Leaving Taiwan

•June 14, 2010 • 3 Comments

Don’t have much time to write, but I’ll be leaving Taiwan on the 17th (this Thursday) at 9:30 AM!

Hopefully I’ll finish all my blog post ideas in the near future.

🙂

Negative Emotion Sounds Universally Understandable

•May 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This was very interesting to come across, as I have found out through my own experience that I came to understand these types of common Taiwanese/Chinese exclamatory grunts and yelps, yet I was never formally taught them in Chinese class.

One such example:

When a Taiwanese (no matter what age) is shocked, surprised, disappointed, angry or fearful, they usually (before letting loose the swears 😉 hahaha) exclaim (sometimes in a hushed voice if they are frightened) “Hai – yoooo”.

I find myself using it like a native now, actually hahaha.

Read the article I found here:
http://www.livescience.com/culture/negative-emotion-sounds-universally-understandable-100125.html

Taichung Metropolitan Opera

•May 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Well… I’m sure this will bring Taichung some more prestige and tourism!

Too bad I can’t see it yet, because it isn’t built now. Lol

Pictures at this >blog<

My School Featured on TV

•May 4, 2010 • 2 Comments

My school, 明台高中, isn’t extremely prestigious (even for being a private vocational school), but it gets it’s 15 minutes of fame every now and then…

This is a television show about a boy and girl (I think they are siblings?) who visit high schools around Taiwan and learn about them and their academics, athletics, and campus activities (part 1):

This was a news segment about a French Cordon Bleu chef who visited our school. You can see me chewing on an h’ordeurve he cooked during 1:11 – 1:13 haha:

This is a TV variety show that our school’s cheerleading team was featured on during a cheer competition with another school near Taipei (we won!). Ana (my fellow exchange student at Ming Tai school) starred (not scripted at all) in a different act on it:

COMING SOON!

End of Month Report: April ’10

•April 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

DATE OF REPORT: 4/30/2010 FOR MONTH OF: April HOST COUNTRY: Taiwan
NAME: Eric Andrew Fleck

MY HOST FAMILY INFORMATION IS:
Huan-Wen CHANG
No. 58-2, Changyi St., Taiping City, Taichung County
411 Taiwan

Tel: +886-4-22781140 (Res.)

MY HOST CLUB COUNSELOR INFORMATION IS:

“Andy” Kuo-Hsun LIU
No. 58, Gongye 20th Rd.,
Taipin City, Taichung County 411 Taiwan

Tel: +886-4-22780462
FAX: +886-4-22715975
Email: lkh5081@ms26.hinet.net

About the Exchange:

I did so many things this month! 🙂

The first weekend, I went to International Pillow Fight Day (www.pillowfightday.com) in Kaohsiung (the 2nd largest city, southern Taiwan) with a friend. It was fun hahaha.. We were interviewed by a camera man and apparently aired on TV later that day. I didn’t get to see it though, because we were still checking out the city! We went to Dream Mall again and rode the ferris wheel at the top along with Ana. She was scared, but we finally convinced her with the fact that she would regret not going! While in Dream Mall, we ate at the T.G.I. Friday’s where some scenes in my favorite Taiwan TV Drama “Black & White” (cops and bad guys show) were filmed. Afterwards, we rode the fast elevators to the top of the second tallest building in Taiwan: 85 Sky Tower. We got to see the city at night and even saw some fireworks while on the 75th floor. For dinner, my friend and I ate at a Japanese Style Pork Cutlet “banjiouwoo” restaurant. The food was delicious and I hope I get to eat there one more time before I leave; although, that’s quite unlikely since I only have one weekend unplanned before I leave Taiwan – and I still want to do a lot of things / visit many places.

On Sunday, we took a bus to a town near Taichung and went with my friend’s family to a cemetary where many people were gathered to offer food to gods at the temple and to visit their loved ones who’ve passed away. This day is called Tomb Sweeping Day. It was very interesting and I am glad I was able to attend something so sacred to Taiwanese.

Late Sunday, my friend and I went to see Europe (the Swedish ’80s Rock Band – “East of Eden”) in concert. So now I can say I’ve seen Europe in Asia haha. Their finale was “It’s The Final Countdown” and it sounded just as great as it used to. Joey Tempest still spins his microphone stand around and even twirls it up into the air – same with his microphone! Afterwards, we walked around to the back of the auditorium and waited outside for about 3 hours. Then he came out along with his bandmembers. I was especially excited to meet the drummer, Ian Haugland, since I started drumming this year. When they came out, they were understandably tired and had Taiwan beer in their hands hahaha – but they were still very nice and spent a little time with us and the ~ 15 other Taiwanese who had been clever enough to gather there and wait. Ian came out last and I told him I was a drummer too. He shook my hand and asked me “So how come you ended up here?”. I told him I am an exchange student and he answered “Cool, cool.” before being overwhelmed by a bunch of young ladies gushing all over him hahahaha. Before he left, I got a picture with him and his autograph. Needless to say, it was a great night! My friend and I seemed to turn into little school girls hahahaha…

Another weekend, Rotary took our district to the 64 island archipelago off the west coast of Taiwan. They’re called the Penghu islands. We spent a few hours at the beach which was a lot of fun, and I met a lot of other exchange students (some of which I had already been acquainted with over Facebook) from other districts around Taiwan. I wish it had lasted longer than three days.

Recently, my two ‘sisters’ (Ana and Paulina) and I ate at the Modern Toilet – a peculiar restaurant which has a bathroom theme going on. There’s a lot of information about it online, so I was excited to go in person. You’ll have to see the pictures to understand. The conversations the three of us had were definitely not suitable for dinner LOL.

Two weekends ago, my school took the three of us to Taipei along with the school’s cheerleading team. We were along to be the audience of the cheerleading team competing with another one (from a Taipei school) on a famous TV show!! Our school was the better one, of course ;)! Ana got to be on the actual show though, hahaha. I am going to try and find it on YouTube – hopefully it will show up. It will air this Sunday on a popular TV channel.. I don’t want to miss it! All three of us were very popular since we’re foreigners. OH! Hahaa… We kind of lied about our home countries too just for the fun of it 😛 Ana said she was from Mexico while Paulina said she was Brazilian. And, advised by one of my favorite teachers (“Boss”), I told them I was from South Africa. The one show host looked confused on hearing that, and uttered, “But.. You no black?!” HAHAHAHAHA. I told him, “Yes, but have white people.” We had a great time there.

Last weekend, I visited a zoo in Tainan (southern Taiwan) and sat on the back of a huge crocodile. Exhilirating!

That was definitely one of the most incredible things I’ve done on my exchange, this year in Taiwan… BUT….. …. There was something else I did, the middle of this month, which left lasting impressions. My friend, Dave, took me to the 2010 Taiwan Mazu Pilgrimage (in a town between Taichung and Tainan). Firecrackers, fireworks, lion dances, drummers, parade, over a hundred thousand people, only about 10 foreigners (that I saw haha), and of course, carrying the wooden shrine of a Taiwan Tiger god along with 7 other men down the streets and roads of the town and finally to the temple. We carried it over thousands of people humbly crouching to the ground in worship towards our shrine’s god and a few other gods (including Mazu) whose shrines were being carried. Mazu is a godess, and one of the most popular deities in Taiwan. Legend has it that she used to stand by the coast as a young teenager, hundreds of years ago, dressed in bright red clothes to guide fishermen back to land. She died from exhaustion, swimming to save her father during a storm at sea (who, himself, was a fisherman). She was immortalized by thousands of fishmen and the general public all over Taiwan and in southern China (along with some other Asian countries) who began praying to her for safety among other things.

Was it heavy, carrying the large, intricately carved, solid wooden shrine? Yes. Thankfully, there were about 12 other members of our ‘shrine carrying team’ which gave carriers the chance to rest and work in shifts. It began around 10 AM, and we carried until about 12 PM at which time we enjoyed the parade of floats, marching bands, and pilgrims (Dave and I took a power nap too!). Then at 1 PM, we lifted it up again and walked with it until almost 9 PM. During the night, it got crazy… We walked the shrine over thousands of firecrackers as they were lit – usually even standing over them as they exploded. I did that about four times.. each time was really indescribably awesome. hahaha. We wet down small rags which we used to cover our noses and mouths since the end result of so much smoke could really make you choke (while unable to move since you were helping to hold up the shrine). One of my exchange friends in Taipei (from Denmark) thought I was crazy for doing it and said it was foolhardy hahaha.. all I can say is, it’s not extremely unsafe or wrong.. 😉 It’s just DIFFERENT! And I was honored to be able to take on such a large role and hold so much responsibility (including many people’s safety) during the festival. I have had barely any time to upload pictures (and none at all for ANY videos – yet – so perhaps I’ll include the album of this pilgramage in the next monthly. Next monthly will most likely be my last, since I will be leaving mid June for China with my (real, American) mother.

There are a lot of pictures this time. Enjoy!

Penghu 1: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=59050&id=1407385820&l=584cc4bda1
Penghu 2: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=59065&id=1407385820&l=a7ecbb27a5
Penghu 3: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=59072&id=1407385820&l=052f474eab
Riding the Crocodile: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=60714&id=1407385820&l=79db0de685
Int’l Pillow Fight Day in Kaohsiung: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=60332&id=1407385820&l=81435ef727
Modern Toilet: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=61264&id=1407385820&l=bec2940b6e
TTV Trip: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=61158&id=1407385820&l=5b2e93c89c
Taichung: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=60723&id=1407385820&l=77d50b9962
More Taichung: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=60600&id=1407385820&l=315b065a02
Sunsets/Ming Tai: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=60601&id=1407385820&l=7c44e66469
Europe Concert: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=58114&id=1407385820&l=218b744724

From March –

Rotary BBQ/Pool Party: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=60594&id=1407385820&l=1d58d96853
Taipei Trip: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=60597&id=1407385820&l=ae73ec4895

See you guys soon! Happy Mother’s Day!

Eric Fleck, Rotary Exchange Student
D5490 Prescott, AZ
H: (928) 443-0943
2009-10 Outbound > Taichung, Taiwan
Skype: eaFleck

I’ma Noodle Cowboy!!!! xD

•April 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Made me LOL

Couldn’t stop laughing

•April 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

LOOOL! Obviously not for realz, but omg =D