Sunday, 28 June 2015

Tainan OELP Individual reflection

I'm Day 1 
At about 6+ we boarded China Airlines plane from Changi airport to Kaohsiung International Airport. All of us were looking forward to the trip and was buzzing with excitement. We reached Kaohsiung International airport at 12+ midnight and we were all tired and exhausted from the flight. We took all our luggage and sluggishly walked towards the arrival hall. That moment I was puzzled. Why are there people holding banners saying “ 欢迎立化中学!”  Later I realised that they are actually teachers from 正心中学. We greeted 刘秘书and the teachers a good evening. Wow. I was so impressed by their hospitality. I heard that they need to travel a long journey just to welcome us to Tainan. They also bought pineapple tarts and some tibits so that we can eat on our way to the Ten Drums Culture Village.
I was extremely touched by their warm hospitality. I look forward to the trip ahead even more. And also, we were introduced to Uncle Terry, our tour guide of this trip. He is quite friendly. 

Day 2 
Quite a lot of places to visit today. After we had our breakfast at Ten drums cultural village, we set off for our first location, the Meinong Hakka Culture Meseum. Before going to the Meinong Hakka culture Mesuem, I didn't know anything about the Hakka Culture.  After the trip, one thing I learnt is that the Meinong used to be a tobacco plantation place. Tobacco plantation was a very profiting business at that time. We had lunch at the Mei Nong Folk Village. After that we moved on to Kaohsiung Hakka Culture Mesuem. I learnt that their traditional clothing is blue. Next, Kaohsiung Meseum is a so different from the other museums. It was built by the Japanese when Japanese was in control of Taiwan. It was green in colour as it is designed to camouflage from the American planes. In the past, this was where high officials like president workplace so security was very important. The structure was built by the Japanese and even survived the 911 earthquake as Japan itself experienced earthquakes and the architect purposely built it to withstand earthquake. Next we went to a local supermarket, Carrfour. The supermarket was huge and had multiple levels to it. It sold a lot of things, really different from our NTUC. we did our group task, which was to find brands that also appear in Singapore supermarket. 
After that, we had our dinner. At first it was drizzling and we thought that the night market might not be opened and everyone was feeling very sad. However, after our dinner, the rain stopped and we were on our way to the Liu He night market. It was buzzing with people. There were a wide variety of food sold there. I was extremely excited for the crispy chicken. Really nice experience there! 
In the end, I saw how the Taiwanese really put in effort to preserve their culture. Museums were all over Taiwan to encourage people to visit them. I feel that the Singapore Government should build more Meseum nearby our homes to allow more people to visit them. Make them free too! 
Mei Nong Hakka Culture Meseum 
Mei Nong Folk Cultural Mesuem with my friends! 
Kaohsiung Hakka Cultural Mesuem 
Kaohsiung Mesuem of History 
Liu He night Market

Day 3 
I got up with a bad start today. I was late for the meeting. Me and my buddy Jing Heng together with 4 other people was scolded by Mr Gay. After that, we proceeded to have our breakfast with our heads hung low.  I apologised to Uncle Terry and our classmates. After that, toured around the Ten Drum Cutural Meseum. I was totally shocked that our staying place was actually once a sugar cane factory. 
After that, we watched a performance by the very own Ten drums percussion group. The performance was exciting and full of energy.  After we checked out of the Ten Drum Cultrual village, we proceeded to the Anping Fort. Anping fort was once a administrative centre of the Dutch regime, and the hub for trading. After that we have lunch at Anping Old street. This meal showcases Anping local delicasies and it was really delicious. We moved on to the Eternal Golden Castle. The castle was built in 1874 by the famous Qing official Shen BaoZhen in order to safeguard the coast from attacks. Next we moved one of my favourite, the Chihkan Tower. It was designed and built in a Classical Chinese style with red tiles and cornices. Really beautiful Tower. We had XiaoLong bao for our dinner and headed to our new hotel, Metro Hotel located near Douliu Station. In then end, I feel that the Taiwanese relay put in effort in preserving their artefacts. For example at the Chihkan Tower, the stairs leading up to the second storey was really preserved it was the wooden and narrow. The steps wer high which make it difficult to climb. 
Therefore, Singapore should really put into consideration for preserving the olden artefacts. For example the old Tanjong Pagar railway station. We should really preserve it for the younger generation to view it and learn its history. 
Ten drum Cultural village 
Group photo at the Ten drum cultural village
Lunch at Anping old street 
Anping Fort 

Eternal golden castle 
Group photo at Chihkan Tower 

Check in to Metro Hotel 

Day 4 
It was the first day of our immersion programme in Sacred hearts high school. We had a warm welcome from 丁校长 and the students. They prepared a performance for us and we also performed a performance for them. After that we meet our buddies. My buddy's name is  林俊佑。Upon meeting, he was really hospitable. He was a really friendly and smart guy. Next we were introduced to the classes. I was in a biology class and we discussed about whether we should keep animals in zoos. We debated heatedly and it was a really fun experience with the students at scared hearts. After the 1 hr of lesson, we were treated to lunch. The school provides lunch for them and there are only a few stalls selling tibits if students were really hungry. The buddies were really proactive in helping us with our group task. Really looking forward to the next few day with them. Next we bade goodbye to Sacred heart high school and moved on to places in Siluo. We first went to a soy sauce making factory where we learnt how to make soy sauce. Next we went to a pen attraction that was beautiful. The attraction we went was the Siluo bridge. It was a really beautiful place for sightseeing. After that, 刘秘书 order a few huge watermelons that are famous in Siluo for us the try. Really nice gesture from him, appreciated it. 

Day 5 
We went to the second day in Sacred Hearts High School. We went to different classes again. I went into a robotics class where we create and play with the robots we build. We were tasked to build a baseball robot. The robot that can shoot the "ball" furthest wins. Me. Tianhong and another students created a robot but we didn't win because our robot had some technical difficulties. After the robotics class, i went into a ballon sculpting class. I was at first a bit skeptical that my balloon will actually bend and fold into different shape and sizes. However, under the guidance of the teachers and a few pops, I created a swan successfully. After that, we went to visit the Yulin Cake Tower cafe. The cakes that are either real or made by towels! We made ourselves a very own cat made of towel and everyone seemed very excited. After that it was shopping time. Everyone bought their own towels and pillow. Really fascinating experience to see towels bring made into animals and cakes. I feel that this shop is really creative and appealed to the younger generation a lot. After that, we went to the Yulin puppet theatre, where we watch a traditional puppet performance. We also saw puppets that we big and small. First time I saw puppet as big and human beings. Wonder how they manupliate it though. 

Day 6 
Today is the last day at Sarcred Hearts Secondary School. We had home economics class where we cooked carrot cake and make our own dumplings soup with the other students. We were not very experience with the frying of the carrot cake but the seniors helped us along. Considered a successful a attempt by our group and the students. Next, Jing Heng and I went out with our buddy and his mum. We drove to their aunts house which was kind of like a farmhouse. It was beautiful. My buddy said that her aunt used to be a teacher but now she has retired and build her own farm and designed her own house there. She was very nice and gave us bananas in case we felt naseous during the 2hr ride back to our hotel. Next, we bade goodbye to his aunt and his mum and we went to the theme park ourselves. We had a lot of fun there. We bonded quite a lot with our buddy. After that we went to his uncle house. His uncle is a the policeman in Tainan. His house is quite tall and even taller than Singapore Terence house. They were very hospitable and treated us to dinner. I had papaya milkshake after that. After the meal, my buddy mum brought us to a department store where we shop at Muji. The shopping centre is quite different from Singapore's. It is tall and 1 level caters to only one shop. 
After that, we drove back to Douliu to Jiayi. During the journey we chatted and they asked us about Singapore's way of life. They were surprised that cars in Singapore could cost up to a hundred thousand due to Coe prices. Upon reaching, we didn't bear to leave the and they bought us bubble tea to bid goodbye. Really nice experience with them. 

Day 7 
Last day in Tainan. Time flies. We checked out of Metro Hotel and baded goodbye to 丁校长,刘秘书 and the seniors who helped us throughout the trip. Next we headed to the 921 earthquake educational park. We learnt about how the earthquake is formed and the effects of earthquake. It is a really deviating thing to happen. House and buildings collapsed and the entire city turned into ruins after the 921 earthquake. Real life damage was preserve for people to see. Many lives were lost because of that. We must really count ourselves lucky to live in Singapore where earthquakes and natural disasters  do not happen.  I was impressed by how the Taiwanese even preserve the real life damage to houses and infrastructures. It is left untouched after the earthquake. After that, we had our lunch and headed to TaoYuan airport where it's time to say goodbye to Uncle Terry and Taiwan. These 7 days was filled with laughter and fun. I have learnt to cherish things we have in Singapore and the importance to learn our culture properly. 

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