Things I thought I would never, ever, ever do:
- Enter a Chinese Speech Competition
- Crave Sprite (thanks Alex Bailey)
- Place at a Chinese Speech Competition
- Eat intestines
- Be so dang grateful for antibiotics
- Drink a DIY Latte.
- Move 3 times in less than 4 months.
Enter a Chinese Speech Competition:
Our sweet coordinator, Iris, asked the Taichung ETA’s if anyone would want to participate in a Taichung’s storytelling speech competition for foreigners. At Emory, or in high school, you could not force me into speaking at a Chinese speech contest. Ever. However, I am learning Chinese for the purpose of business. So, I need be comfortable speaking in public. I prepared a speech of about 3 minutes, centered on the topic of “Why I love Taichung, Taiwan.”
Crave Sprite, (Thanks Alex Bailey)
Before the end of last semester my dear friend Alex told me that while she studied abroad in Ghana she would always crave Sprite because it was one of the few ways she could get processed sugar. Knowing this from her, and because I am an absolute sugar fiend, I have caught myself many a time craving Sprite. What is life?
Place At A Chinese Competition
So, the speech competition was today! Melissa, my roommate, Julianna and I arrived at the junior high where it was being held around 1 and practiced. When we arrived we were given a goodie bag with traditional Chinese cookies and a mug celebrating the event. We were ushered to our spots, and then allowed to practice for the hour before the competition began. The judges rolled in a bit before 2 and we were all surprised to find about 6 of 8 judges to be American! Not Chinese? For a Chinese speech competition? Ok. The speeches began with Melissa, who straight killed it. Her Chinese is Beyonce-level flawless. A bit later Julianna gave her speech and it was so fluent, so nice.
Right when I was about to go, they announced a five minutes break. Iris, our coordinator came over, and I chatted with her, Julianna, and Melissa, nervously. Iris told us that the majority of the judges couldn’t speak any Chinese, but they were professional storytellers and were largely judging on stage presence.
While I don’t have experience speaking publicly in Chinese, I have a good deal of experience public speaking and acting. So this was great news for me! When it was my turn I tried to be especially expressive, smiling a lot. I totally blanked on what I was saying in a few transitions, but played it off okay, so it was funny and somehow I got the whole room laughing (I really don’t know how…my speech wasn’t really that funny).
When it came time to announce the winners, it was nice to find out that everyone got a prize, but I told myself there was no way I would place. I totally blanked a couple times during my speech! But they kept calling people and didn’t say my name! Finally they called me, “Ban Ray Se!,” and I had come in 3rd! I was able to talk to a few of the judges and they complimented my speech saying that I had ensnared the audience, and one of the best things was that I was able get the audience to laugh with me at my mistakes.
The prize was a nice certificate of achievement and $2000 Taiwan Dollars to a Family Mart. I’m glad I did it! If nothing else for more confidence in public speaking.
So, the other ETA’s might would tell you I’m a total wimp when it comes to eating food. My parents know me as their “vanilla” girl. Shoot! I didn’t even like chocolate till I was 18! However, our group went to a great Vietnamese restaurant a few weeks ago and the owner offered us this special dish for free! I have no idea why, but I was feeling adventurous. I only had a bite. It tasted like rubbery chicken.
Be So Dang Grateful for Antibiotics
I’m convinced I can’t go abroad without getting sick. Last Thursday I started to feel rough and since then I’ve felt a sinus infection coming on. I honestly didn’t think that I would catch something so soon, but (as many of you know) I have upper-respiratory issues and Taichung has a good deal of pollution, which is not a great combination. So currently I’m sort of sick. 😦 Thank God for antibiotics, amiright?
Drink a DIY Latte
This past weekend I needed to study/prep for the upcoming speech competition and so I found myself busing to the nearest Starbucks. I got off the bus and before I got to Starbs I ran into Glaciers Roasting Company. I, like my sister, have a pretty good eye for quality coffee shops and I immediately knew Starbs was out the window. After ordering my latte, I cuddled up on one of the impeccable yet inviting couches. The barista explained that it was a “do yourself” latte. AKA DIY!?!?! Below you can see the progression…so yummy!
Move 3 times in less than 4 months
AI YA! (Chinese phrase for OH MY!) I moved from ATL-> KC in June, from KC->TC at the beginning of August, and yesterday I moved to a different part of town. I’m sharing it with another ETA Melissa, and its a pretty sweet set up. We each have our own room, our own bathroom, and there is a large communal space to hang out/eat food. Small kitchen, smaller laundry area. The only curious thing is the showers. Essentially, I have a bathroom with a toilet, sink and showerhead. I don’t have a bathtub, or shower, I have a showerhead. So, when I shower water goes everywhere. Perhaps there is a trick to this. However, until I figure it out imma be all about those shower shoes!
Tomorrow is my first day teaching and this weekend I go to Taipei so I will try and post again soon!