Monday, December 05, 2005

No time for chinese

I am so busy with MBA work these days that I'm having a hard time studying for my chinese classes! That's not to say that I am not learning chinese, but I really need to learn some of the basics... from a book. How to find time!?! If I do that, I'll fall behind on MBA work. I know the reason I came here (and gave up sooo much) was to learn chinese, but I want to learn business too... I can't just come out speaking chinese and not knowing anything about options or whatever... Argh...

3am... my roomate is snoring... time for time for chinese.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I have to say, I really missed home on this holiday... this is my favorite of all the holidays... no presents, no stress, no crazy functions at this church and then that... just gather around with people who are close to you, count the things in life you have to be thankful for, and then have a spectacular meal. No pig feet, no pigeon eggs... I mean MEAT - no organs or ligaments... THE MEAT! Full-fledged, thick, juicy meat from a big ol' healthy bird. Put some creamy mashed potatoes and big crisp green beans next to it, and then add a big bunch of nice stuffing... then drown it all in GRAVY! Sweet, lovely gravy... don't forget the cranberry sauce... and the 10 pies everyone brought for desert...

These are the things I miss the most... ugh...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

There's only one word for it...

The one word for it... "s**t".

All these people burping as loud as they can in classrooms, cafes, hallways, computer labs... what can I say?? What can I do?? Give a nasty look?? They don't understand.... it's like sneezing here, everyone does it - even some of the little girls with pink shirts and hello kitty socks... I'm at a loss... there is only one word for it...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

It must be the midterms...

What a day... I begin the day on the way to class... I think everyone must be as stressed as me, and anyway, they certainly are not concerned with their outward appearance. On the way to study in my nearby cafe, I saw a cute little girl casually fit her pink little finger into her nose to the knuckle. Needless to say, that woke me up!

Upon reaching the cafe I began to study, but on the other side of the bookshelf I was sitting against I kept hearing loud burping... we're not talking a "pop" here and a "hiccup" there... we're talking full-blown, downright wet expulsions of gas that reek of the bile they sat in during the overnight stay in someone's stomach. It was a bit distracting, especially when I found out the person doing it was a little old lady!

Then for lunch I went to a resturaunt to get some "San Bao Fan" - duck, chicken, pork on rice. I was chomping along only to see the "Meat guy" picking his nose while preparing the meat... I almost lost my duck all over the table in front of me...

An hour later I went to the computer lab to be treated to a boy burping (again with the burping) right next to me for at least 15 minutes... the best part... right when we both thought he was done, he began hitting his chest and making weird noises (like he was gonna throw up) only to do what? Let out some of the nastiest smelling burps this side of the Jade Mountain.

To cap off the night I met up with a friend to go to nowhere cafe... you guessed it... our neighbors... burp city... I know it must be annoying to read over and over, but I'm telling you, it's much more annoying to HEAR it over and over again... IN ONE DAY!

Maybe it's the midterms...

Friday, November 04, 2005


Tonight was a long and somewhat stressful night, to be sure, but it ended with me feeling some satisfaction. I studied for the majority of the night at the "Nowhere Cafe" - a very laid back, somewhat cool/trendy cafe that is usually pretty quiet and features students and young professionals clicking away on their laptop as they sip cafe and try to match the atmosphere.

In the middle of all this, I have found a casual, quiet, relaxing place to set up and stress out... :)

I managed to read a chapter of finance, although there is a huge list of terms I don't know and will have to look up in Wikipedia later.

After leaving the cafe around 1:30, I got to my bike and started home. Now, this is actually my favorite time to be up and around in Taiwan - the air is fresh and cool, the streets are empty, and I share the world with only massive roaches and the few couples huddled near fountains or the NTU bell (usually crying or kissing).

Tonight it felt so good to do something like ride my bike without anyone around, I started going really really fast... it felt great! The cool air is rare in Taiwan, but in the early morning, it is fresh and cool and feels good in your face.

I guess a lot of people were confused or annoyed by the crazy white boy flying through campus standing up on his bike and swerving wildly as he felt like it... as I WHOOSHED past the freaked out couples at the NTU bell, I felt the urge to let out a "WOOT!!".

But alas, the timid foreign student came back, and I just sat down on my bike and headed back to my room, first to write this, and then go to bed. :D

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A word on trust...

Despite the little "voice of reason" in the back of my head... I find I'm reliving an important lesson these days... namely:

"He who does not trust enough, Will not be trusted"

Lao Tzu ~


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mr. Brown and I...

It's been another day... nothing more to say than that - not good, not bad... not really fun at all, but not terrible. I stayed up too late last night chatting on MSN, and ended up paying for it by oversleeping... I just started my new schedule and I am already oversleeping!! :(

It's OK - no time to feel bad... just get back to the schedule - this is life, no?

I've noticed that I'm drinking an unhealthy level of coffee since coming to Taiwan - this is either due to the fact that I don't sleep much or that it's so cheap here... or maybe both... certainly it is not due to the taste - most of the coffee is canned, and tastes terrible. The one I can tolerate is a certain style of "Mr. Brown" brand coffee, which shows a jolly-looking man endorsing a fine cup of coffee... to bad it's on a tin can, eh?

Still, it's a convienant little jolt during the day or in the morning. And you can get it cold or warm - they have it in a cooler and a warmer... convienance and service overcomes taste and quality!! Starbucks beware!

Well, in an effort to end such habits (we're talking a six pack a day here!), I've taken to putting a green tea bag in my coffee cup each day, so that during class breaks and meals I just fill up the travel mug with hot water at one of the many hot/cold water stations they have all throughout NTU. I hate green tea, but it's healthy, right? We'll see how long this lasts...

Here we go again... I will go to read for my finance class now - I'm a bit scared of that class, so all the better to prepare for it as much as possible... then on to read the Alibaba business case...


Ugh... what a day... busy, always trying to catch up... and then 6+ hours of class with the same teacher - although I like this teacher, it can get old to sit and listen to the same man for sooo long in one day.

Came home, finished the IKEA case with my roomate after wandering around the night market for awhile looking for dinner... I need new shoes, I need to do laundry, I need to catch up on e-mails, I need to make some coursework for my student, I need to return the umbrellas to "Nowhere" cafe, I need to study for finance midterm, economics midterm, marketing midterm... case studies, oh...


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I just finished my International Business course, and on a bit of a sour note. The class itself was uneventful - sometimes interesting, usually dull. However, the class vote we had at the end of the class made my caffenated blood boil...

We were to vote on the place our class was going to travel for a field trip, and the class leader proceeded to stand up and speak entirely in chinese... when the teacher told him he should speak in english (since this is an english MBA class, and 50% of the students are foreign), he said in chinese that another girl (ABC) can translate for us and proceeded.

I have two problems with this:

1 - This is an english MBA class... if you can't speak english or don't want to, the solution is simple, drop the class. Speaking chinese to english-speaking students even after the professor asked you to do otherwise is a slap in the face.

2 - Class had already ended, and several minutes late. While your method may be easier for you, I really don't have the time or the desire to sit and wait for the translation from your announcement - what kind of class leader are you not to consider needs/wants of the students!?!

3 - The translation is never going to be as descriptive as the original statement when everyone is trying to leave a three hour class... if for no other reason than because the translator has to speak before people start moving around and making noise.

I'm really annoyed by it all - maybe I'll get used to this sort of thing - I'm certainly used to people speaking chinese around me (and therefore ignoring me) for 5 - 30 minutes at a time. However, this was something I hadn't been expecting... I would think that in an English MBA class, the class leader would speak english when addressing the class!

I didn't wait around long after the vote, I was the first to leave, and I tried to convey my annoyance... the leader was still talking when I left, but obviously not to me, so I don't consider leaving early rude at all.


Things are moving along at a fast lil' pace here, and it's becoming harder and harder to screw off as much as I used to... :-(

I got no reading done tonight, and just barely managed to finish reading over the first version of my groups paper... not good Adam! I should have studied much more! I'll be making the effort to do so in the future (as usual :-S ).

In addition, I've taken on the initiative to practice chinese every day... it really is the most important reason for me being here... so there is no excuse in not doing it! On a bright note, I did manage to get an hour of Goo Zhen in today... and I made some breakthroughs!


3:00am - it is time to sleeeeeeep!

Gotta wake up early and start it allll over again ~ :-P

Monday, October 31, 2005

Running to catch up...

Today is a continuation of the latest trends for me - with mid-terms approaching, it seems everyone is very nervous about what will happen to thier grades, and how well (or poorly) they will perform...

For my part, I've got a hold of all the assignments, but my textbook readings are seriously lagging. I'll be spending 2-3 hours reading Marketing and Finance today, in the effort to catch up in at least on of the two subjects.

Anyway, I'm trying not to be too nervous or pessimistic - actually, the reason I came here is to learn two things - Chinese and Business (especially business in Asia); I really don't care much about the grades on my report card or the cum GPA. I will admit that there is some sort of "pride" thing going on - I don't want to be the stupid American who gets all "C"s. Also, I think that the people over at the MOE will be annoyed if my grades are bad.

Still, worrying about it all is no good, and a 3.8 GPA with little knowledge is worth little in the business world. So, I will continue my current tactic... learn the concepts, understand the lessons, and let the grades be damned! :-)