Ashley

Day 7, Friday in Taiwan 
Today is the last day we will be in Taiwan. And all of us were quite sad the whole day of today since we all do not want to leave Taiwan so fast. We had such a great time here away from the stress of him works and school in Singapore and we obviously do not want to leave Taiwan just yet. We went to 921 Earthquake Educational Park which actually do show how the earthquake happened, what damages did the earthquake do to the country as well as the people. We were able to see real life damages like the school track. They were able to maintain it for so long and I was fancsinated by that.  We learnt that earthquakes can be really bad. After that we took 3hours of bus trip to the place we are going to eat and the tour guide was very nice to shorter what he was going to talk about on the bus or made his talking time end faster in order to let us sleep since we were all very tired. I slept throughout the bus trip and I was refreshed after the nap. After the dinner, we were supposed to go to the airport to board our flight back to Singapore, back home. We were all sad to leave the wonderful and pretty Taiwan and took photos with the teachers and of course the principal, Mr Gay as a memory of all of us at Taiwan. I had have fun for the past few days and I won't forget this trip as a class, 2H forever. We had gotten so much closer because of this trip and I'm happy for that. We went on the plane to Singapore and this marks the end of our trip to Tainan. :) all I can say now is that I love my class, 2H and I'll definitely be dreading next year since we are going to change class according to subject combination. Love everyone of yall who accompanied me to Tainan!

Day 6, Thursday in Taiwan 
It was the day we all went out with our own buddies and I feel very happy today since I spent time with my buddy and her family and got so much closer compared to the first day I met her.
We went to board ships at 日月潭 with my buddy and had a great time looking at the scenery and taking photos. There were pretty mountains and I took a lot of nice photos of them! My buddy has a younger brother who is only 2 years old and he wanted me to hold him which is very heartwarming for me. He was adorable during the whole journey. The little boy made me enjoy this journey a lot more!
The parents were very nice to me too, always wanting to buy stuff for me which made me very embarrassed for them to keep paying for me, so I rejected politely most of the time. The family was very cute too, always quarreling in a funny way mainly because the parents were still a young couple and I had fun chatting with them.
The parents bought me food like chicken drumstick with rice inside and ice cream on shaved ice. All of these were very nice and I absolutely love it! They also offered to buy me milk tea and I enjoyed the milk tea the most!

Over the past 5 days, what have you learnt?
I have learnt that being a great host needs to be enthusiastic and 热情 all the time towards everybody and we must respect the host since they are doing so much for us. I have also learnt alot of Taiwan's culture like the Hakka,  Meinong and a lot more. I have also learnt that as a Singaporean, we really need to learn Chinese slot more and know how to speak it fluently. This is because I found out that most of us aren't able to speak Chinese very fluently when we were communicating with our buddies which is quite embarrassing for me as Singaporeans are known to know how to speak Chinese fluently but we can't.

How has your perspective about life changed?
In life, we must be kind to people even if we are from different countries. We may have different views in everything but we must not be rude to them. Also, we should be always learning wherever we go in this world so as to gain more knowledge. Knowledge is always useful in any way. We must have the willingness to learn and have the initiative to learn. When we have the chance to learn, LEARN.



Day 5, Wednesday in Taiwan 
It was our second day at Sarcred Hearts High School and 6 seniors from the school brought us to experience classes in the school. They were very nice to us and I'm thankful for that. We experienced science class and math class. We found out that the students there were very enthusiastic when it comes to answering questions in class. When the teacher pours out 1 question, there will be numerous hands raising or some students will just shout out the answer. This is different from Singapore since a lot of us aren't that enthusiastic to answer questions asked by teachers and will just keep quiet unless the teacher calls for us. For lunch, we went to a high class place to have lunch and we found out it was paid by a student's father generously and we all thanked him sincerely for it. It was honestly the best meal we all ever had in Taiwan since it is a hotpot and I chose the one with kimchi! We went to Yunlin Cake Tower Café next and all the towels there were so cute and attractive! We DIY. Are our own cat towel and it's super cute!! I definitely enjoyed the DIY class. I think I spent the most amount of money here just buying handmade towels because they were all so pretty and I couldn't resist the temptation and that's why I bought a lot of towels there! I never did regretted going there! Next, we went to Yunlin Puppet Museum and watched a puppet show by one person only. At first, I thought that the puppets looked scary since their faces were very white with easy make up. However, the puppet show made everything seem fine as it was very funny and I laughed a lot throughout the show. I definitely love the puppet show!


Day 4, Tuesday in Taiwan 
Today was the first day we visit Sacred Hearts High School. All of them including the principal and the secretary welcomed us very warmly and I felt so comfortable there. We then proceeded to performing for each other. Their performances were wushu and band and choir. All of them were very entertaining and we totally enjoyed them! Finally, it was our turn to perform. We prepared three dances and I was the last dance group to perform. We hastily practiced once more at the back stage to ensure that we don't forget the moves when we get on the stage later. All of us were very nervous and comforted one another not to be and do our best in stage. We indeed did that and we were proud of our own performances. After that, it was a performance put up by our own class where we sing ' in a heartbeat ' together. It is supposed to show Singapore's colors through this song and our class bond which means all of us are together  'in a heartbeat'. I believed that our class bonded a lot more through the practices of the performances and the actual performance today. I was very happy that day since we were like a really big family singing together. My heart felt warm that moment. I hope that they enjoyed our performances too! Next, we were introduced to our buddies and truthfully, I was very awkward when she's just beside me. I didn't dare to speak to her because I don't know what to say to her. I can sense that she is awkward too since we were exchanging awkward smiles to each other. Because of that, I promised myself that I must not be awkward next time I meet her and must have fun chatting with her. After that, we went to a soy sauce factory to know more about how it is made. Finally, we met another enthusiastic guide who were telling us the history of a street so happily. I really appreciated his effort! We had dinner with our buddies' parents and as for me, only my buddy's mum came and she was very nice to me as she was constantly asking if I need or want anything as in food. She also asked me if I prefer amusement parks or museums for the outing two days later. She cared a lot for me and I'm grateful for that.


Day 3, Monday in Taiwan
Postcard for Parents
Hello mama loo and papa loo,
    How are you? I'm fine hehe but I miss you two a lot and I wish that y'all could be here with me!
    One of the places I visited today was the Eternal Golden Castle. It was originally built to resist the Japanese invasion during the Peony Suffix Event. The building is in the shape of a square which I think it is quite impressive and unique. It also symbolizes a Great Leap Forward towards the modernization of Taiwanese military defense which I think is very important for the locals to keep it.
    One thing that impresses me is that although most of the fort was ruined until historical importance was recognized, reconstruction and restoration were carried out and it is now ranked as a class 1 historical monument.
    OELP has been fun so far despite the fact that I'm always very tired at the end of the day and I miss home. I'll have fun learning and will get back home fast!
LOVE YALL,
Ashley

Chinese poem
亿载金城,
一座方形建筑。
亿载金城,
是个防御城堡。


Day 2, Sunday in Taiwan 
We stayed at Ten Drums Culture Village for the night before and I love the room because it's very big and pretty. How I wish we could stay there for a longer time! After eating breakfast, we proceeded to visit a lot of different museums like Mei Nong Hakka Culture Museum, Mei Nong Folk Village, Kaohsiung Hakka Cultural Museum and finally Kaohsiung Museum of History. We thought it will be boring to visit such a big number of museums but when we actually went there, we had a lot of fun since we knew a lot more stuff about Tainan and Hakka culture. As the time pass, we all got tired but we still tried our best to pay attention. Surprisingly, the museums were fun! Next, we went to a local supermarket to find out the prices of stuff in Taiwan in comparison to Singapore'. Things in Taiwan were indeed cheaper than in Singapore. And because of that, most of us bought a lot of snacks from the supermarket! As I love food, the trip to the supermarket were enjoyable. The highlight of the day for most of us were the Liu He Night Market. I was able to buy gifts for my family from there and I was happy because of that. We were expecting alot of nice food but there wasn't a wide variety of food so I only ate the 鸡扒. Nonetheless, the day was great to me!  When we got back to our staying place, we were reprimanded for our behavior on the bus so we did a reflection for it.

What I feel I did incorrectly?
I didn't pay attention to the guide when he was speaking to us in the bus because I was tired and wanted to rest.

Why is it incorrect?
It is very rude for me to not pay attention to him since he prepared so much for us to know Tainan a lot more. I should respect him by listening to him when he's talking.

What will I do tomorrow?
I will start listening attentively to the guide when he's talking and behave myself in public.


Food of Taiwan 
Taiwanese cuisine itself is often associated with influences from mid to southern provinces of Mainland China, most notably from the province of Fujian (Hokkien), but influences from all of Mainland China can easily be found. A notable Japanese influence also exists due to the period when Taiwan was under Japanese rule. Traditional Chinese food can be found in Taiwan. Pork, seafood, chicken, rice, and soy are very common ingredients. Beef is far less common in Taiwan and many elderly still refrain from eating them. The famous must trys in Taiwan are as follow, oyster omelette, oyster mee sua, lu rou fan, beef noodles, chicken cutlet, grilled squid, smelly tofu and pearl milk tea. 

Merlion
I think that Merlion is the icon of Singapore because when the word  'Singapore' comes to most of the people's minds, they will think of Merlion since Merlion is a very famous tourist attraction. Many come to Singapore and it is a must to look at it or maybe take some pictures with it. How this Merlion is introduced to Singapore was because Sang Nila Utama found a lion and decided to name this city 'Singapura' since 'Singa' means 'lion' in Malay and 'pura' means 'city', overall it is called 'Lion City'. This will answer why 'Merlion' has the word 'lion'. As for the 'mer', it means 'mermaid' and that is a fish. It symbolizes the time when Singapore was still a fishing city and that was how Singapore was at first, before becoming a first-world country. It shows Singapore's history. Thus, I can conclude the Merlion is the icon of Singapore since many will roughly know Singapore's history just by this one structure. People will get curious over Singapore's history when they look at the Merlion since who will not be thinking why is there a creature that has a body of a lion and the rest is of a mermaid? This will result in Singapore being better-known in other countries since it's the tourists from other countries who do not have any idea of the Merlion. Therefore, I think that Merlion is the icon of Singapore where people will think of the Merlion first when talked about Singapore.

Reflection on Tang Dynasty, Lee Kuan Yew 
How Singapore can be seen to be at its own version of golden age 
As from what I researched, the leaders of Tang Dynasty are efficient and responsible for the citizens which tells us the reason why Tang Dynasty was the golden age of China since they have great leaders unlike other dynasties.
 As for Singapore, I think that we are at our own version of golden age even though Mr Lee Kuan Yew had just passed away unfortunately. However, we are at the state of wealth and we from a third world country previously, became a first world country after a few years. This was all done by our first prime minister, known as the father of our nation, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. He made firm decisions for us, even if it's bad or beneficial, they still made us climb to whatever we are right now. Singapore was all Mr Lee Kuan Yew's doing. Without his impressive leadership skills. Singapore won't be what it is right now and I thank him very much for this.

Reflection on Suzhou Industrial Park 
In my opinion, I think that Suzhou Industrial Park is a brilliant idea consisting of Singapore's experiences and Chinese thinking. Singapore influenced China to operate and develop Suzhou Industrial Park in a market-oriented way. The park is not only a business zone but also a place that people can live in which attracted people to this park. There are about 220,000 people living in this park already. This park will also follow the path of urbanization. However, as time goes by, China created a similar blueprint and build next to Suzhou Industrial Park since Singapore took 65% of the shares of the Suzhou Park thus China didn't think that they would benefit much from it and focused on the other one they built instead. That is very mean of them but luckily, Singapore was willing to give back some of the shares so that they won't lose any more money.

REFLECTION ON PRESENTATION 

During the process of this presentation, i was dumbfounded on what to write in this speech since I didn't really plan before I chose a picture. In addition, I feel very nervous since im scared that I will forget everything suddenly and fail this presentation. However, I told myself not to be so anxious because this will just screw up my presentation even more, making it worse. To do my best, I must have enough confidence in myself, presenting my speech confidently. 

I think that my presentation isn't really very good since I cannot memorize my speech completely which results in me looking at the cue cards I brought on stage often. I could have prepare more and practice more with my speech to make myself more used to the speech. I think that what I have done well is that my voice is loud enough for people at the back to hear. Everyone can listen to my speech clearly which is very good. 


As for the class's performance, overall, I think that everyone did well since their content of the speech are all around the topic on what represents Singapore. What they chose to represent Singapore is relevant and interesting thus I'm interested in listening to their speeches. They didn't really stutter during their speech and are fluent. That is good since it will not distract other people because of their stuttering, students will then be able to pay full attention on what they are talking about. 


Comments on Group 5's Presentation 
One thing that I like about this group is that they are confident when they are presenting their product to the audience, they are not shy and share things about their product enthusiastically. One thing that I think they can improve on will be that they can prevent laughter during their presentation because in my opinion, it disappoints the whole presentation. As for the product, I think its good that they are creative in crafting out a broom that can be used for pole-dancing! However, not a lot of people like pole-dancing so it will not be popular product since it's for a minority of people.

China's Rapid Economic Growth 
The GDP of China is second in the whole world, the first is USA. This indicates that the goods that they sell in China is more expensive than some other countries except USA. Thus, when foreigners or even the locals buy goods from China, China will be able to earn more money than some other countries do, increasing their economic growth. As they buy more and more stuff, it will result into rapid economic growth since they are earning a lot of money. China's productivity of goods is fast too and goods will be able to be sold quickly, thus earning money more quickly as well, contributing to the rapid economic growth too.

Dwindling Population in Singapore 
Fertility rate in Singapore has been decreasing at quite a fast rate where Singaporeans do not really want to give birth to children. Even when they do, most of them only give birth to one child. If this situation go on, there will be much more foreigners than Singaporeans in Singapore in the future and maybe Singaporeans may even lose their stand in their own birth country. Foreigners can even become our government if their population is more than us Singaporeans. Singapore should encourage more young people to give birth to more children after they get married and shouldn't focus too much on their careers, to prevent foreigners taking over Singapore

Poverty in Singapore
There is no doubt that there is poverty in Singapore even though they are counted as one of the richest countries in the world. There are still homeless people around sleeping on only cardboards or benches or even just the floor since they do not have a home for them to rest comfortably. I often see them just loitering around or just sitting down on the cold hard floor.


From this picture, we can see that there are still poor people in Singapore selling vegetables like what the old lady is doing in the picture, tissues or just beg for money. Most of them are the elderly. They are old and should be enjoying life by now but some of them are still trying to make a living for themselves. Some of them may not have a house for them to rest and will result in sleeping a place without warmth. For worse circumstances, they can even get sick, resulting in not being able to work.
I do think that those elderly who still need to work either do not have children or a partner to take care of them or their children just do not want to take care of them. Whenever I see them on the streets, I'll try my best to help them as much as I can unless I really do not need it or do not have the money with me to buy the things they are selling.

Ashley's 2014 December Holidays 
I didn't go overseas during my holidays but had a great time because I had a lot of family outings and sisters outings! So one day we the four sisters decided to go out to eat together at ikea for lunch and Sunday's folks for ice cream for dessert! As we were deciding what to wear, I was the first to say that I was wearing floral skirt and thus all my sisters wanted to be the same, so in the end, we all wore a white top and floral skirt together. SO SISTERS!! We didn't feel embarrassed to wear the same since we all think we are cute! 
This was taken at the bench outside Sunday's Folks and it was raining heavily, so we have to sit there where there is shelter to wait for the rain to stop. And just like that, we decided to take a lot of pictures! 

This was just two of the hundreds of photos we took together!! 

This was the ice cream we ate!! At Sunday's Folks. 

Had a great time with my sisters during that outing with happy stomach! Blessed to have such cute siblings! Definitely want another sisters outing like this! 
As a whole, I really enjoyed this holidays since there are more time for me to spend with my family, friends, sisters. Looking forward to the next long holidays although it is a very long time away. 

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