we were doing it…… However! the before hand of dropping us off in the middle of nowhere on the mountain and the LIGHTING BUGS are amazing! the sound! it made me so home sick!!!

We were so excited to stay up the three hours to leave for the sunrise that we won are argument and we got our own room!!!! even though after they canceled! We were so excited tho!!!

We were so excited to stay up the three hours to leave for the sunrise that we won are argument and we got our own room!!!! even though after they canceled! We were so excited tho!!!

 

View from our B&B!

View from our B&B!

 

Breakfast at the B&B it was awesome.

Breakfast at the B&B it was awesome.
B&B

B&B

B&B

B&B

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Good Morning! I could live like this!!!

Good Morning! I could live like this!!!

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Gangsters for Rock, Peace, and Love on top of a mountain!

Gangsters for Rock, Peace, and Love on top of a mountain!

Old train that pulls you part way up a mountain.

Old train that pulls you part way up a mountain.

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a Red Cypress that is I want to say over 100 years old that fell after lighting strike.

a Red Cypress that is I want to say over 100 years old that fell after lighting strike.

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Before, the rain caught us!

Before, the rain caught us!

 

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I don't know why I made that pose... But we decided the overall feeling was Ferngully!!!

I don’t know why I made that pose… But we decided the overall feeling was Ferngully!!!

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I think Fredrick felt at home here.

I think Fredrick felt at home here.

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Jurassic Park!

Jurassic Park!

 

Finally home everyone hanging around the bus stop before we make the track down the road and up the stairs to bed in the heat!

Finally home everyone hanging around the bus stop before we make the track down the road and up the stairs to bed in the heat!

 

 

a temple at the bottom of the mountain

 

Sun set from the bottom of the mountain.

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We got hats to keep the rain drops out of our eyes then it started raining hard!

We got hats to keep the rain drops out of our eyes then it started raining hard!

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Click on Photo for short Video!!!!!

Click on Photo for short Video!!!!!

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No this is not a tropical island, this is at the top of a mountain! So peaceful!!

No this is not a tropical island, this is at the top of a mountain! So peaceful!!

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sign next to the lake....... Yes!

sign next to the lake……. Yes!

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Well another camera down! that water is not on the outside.... really not sure how it got inside the lens....

Well another camera down! that water is not on the outside…. really not sure how it got inside the lens….

Sun set from the bottom of the mountain.

Sun set from the bottom of the mountain.

a temple at the bottom of the mountain

a temple at the bottom of the mountain

Karaoke Bus Click on photo to see the inside!

Karaoke Bus
Click on photo to see the inside!

 

pictures of A-ki mountain.

 

 

 

 

 

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Finally the last day of my Adventure to Xi’an posted for your pleasure so please enjoy!

The last part of my Wondering day on 20 April in Xi’an. I finally made it to the wall at about 4:45…. Was then confused because the bicycle rental said must return to south gate by 5:30 I had read online it takes 2 hours to get around the wall…Do not panic it just means that all other gates to get up the wall close at 5:30 so if you are on the wall you must exit from there and can only enter from there. They also have performances in the south gate entrance gate which I was to late to see, but looked like they could be interesting.

The bicycle rental is 40 for 100 minutes. I made it in 100 minutes, but I did stop and take in the scenery and the daily lives of people below the wall for a while at different points along the ride, but I also had to peddle very hard to catch up on time.. I really made it in exactly 100 minutes the lady had to call her boss over to verify. Online I have read many places that the deposit is 100RMB or your passport. Well please never leave your passport with anyone! and the new deposit is 300RMB so make sure you bring enough.. Maybe it was because I was late, not sure but please bring enough. I believe they stop renting at 5:30pm…. The ride is extra bumpy but very interesting, if you like people watching.. Which I do.
The Bell tower was not worth the 35RMB to go up… It was so bright, you could barely see anything with the lights shining right in your eyes, lighting it up for the whole city…. The inside is not well lit and the artifacts on display have very little English translation… Although it does speak of having 4 performances per day, Which would be nice! It used 4 types of OLD bells. Although there are only like 30 seats.. So not sure how you get the privilege. But if you can, I would.

Muslim Quarters was interesting, But after living in Taiwan it was just a small night market… Diffidently go if you have never been to a night market! But I practically live and survive out of one currently so it was nothing new… And for my Midwest taste buds the food was not all of THAT good, but not bad.

After that I got way lost! not sure how either….. there are 4 main roads that intersect at Bell tower, so I walked from drum which is North of Bell tower to Bell tower… Then I was facing south I could see the south gate…. So I took a left which should be East road….. Somehow and I mean I really do not know how…… I wound up way north of all of it… Even my hotel…Which was North East of the Bell tower… Lucky for me I had in my random spree of things I have to have from everywhere I go I purchased an English Map… (I even managed to fold it back right when I was done, so proud of myself for that!) Unlucky for me they do not actually label all of the roads and at 11pm no one wants to speak English to you, but every guy on a scooter wants you to pay for him to give you a ride to where you are going but wont tell you how to get there.. This is when some simple Chinese phrases comes in handy… Like Bu Yao, Don’t want… Use this anytime anyone approaches you trying to sell something because if you thing sales people in the US are brutal you have not had someone try and get you to buy something in Asia… They will follow you sometimes… Although if you like to haggle then it can be on your side..

Anyway as always I have a lot of work to do now… and one is to finish and present one of the projects I was ranting about last night…. aaaahhhh I hope I do not have all gray hair tomorrow… So here are a lot pictures, and if you have questions please ask!!!!

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My first view upon reaching the top of the wall.

My first view upon reaching the top of the wall.

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View outside the south wall

View outside the south wall

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Yes I used the timer on my camera, part of traveling by yourself.....

Yes I used the timer on my camera, part of traveling by yourself…..

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The moon...

The moon…

A temple.

A temple.

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A ping Pong Court around the wall, where the mote use to be. Video attached just click on photo.

A ping Pong Court around the wall, where the mote use to be.
Video attached just click on photo.

an example of how the high rise apartments are going up everywhere around the wall so quickly.. I asked the tour guide the day before and she said the cost per square foot went up so much that almost every rich person is building....

an example of how the high rise apartments are going up everywhere around the wall so quickly.. I asked the tour guide the day before and she said the cost per square foot went up so much that almost every rich person is building….

Me while riding the bumpy road. My cheaks were cold and it was a bit of a work out with my old knees and the super bumpy bricks....  BUMPY.... Video attached.

Me while riding the bumpy road. My cheaks were cold and it was a bit of a work out with my old knees and the super bumpy bricks…. BUMPY…. Video attached.

A view of the city.

A view of the city.

Wear your hard hat... Ok so I have not actually translated it yet but I think the picture explains it....

Wear your hard hat… Ok so I have not actually translated it yet but I think the picture explains it….

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Constrcution worker... So many people in China wear military clothing but in a unprofessional sense...  So this confused me...Many construction workers wear it open with a white t shirt showing...

Constrcution worker… So many people in China wear military clothing but in a unprofessional sense… So this confused me…Many construction workers wear it open with a white t shirt showing…

I am not sure, I thing you would just push it forward into battle...... Would love to know its real purpose...

I am not sure, I thing you would just push it forward into battle…… Would love to know its real purpose…

Current reconstruction on the east wall, but also an enclosed court yard or entrance quarantine type area...

Current reconstruction on the east wall, but also an enclosed court yard or entrance quarantine type area…

South East guard tower, and a bunch of kids taking a fun photo..

South East guard tower, and a bunch of kids taking a fun photo..

It amazes me the engineering in the wall, the grade of slope at teh top for water run off, and the slope of the actual wall on the inside to help brace the wall while it is straight  on the outside.

It amazes me the engineering in the wall, the grade of slope at teh top for water run off, and the slope of the actual wall on the inside to help brace the wall while it is straight on the outside.

The south East corner of the wall.

The south East corner of the wall.

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One of many guard posts along the wall.

One of many guard posts along the wall.

The wall

The wall

An amazing dusk view while exiting south gate of the wall, at the end of teh road is the Bell tower  All lit up...

An amazing dusk view while exiting south gate of the wall, at the end of teh road is the Bell tower All lit up…

Beware if walking from south gate to bell tower, the Cross walks Wind in very strange ways and you are expected to stay on the cross walks... It was hard to capture a photo of but just follow some locals to the other side....

Beware if walking from south gate to bell tower, the Cross walks Wind in very strange ways and you are expected to stay on the cross walks… It was hard to capture a photo of but just follow some locals to the other side….

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A sweet telescope that you could see the craters from the moon through, It was so cool! and I love the bike it is on. The guy  charges 20RMB for a look! Worth it, however I do not know if he is always on south street or not.....

A sweet telescope that you could see the craters from the moon through, It was so cool! and I love the bike it is on. The guy charges 20RMB for a look! Worth it, however I do not know if he is always on south street or not…..

Agian View from Bell Tower

Agian View from Bell Tower

Bell tower lit up, pretty from teh ground.

Bell tower lit up, pretty from teh ground.

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I do not recommend visiting at night, The bell tower and drum tower are  so lit up It is hard to see and the museum does not have much to offer with no English translations.to help understand...They do not turn more  lights on at night so you can actually see the inside either... But I guess there are 4 daily shows of playing muliiple recreations of the bells that once were played in the hall, however the seating is limited to about 30, I think that would be worth seeing.

I do not recommend visiting at night, The bell tower and drum tower are so lit up It is hard to see and the museum does not have much to offer with no English translations.to help understand…They do not turn more lights on at night so you can actually see the inside either… But I guess there are 4 daily shows of playing muliiple recreations of the bells that once were played in the hall, however the seating is limited to about 30, I think that would be worth seeing.

I believe this is the main bell of the Bell tower It would ring at the start of the day when people could start coming into the ciyt for business by my understanding...., with drum tower in the background

I believe this is the main bell of the Bell tower It would ring at the start of the day when people could start coming into the ciyt for business by my understanding…., with drum tower in the background

I think this was a wedding display but It was very pretty.

I think this was a wedding display but It was very pretty.

The drum tower, built a long time ago as a notification of time. The drums were played an hour before dusk so people knew to start heading into the city walls or they would be locked out for the night, as the draw Bridges would be pulled up at sunset, I did not visit it was to late..

The drum tower, built a long time ago as a notification of time. The drums were played an hour before dusk so people knew to start heading into the city walls or they would be locked out for the night, as the draw Bridges would be pulled up at sunset, I did not visit it was to late..

Muslim Quarters

Muslim Quarters

Muslim Quarters

Muslim Quarters

Muslim Quarter, I saw everyone eating these 'hotdogs' spiraled on a stick.... So I got one, the meat was kind of chewy and flavorless and the spices did not fit with it at all, almost spicy.... I could  not finish it but it cost about .75 USD  So not a major loss...

Muslim Quarter, I saw everyone eating these ‘hotdogs’ spiraled on a stick…. So I got one, the meat was kind of chewy and flavorless and the spices did not fit with it at all, almost spicy…. I could not finish it but it cost about .75 USD So not a major loss…

Muslim Quartiers, They fried what I can only really compare to those crunch wraps from Taco bell... It does not however taste the same,they were very good!

Muslim Quartiers, They fried what I can only really compare to those crunch wraps from Taco bell… It does not however taste the same,they were very good!

The street view of my hotel, a welcome site after being lost for 2 hours... still not sure how that happened.....

The street view of my hotel, a welcome site after being lost for 2 hours… still not sure how that happened…..

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Idiocracy why do I even try here…

I know the first word is fake, but it is all I have to explain it.

This school keeps driving me crazy. I understood that things would be done different and that the culture is often different. That going to school on the other side of the world, both figuratively and literally, would be difficult. However I have now failed two midterms that I know of and passed one…. I have one left to find out. I studied so hard in one class, I studied based on the way the teacher teaches. I adapted to their styles. One is my fault I have always had test anxiety but this was an easy test and I walked in and literally answered everything opposite of what I know it is.. I was freaking out. In a class room where my paper is three times the size of the desk, someone shoves a wad of test at me after a Chinese introduction, and then the large guy behind me had his knee shoved in the top of butt cheek. I dropped my calculator three times while trying to do the calculations because the paper and calculator will not fit on the desk. If I try and answer the questions on the bottom of the page I have to fold the paper because it is larger than legal size, otherwise it hits the person in front of me in the back. The desk is to small for a standard notebook. And for a big girl like me also really small. This is the test I took the wrong one apparently for a different class, so I do not feel bad that I did not know the extra credit question but still if I would of go the question everyone else got I would of passed… That test was my fault my test anxiety and having no idea how the test would actually be, although there was no way I could of prepared for that, even with what they told us about the test system.

The other class Global Industrial analysis… Yah… This one is not my fault almost everyone failed, even with educated guessing. I had to re read the questions at least three times each to even try to comprehend how the answers fit the question… He coppied sentances out of the book and then made up answers. The only people who passed… They had last years test because he has used the same test for years. He knows I know…. How could I fail, I could answer anything I read the 4 chapters at least 3 times each and the slides. I highlighted studied read the cases. And all the teachers say if you failed well dont worry you still have the final. There is no homework here… group presentation, midterm and final make up your grade with maybe a small percent of class participation. In this class I can honestly say that if this is how the midterm is, than I CAN NOT figure out how to study. I do not know how to approach it. I havve a copy of the test gone over it multiple times and still have no idea. and he keeps saying Adapt to the teacher. I am sorry but I think I am the queen of that. That is why I always say the first day is the most important not because you learn anything topic wise but the teacher will be more open and show more personality give you an idea what they expect, what they like, how the class will be and their testing styles. I can not adapt.

I do not understand how in the three classes I have 10, 35, and apz. 70% of students have failed and no one even ask the teacher what is going on or wonders if the teacher is doing their job because the one I falied and cannot adapt to, where as I like him… He is not doing his job, we watch videos on Africa and he gives us silly scenarios that no one understands why, and he talks about his missionary work he has started adn all the teachers are always saying “well sorry life is not fair”. No life is not fair but a grading system is.

My financial Managment teacher today told us our topic was to boring so we could not use it….. The only criteria was 20 minutes on a financial topic. So we chose the Greek financial Crises because we all know about it but do not actually understand it and I could learn a lot about and would love to actually learn about it, even more now that he taught us more about the Euro… But no a group has done it every time in the past and he is bored of it.So unless we can show something new we can not get the full 10 points…. How do we know what new is. I asked for a rubric he said he has to find it interesting and be able to tel you put work in…. Then just kepts saying well if its not that good you get maybe a 6 if its good you could get maybe a 8 or 9, I rarely give a 10….. I asked so if we stick with this topic then we can not get above a 90%, he said maybe if its good an 8…. WHAT really, well I want you to teach me something…. umm we have not learned anything to help us in the finance world except exchange rate…. I am so lost, every class a silly group project except for the politics class which I am fighting right now and have tomorrow.. I swear we get one real research project and presentation with real materical and need to actually do some digging and researching and they have no idea how. This is a very ethnic diverse group and none of them understand. Anyway back to the argument with the finance teacher…. Instead of something I the student could learn a lot about while reserching he wants us to report on like the mongolian economy or something, but we have not learned the skills to do so! and he expects us to teach him something new…….

I am done. I have never been this frustrated in my life, I know things are different but this is ridiculous. This school is known not to be the best by the locals. I know one American who is staying here for longer than one semester and trust me he has his reasons….. but I know two Americans that came here to get their entire degree and leave after one semester. A Mongolian that studied in America and went back to Mongolia and came here because she thought Mongolia was bad after going to the US but she says this is worse! I have met US students who go to other universities and they do not have these problems… This school is corrupt at least in the English program. What I see posted on the internet is not true of anyone I talk to.

And Like the Red head stereo type, my name is becoming known by the whole student body because I actually ask questions and try and figure things out…and get angry when it is dumb and do debate somethings.
When seniors tell me they have failed and had to retake classes because they did pretty good on test but the teacher graded them poorly on classroom presentation and participation even though they were one of the only people that did the research and responded in class, when she asked the teacher why, the teacher said because YOU PARTY TO MUCH….. I do not understand.. this is redonkulouse, if I get crapfaced drunk every night but do good in class I still deserve the grade in my class not my ethical grade.

This school is ruled with authoritarianism… I think I should write a presentation on it now that I am a pro after this darn politics class… I am going to record the presentation tomorrow and maybe post it on here if you can take watching it for 20 minutes… Sorry had to rant in public and am not going to bed so I can try and figure out how to pull an A out of a top hat during tomorrows presentation, since I have the last few minutes and have to make them prove the entire point…. AAAHHHH

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