Tuesday, September 27, 2011

English in Taiwan

The most awkward thing I ever experienced in Taiwan is their English.

While I was here, I did not even dare to say that my English is good, when my classmates claimed that theirs is American accent or New Zealand English. My roommate even tried to compete with me on the pronunciation! Thank goodness for Dictionary.com for the pronunciation.

And you know what? The American English lecturer in our university can’t seemed to get what they’re talking about. He too found it hard to understand the messages these students were trying to convey!

Someone even insisted that my English sounded weird and awkward when I have in fact, worked with an American for nearly six months, and he did not find my English awkward or incomprehensible at all! (Or maybe he did, behind my back… haha).

Anyways, I hope that I can keep myself from going gaga when I attend more conferences in near future. Remember that medical conference I attended a few weeks back? Yeah, that conference was the most difficult to understand among all the other conferences I have ever attended. The conference seemed to go faster when the scientists started to use Mandarin instead of English. hmm…

Monday, September 26, 2011

Autumn in Hualien


Autumn is beautiful here, with some days cloudy and gloomy, while some other days sunny and bright.



Till then, more to come.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Zero Limits

Very simple mantra: I’m sorry, Please forgive me, I love you, Thank you.

As simple as this, everyone can use this mantra to clean themselves. The author of this book “Zero Limits”, together with his teacher Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, Dr. Joe Vitale encourages everyone to clean themselves. Very much like self-cleansing.


One extremely crucial point in this book:

Be responsible on everything that occurs in life. You are responsible. Why? Because every time something bad happens, you’re there! You’re there at that very moment! So you need to clean yourself, to keep you calm so that you can connect to Divinity, and from there you get the inspiration you need.

It’s a good book to read. I recommend everyone to read it. If you want something with more depth, try the 《慈悲三昧水懺》instead. This book is equally good.

So clean yourself. Everything is beyond your control. Only when you let go, clean yourself, and most importantly, love yourself, you’ll feel better. Only a joyous mood would enable you to think clearer. Let your subconscious do its work!

Dr. Joe and Dr. Hew Len

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Over active schedule…

Life here seemed mundane for a while, then the next second, it becomes overwhelmingly busy.

Course structure is basically simple. You need to attend the core subjects, and you have extra 6 credit hours for electives. On average, each elective is 2 points. Minimum of 16 points and maximum of 25 points per semester.

Thank goodness I’m exempted from taking subjects like Basic Biology, Basic Chemistry, Calculus and English. But the most headache part is that others are required to convert from Mandarin to English, while I have to convert from English to Mandarin.

And because of all these exemptions, I have to take more elective courses!

So here’s a list classes I am required to attend:

1. Chinese Language
2. Humanities & Care to the society
3. Life Education
4. Sports and Health

1. Web database management system
2. Genes and Diseases
3. International Relations
4. World Cultures
5. JingSi Aphorisms
6. Classical Piano Appreciation
7. Introduction to world religions
In addition, I have to exercise and attend Biology and Chemistry as usual… From what I see right now, I might have cramped too much into my schedule… But what to do, there are so many interesting elective courses I can attend!!!
Till then, more to come. Hope that I can show everyone the beauty of autumn here in my next post!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Back to 七星潭

It was about 3 months back when I first came to 七星潭... A beautiful rocky beach.
The funny thing is, the place may be quite crowded with people, but you can still find a quiet spot for yourself.
A group of eight of us went there. Six of us including I cycled there. It was about 8km away from my hostel, approximately 25~30 minutes away.
Well, I cycled quite a bit today, clocked approximately 34 kilometres today. The truth is, traffic here is somehow safer than KL but with more inconsiderate and crazy drivers on the road.

Till then, more updates soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

GIANT bicycles

Went out to buy a new bicycle today… Very friendly shop owner.



Now, I can cycle around Hualien already! =D

By the way, the shopkeeper told us several fun rides we can join… in which we can cycle our way around Hualien County with a group of over hundreds of cyclists! It must be fun!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mooncake Festival

My first experience of a different mooncake festival celebration outside Malaysia. Very special, I must say.


I hope you enjoyed yours very much as well. Happy Mooncake Festival!

Nike MAG

Remember those shoes worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future?


Believe it or not, Nike really made that pair of kicks!


They’re auctioning them. Benefits from the sales are directed towards Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease.


They even made a special ad for the sneakers!

So if you’re interested, better get them fast! They’re very much limited edition, and that pair of kicks may costs up to USD 6k! For more info, visit http://nikemag.ebay.com

Sunday, September 11, 2011

25th Anniversary of Tzu Chi Medical Mission

Today marks a quarter century of Tzu Chi Medical Mission. For the past 25 years, the doctors have served so many people in need of medical care, and the patients were, and still are, very much like family to them.


During the presentation of some medical cases, it showed how much the doctors cared towards their patients. All of a sudden, you see hope in the future. A future where doctors treat their patients as if they are flesh and blood. A doctor who tried their best to save lives and not take fortune and fame into consideration.


Doctors and staffs from all 6 hospitals scattered all over Taiwan came gathered during this magnificent ceremony to present everyone this beautiful hand-sign language.

And after that, a magnificent dinner surprise which took everyone’s breath away…


The best buffet dinner ever! Even the decorations and the colours made everyone smile!




And ice-creams too! I know the food looked VERY nice, but please don’t lick your computer screen okay? =D

Anyways, the day ended very well and tomorrow’s dinner, they’re having special mooncake festival dinner! How am I ever going to slim down with meals like this everyday?!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fourth in the World, First in Asia

As doctors and nurses and other medical personnel from all over the world pour into Hualien these few days for the celebration of 25th Anniversary of Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation General Hospital, the mood was very much joyous and you see some rarely seen (famous) doctors and physicians going around the Tzu Chi area in Hualien.


During the opening ceremony of the welcoming of Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) members, superintendent Dr. Chin-Lon Lin proudly announced that Tzu Chi Hospital ranks as the 4th best hospital in the world, and the 1st in Asia.

Top 1000 Hospitals:


Top Asia:


In short, I’m happy to be here… haha

Anyways, they’ve arranged several activities during this period of 5 days. I’ve attended the Second International Conference of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine. It was pretty much informative and I certainly learn more about stem cells research. Some fascinating discoveries too!


The past two days have been pretty busy and really learnt a lot from the doctors and researchers.

By the way, I met Dr. Chin-Lon Lin on my way out of the conference room. I was pretty much stunned and I only managed a “Hi” and a wave of my hand, didn’t had much conversation, but he definitely looked very much friendly, busy but approachable.


Till then, more updates to come!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fire Escape Rehearsal

The best fire rehearsal ever! Never once had this experience. The firefighters actually let us try all the important steps on putting out fire.

When I was in high school, our school merely let one person demonstrate, while the others just stood by to watch. Same goes to our universities in Malaysia.

Here’s the first one, putting out fire with a fire extinguisher.


This one was quite fun but slightly scary: to use the descending device to lower yourself down safely. Extremely helpful for high rise buildings.




And this last one, which I didn’t try, was on how to use the fire hydrant.


Definitely love the experience. At least I learnt how to save myself and others during a fire.


Anyways, here are some photos of my other classmates… Hopefully I could remember their names by the end of the month. They’ve headed home for Mooncake Festivals and I’ll be celebrating mine here in Hualien.



Till then, best wishes to everyone! Take care. More tk.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Owh ya! I forgot those important disclaimers….

I realised that my blog might become known to my university course mates, and some of the posts might have unintentionally directed mainly to them.

Just to clear things up a bit, the guides are purely to help others in adapting better in Taiwan University, especially Tzu Chi University.

IF, and IF, you intend to come here because you thought that TCU is a university for Tzu Chings and family of Tzu Chi Volunteers, you’d better think again. It’s not as it seemed to be, and if you intend to come here, be prepared for a bit of culture shock if you don’t prepare yourself enough.

Anyways, if you need assistance in applying into this university, do not hesitate to contact me and I shall walk you through the process if possible.

Till then, take care.


P/S: if you’re a TCU student reading all the posts before and after this disclaimer message, I hope that you don’t mind a bit of my personal opinions. They are merely for others to refer to, and hey, everyone has room for improvement, tell me my fault too!



Orientation Week

The orientation week was alright so far. Been trying to know as many people and remember as many names as possible. From my past experience, as soon as the lessons start, most people would just shut themselves up and throw away the keys. In other words, they would not be as willing to learn and know each other.

So far, things are going alright, and the only (slightly) funny thing I’m experiencing is that I have to call my university seniors as ‘Seniors’ when I am much elder than them… haha

There are a total of 59 of us, and we were separated into five groups. Each group would have a teacher counsellor and two to four daddy and mommy in charge of us (懿德爸爸媽媽). They come from all over Taiwan and would be with us until we graduate.


Also, some unexpected surprises for us, was that the composer/producer/singer of many famous songs came to the university just to explain the meaning of our university anthem. What a rare opportunity for us to hear it all from the person who wrote the anthem himself. Here’s teacher Shou-Quan Lee (李壽全).


And lastly, some introduction to my classmates, this is Yao-Zhang (劉曜彰), which is also our course representative, in which they call as (班代).


Till then, more updates soon.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Not as simple as it seemed…

I may be here, closer to Master. But a Tzu Ching said something very meaningful to me today, “You might as well be spiritually closer to Master than just to stay closer to her.”

I may now be studying in Tzu Chi University, but the truth is, students here do not necessarily agree with our Tzu Chi Humanity standards. As college and university students are just as playful, they tend to do what they like, such as being disrespectful by not wearing clothing in the Temple of Buddha, or do things like not attending class, categorizing people etc.

At this very moment, I felt like I’m studying in a university with students worse than UTAR for some reason… haha

Nonetheless, I would try as much to blend in. Changing myself as much as possible to suit them. But there are 2 things for sure that they will NEVER change me:

1. I am a PROUD and CONTRIBUTIVE member of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Organization, and

2. I would never ever change my vegetarian diet.

So here, I include the second tip:

TIP #02:

What ever you do, try to make yourself small. The smaller you are, the easier you can blend in. Do what is right for yourself, believe in yourself. Have a still mind, and be flexible to learn. You will adapt quickly to the environment.

Best wishes to everyone. Really hoped to post some photos soon.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A New Chapter of Life

It has been 24 hours since my arrival.

Marking a new beginning of my new life in Taiwan.

Along the way, I’ll be posting up some tips along the way to survive in Hualien, especially if you’re from the Tzu Chi Big Family.


So here goes,

TIP #01:

Not all Tzu Chi University (TCU) students agree with the Buddhist Foundation itself, and frequently, if you are not friendly enough, they would find those Tzu Chi People (慈濟人) as aliens.

So, try your best to blend in with the group of friends. Like I, although I insist on being a vegetarian, I don’t talk much Tzu Chi stuffs in front of them, for they may not like it very much. Try be befriend with those around first. And you shall find much joy in mingling with them.


Till then, will keep everyone posted from time to time, and hopefully with photos too!