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credit: infanta_teribla
Living in the city, I often forget just how beautiful Taiwan is.

Zijay and I made a trip to 陽明山國家公園 (Yangming Mountain National Park) yesterday. The mountain range is huge and has tons of different parks and trails to visit. I had seen some pictures of 大屯山 (Datun Mountain) and really wanted to go so we headed up that way. This is one of the tallest peaks in 陽明山 and actually sees a little bit of snow in the winter. We decided to hike up it and walk around the little parks at the bottom. It was so beautiful! Because of the elevation, the temperature was very cool, but a very comfortable cool. My favorite part was seeing the wind blowing the clouds across the mountain right in front of us.

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Afterwards, since we were already on the other side of the mountain we made a trip to Keelung. Keelung is a big port city in the north part of Taiwan. While we were there we saw a huge cruise ship leaving port. I hadn't been to Keelung in two years so it was really nice to be back.

I think I'm falling in love with 陽明山


My language exchange partner Zijay took me out to the Northern Coast after class yesterday. After working so hard on his projects he wanted to go somewhere to have some fun and relax, so he suggested heading to the coast. It was a perfect day to go to, hardly a cloud in the sky.

We met up at Beitou station and rode his scooter up to 石門 (Shi Men). It took about an hour or so. It is so beautiful in that area. What I love most about beaches in Taiwan is that they border the mountains.

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Also, sorry a lot of the pictures have a bit of a blue-ish tint. I'm a dummy and forgot my camera was set to a different setting.

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It was a really great day and nice way to break up the monotony of the week. I ended up with a nasty sunburn on my legs though because I was stupid enough to forget to put on sunblock. Learned my lesson!

Days like these are when I feel so blessed to be living the life I am.


Beach Adventure in Ilan

Last weekend my friend and I went to Ilan with one of her friends. Ilan is on the east side of the island above Hualian. It is suppose to be the number one surf spot on the island. We ended up picking the worst day to go though. The weather was really rainy and cold. I don't surf, but my friends went out on the water and said the waves were too choppy. Maybe this summer when the weather is warmer I'd like to go again, but maybe this time include someone who also doesn't surf so I'm not so lonely on the beach. XD

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Poo Makes the World Go Round

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Taken at the Taipei Zoo


New Place!

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Completely moved into my new place! Finally. I'm so glad it's done. You don't realize how much stuff you have until you have to move it all.
Walk around this weekend with my friend Ginger I realized just how wonderful of a place I moved it. I live right on the river and there is a nice park and bike path. Lots of families are out there riding bikes, playing basketball, tennis, etc. I hope to take some pictures of my area some time this week. There is also a night market very close by with some tasty food.

I am hoping that my entries will start to come more frequently soon and I will comment on your journals more. I am starting to get a handle on my Chinese class.

Update #1

大家好久不見!It's been such a long time. I have a lot to update on so I am making two posts. Well, I don't have a lot to post on but I am making two posts due to this one having tons of pictures. I've been putting off doing this post because it takes so long to resize the pictures but I skipped class today so, what they hey.

March 21st my friend and I went to Nei Tung National Forest in Wu Lai. It was so amazing!! If any of you come to Taiwan, you must go here.
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From Xindian MRT we look a bus up to Wu Lai. This was the little town at the bus stop. It's a very big hot spring area.

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It was such a great day! All in all we walked about a total of 10miles. Our feet and legs were so sore, but I want to do this again so bad! I don't think these pictures do this place justice of how beautiful it really is.

Ok, so now I need to head back to studying. I will make another update soon, maybe later tonight. Hope you all are doing well!! I hope to catch up on your journal entries soon. Sorry guys.

Back in Taiwan!

My flight back was actually really nice. Looking back, this turned out so much better. I think when issuing me a new ticket, due to their stupid mistake (grrr), they put me into either business class or economy plus. I am thinking business because it was much nicer than I'm use to. I mean, I got a small piece of cheesecake with my meal! Awesome! Another great thing was that no one else was sitting next to me so I got the two seats to myself and they were playing some really good movies. I watched The Secret Life of Bees and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas plus some CSI episodes on their tv system. So from now on, I think I will fly Eva. They were great.
I got in around 7am and took a taxi to the apartment. It took about an hour to get there. I spendt the rest of the day putting my room together and did a tiny bit of grocery shopping. I have to go again tomorrow because I didn't bring enough money with me the first time to get all I needed. Plus I saw a cute rice cooker on sale for $20usd.
My room:
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Ignore how awful the wall looks. It's covered in tape, sticky tack, and just looks awful in general. I don't have much decorations right now. Also, my pillow looks white but it's pale yellow. Once everything is done done, I'll take more picture.
I didn't help out my sleeping schedule at all today though. I went to bed around 4pm and didn't wake up till 10:30pm. I will hopfully go back to bed later tonight. I have my registration for Chinese classes tomorrow and I'm worried my placement test might also be tomorrow.

Now I'm off to watch the new episodes for The Big Bang Theory and Boys Over Flowers
I have only today and tomorrow before I head back to Taiwan so I'm trying to get a lot of things done and tie up a few loose ends.

My To-Do List for Today:
Upload some of mom's music to my ipod
Get stuff organized that needs to get packed
Get Scholarship application together
* Rewrite Study Plan for scholarship application
Straighten room
Write penpal letters
* Study chapter 21 & 22 of Chinese
Email Survina老師
Translate Course Schedule for USC

I mentioned this in a few entries ago, but I was hoping to coninue to work on my degree here in the states while I was in Taiwan. I went up to the campus in Columbia today to talk to the Dean's office of the college of Arts & Sciences. The advisor in the office I spoke to suggested that my best route of doing this is to send USC my course schedule from Taiwan (which I need to translate) and they will try and transfer as many over that will apply to both my major and minor. I think this is fantastic. I am basically killing two birds with one stone. My other route would be to take online courses, which would involve tuition for those courses and paying for books. I think it would be too much of a hassle and too costly. The only thing is, you have to do half your minor and major at USC's campus so I can't complete my major abroad. Which is fine. I will do as much overseas as I can, graduate from the university in Taiwan, and come back to the states to finish up my last few semesters at USC. Basically, I will graduate with two degrees in five to six more years. Urg. I hate thinking about how long it will take, but I don't regret my decision.
I decided to switch my major at USC to Anthropology. Lucky for me one of the Anthropology professors often comes to Taiwan for confrences and research. The undergrad director told me that I can set up independent study courses with this professor and even get some cource credit to work as a research assistant to him. I think that is pretty exciting. I emailed that professor (Professor Moskowitz) to see if he would be willing to work with me.

I spent the day running around campus getting information with my mom. I am glad she decided to drive up with me and spend the day together in Columbia. She is definitly someone I will really miss when I leave. I hope her and my grandmother decide to visit me in Taiwan next summer.

Edit: Happy V-day!! Hope you have a good one. :)
Not a good Valentines Day song, but I'm addicted to this song by JJ Lin so I thought I'd share:
Down - English Version I prefer the English version over the Chinese.


Offically a Taiwan Resident!! Move in Day

Yesterday was such a long day. I woke up around 7am to get ready and all my stuff together because I was meeting my friend at 8:30. We called the cab to meet us at the school.
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I still have a few more Christmas presents on my list that I need to get. I will hopefully get all that done either today, tomorrow, or Tuesday. I want to just relax on Wednesday.

[Edit:] My teacher just brought me this traditional hakka/taiwanese dish that she made for me. OH MY GOSH! It's really tasty.

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