11th Entry
28 June 2015
Tasks and Debriefing Points (OELP Trip to Tainan)

Task #1 Cost of living
1. Cost of a standard 4/5 room apartment (around 90-100 sq m):
Urban area NT$25,628,625 (SGD$1,115,977)
Suburb NT$13,784,500 (SGD$600,234)

2. Current cost of a brand new Toyota Vios:
NT$499,000 - $529,000 (SGD$21,728 - $23,034)

3. Prices of the following from a local supermarket (Carrefour << lol i tot is from France)
- Cheapest 10 kg packet rice: NT$365 (SGD$15.89)
-Cheapest 1litre drinking water: NT$50 (SGD$2.18)
-Cheapest refrigerated fresh whole chicken: NT$358 (SGD$15.59)
- Cheapest 1litre cooking oil: NT$93 (SGD$4.05)
- Do we provide plastic bags and how are they used: They are provided but we have to put in the groceries ourselves
- Cashiers; Mostly middle ages locals
- 4 brands found in Singapore Supermarket - Philips, Colgate, Anlene, Oreo
- Singapore brands in the market: Akira

4. Buddy's school fee - NT$7000 (SGD$304.81)

5. 1litre of petrol - NT$32.75 (SGD$1.56)

6. 1 movie ticket on a weekend - NT$250 (SGD$10.89)

7. Average salary of a working adult in Tainan - Disposable salary after tax NT$65,000 (SGD$2832.78)

8. McDonald's Big Mac Meal - NT$109 (SGD$4.75)

9. Local's satisfaction with the cost of living in Taiwan:
Find out about the general feeling people have with the cost and standard of living in their city. What are they most happy about and what are they most unhappy about?
I asked my buddy and their parents of what they think about the cost of living in Taiwan. Generally, cost of living in Taiwan is high but understandable (at least to them). They said most people would agree that the cost of living in Tainan is lower than in the capital Taipei, since Tainan is not as modern as the metropolis Taipei. For example, (according to research) a similar apartment (same number of rooms and area) in Tainan can be twice as cheaper than in Taipei. Transportation is affordable and reliable, A 15-min taxi ride costs about NT$150-200 and Tainan is a small city, it takes only around 10 to 15 minutes to travel around. Some Taiwanese in Tainan does not even need a car and that can save them a lot of money (from car insurance, fuel etc.) As for food, Taiwan is best known for their night markets and they are usually really cheap and delicious. Other dining places are somewhat affordable cheap too (Lets say for a mid-range restaurant). For example, a typical restaurant generally cost between NT$150 -$200. (If you go to a more atas one definitely a lot more expensive- depends on the luxury of the restaurant and dish)
My buddy's family is of a middle-income household. Judging from their views, I think that the Taiwanese in Tainan are generally satisfied with the cost of living in Tainan (excluding low-income household and the jobless).

1). What is the purpose of knowing a country's cost of living?
Cost of living is the amount of money needed to sustain a certain level of living, including basic expenses like food, housing, taxes, health care. Knowing a country's cost of living allows you to calculate how much you need for each category of your expenses and find out of you are able to make ends meet if you want to live there.

3) As someone living in Singapore, upon comparing the differences in cost of living, what are some of your personal thoughts and reflections about our country?
Cost of living in Tainan is definitely lower than in Singapore. We should be able to cope with life in both countries. However most middle income household in Singapore is most likely unable to afford a car.

4) What are some challenges that the Sg Government has to balance to make Singapore affordable? What are the different points of view the government needs to consider?
There maybe more rich families in Singapore who do not have problems coping with expenses in Singapore however government can keep an eye on house-price rises and introduce measures to boost households of  lower income instead of over-raising prices to control things such as cars and houses, causing us to not have  freedom to choose what we want.

5) Do you find people in this city or Singapore happier with the way of their living? Why do you say so?
Of course people in Taiwan are HAPPIER -.-
Things are so much affordable in Taiwan and their government is not as controlling as ours. Singaporeans experience high cost of living, complains that their pay is too low to cope with life and no luxuries and freedom as they are unable to buy house (even if they have the money, government does not allow) and COE are super expensive sometimes (even more expensive than the car).

Task #2 Education
1. Research on the education structure of the city you are visiting-
小学xiaoxue 7-12 years old
国中guozhong 13 - 15 years old
高中gaozhong 16-18 years old

2. Find out about the school you are visiting
Name: Sacred Hearts High School 正心高中学 (天主教)
Age: 54 years
Where: Tainan, Dou-liu, Yu-lin County
Classes: Lower Secondary- 42 classes
Upper Secondary - 27 classes
No. of teachers: Approx. 200
No. of students: Approx. 3000
School moto: 敬天爱人 Respect your God and Love the people (?)

(During lessons, observe the behaviour of the class and the style of teaching. Take a look at their textbooks and homework.)
The teachers looks super friendly and their lessons are fun and interesting. Science lesson: Hands-on activities with balloons (electrostatic induction) the teacher first explain the lesson. Later we pump our own balloon and play around with it, at the same time, learning how  does the experiment works. At the end of the lesson, the teacher allowed students uses the extra time to make balloon sculptures. History lesson: Worksheets are given out (all in chinese) and the teacher goes through with us. They seem to enjoy the lesson and they are all enthusiastic in helping us answers so that we can get the prizes from the teacher. (i dont know what are they learning about as it was too difficult to understand ) Music lesson: Making music with plastic cups and singing together as a class. They prepared a skit of a Chinese film 画皮 which was really funny and entertaining. (Their drama skills are awesome even though they are music students!)

3. Firm up 3 questions you would like to find answers to (Interview your buddy to find out how they view their school life)

- Do the students here experience a lot of stress in terms of homework or tuition?
Ans: No, our school life is quite relaxed. We do not have much homework to do and I (buddy) only attend 1-2 tuition classes for weaker subjects.
- How long do you go to school (number of hours in school)?
Including CCA - From 7:15am to 5:00pm
- How many hours of sleep do you get usually?
7-8 hours, just enough for us!

1) Describe your experience with your buddies. Was is easy to communicate?
As it was the first day, it was quite awkward and difficult to communicate when we first met. But we asked questions about their school life (For the tasks -.-) and interacted with other buddies and classmates. By the 2nd day it was more comfortable and less awkward and we had a lot of fun. The last day was the best as we went to play with their families and the parents were often the 'ice breakers' and soon we had so much to talk about.

2)Do a comparison between the school life of a Chinese student and Singaporean student? What are the main differences and similarities?
Differences: We work like crazy and have so much stress to get best scores, getting into best colleges, university and the competition is fierce. A survey is done on us and most Sg students greatest fear is failing in tests. Their school life seem to be more relaxed, they get to enjoy their 'children life' - studying in school and relaxing at home.

Similarities: The number of hours we spend in school is around 7-8 hours along with extra 3 hours for CCA (once or twice per week).

3) What evidence did you gather  that could give us some insights as to China's (<<??) success in education system? Why do you say so?
Teachers are highly motivated on how to better design their 45 min lesson, stayed back to tutor failing students, and the head teachers honoured them in assemblies and they get a payy riseee.
Wealthy parents takes teachers out to dinner and give gifts so that they pay more attention to their children. Students race to enter best universities, tries hard to score well in all tests as this is what wins them social respect, identity and self worth.

Task #3 Monuments and Icons

1. Post card to parents
Dear Mummy and Daddy,
I am doing fine here~ I am writing this to you because this is a trip task and we have to write to our parents about a monument we visited - Anping Fort. This fort is build by the Dutch as an international business center for developing of trades. One thing that impresses me the most about the monument is that the bricks used for it were from Indonesia, Java, and it is a mixture of sugar, sand, ground seashells and gluttonous rice. Wow. I did not know you can build something so big and strong with those. OELP has been really fun so far, i hope i can learn more in the next few days and return with many great takeaways.

2. 亿载金城

DIRECT translation :D
Title; Eternal Golden castle
Also known as Uhrkuenshen Battery,
to prevent invasion of the Japanese soldiers,
bricks from anping fort
completely foolproof.

1) One thing that impressed you at the monument? Why?
The cannons in the Eternal GOlden Castle impressed me as they are still well preserved after so many years.

2)Rate the visit listing out the positive/negative.

Negative: There is not much to see in the Eternal Golden Castle. There are only things like brick walls and cannons etc.
Positive: I learnt that the Taiwanese people fought against the Japanese battleships from this fortress.

3) How does reading up about the location differ from actually being there? Explain.
I get to have real experience, imagining and understanding more and how it feels like to be there in the past when there are wars, and i also get to touch and feel the monuments built years ago.

Task #4 My Daily Reflections

Day 2 \\ 24 June 2015

Today we went to several places to learn about the Meinong Hakka Culture. Meinong is the home of Hakka people in Kaoshiung. We learnt about the lifestyles of the Meinong people and their traditional language, food, people, clothing etc. For example, in the past, Hakka women are responsible for child rearing, domestic chores and farming. Unlike many other Chinese, foot binding was never practiced in Hakka culture. While the men worked to make ends meet. They also grew many tobacco leaves inn their field as well as bananas.

Day 3

Eternal Golden Castle was probably important or has a great meaning to the locals in the past because it was a place to protect them and safeguard the coast against Japanese invasion. I was impressed by the number of cannons still preserved and stay put in their original positions as i never seen a cannon before and surprised that they are not destroyed. i really enjoyed the visit to the museums and i hope that the rest of the oelp trip will be as fun and enjoyable too.

Day 4

Today was the first day at Sacred Hearts High School and we met our buddy whose name is Xiao Xin Ai. As it was the frst meeting, it was really awkward and we went to perform. 2H gave our best for the performance and we were satisfied with our hard work. From today, i have learnt that with team spirit and hard work, we would be able to achieve our goals like our great performance today!

Day 5

Today at Scared Hearts High School was very fun and memorable. Today was they day where we get  to be 'students at Scared Hearts' as we try and attend their lessons which (not going to lie but I know that) they had had specially planned and prepared for us. We had Lego computing lessons and balloon sculpturing lessons. It was really fun popping balloons and making balloon hats and swords! The highlight of our day in Scared Hearts was their FCE lessons! We learnt and had to make dumplings, carrot cakes and some kind of soup! The seniors there helped us and took care of us really well as it can be dangerous in the kitchen. They demonstrated how to cook some of the food and ensures that we are cooking properly and safely. We felt really accomplished after the cooking and ate the food we made. While eating, we took pictures with the seniors which came to look after us for the past few days, they were really friendly and cute! It was really sad as it was our last day with them so we exchanged instagram names and phone numbers so we still can be in touch with each other!

Over the past 5 days, what have you learnt?
I have learnt more about the Taiwanese culture and experience drum playing. I observed how different the night market it is in Taiwan. Compared to Singapore, their night markets are much more longer and more stalls. They do not really focus much on hygiene as in Singapore, food are kept behind plastic things but their food are placed in the open which attracts much more insects and its not very hygienic. Also, some night markets in Taiwan sells fresh vegetables and (raw stuff) are usually in Singapore's wet market. Also, i learnt about Hakka people in  Meinong. 
How has your prespective about life has changed?
ive learnt to treasure friendships while you can and appreciate the cultures.

Skinny Shrimps and our 小组长 senior 

Day 6
Our buddy and us went to 魔鬼村 and we saw a traditional tAiwanses band playing traditional Taiwan music. They actually do not sound like much Chinese music but rather more like music played by Mongolians. We ate 珍珠豆花 and although SIngapore has 豆花, theirs had special pearls and they had other flavours like red bean or some weird thing. It was something unique about 豆花 here. They also brought us to a night market which was pretty similiar to Singapore;s night market just bigger with more food. We also went to get some bubble tea and I was so surprised when I realised the price of one LARGE bubble tea there is even cheaperrrrr than one REGULAR sized bubble tea in Singapore. It is like $1-$2 for a large bubble tea in Taiwan and in Singapore regular sized bubble tea is $2 even up to $3.*MINDBLOWN* Also, when we asked them about bubble tea '泡泡茶' my buddy and her parents have no idea what we were talking about. They only call it '奶茶‘ over there. 
I really appreciate what my buddy and her parents and brother (so cute) had done for us even though it is a short period of time, I had also had great experience and learnt many little things.


9th Entry
12th April 2015

Can we use the Merlion as our national icon?

A national icon is a symbols used to represent the country to the world (as a national community). The purpose of using Merlion as our national icon is to represent Singapore. Although there are other alternatives, Merlion is the most suitable one as it is a significant specialty in Singapore. There is no Merlion other than the Singapore Merlion. The Merlion's fish body represents Singapore's past as a fishing village while 'lion' as what Sang Nila Utama believed to have found. 'Mer' means sea while 'lion' means Singapura, original name of Singapoere ('lion city'). We definitely can use the merlion as our national icon because it is a prominent, world-famous symbol representing Singapore.

8th Entry
5 April 2015
Tang Dynasty and LKY

Reflections: I feel that cultural diversity was the key to the Golden Age of Tang Dynasty. It was a period of great strength and prosperity. China and its people excelled in many areas, (education, science and technology, business and economy, governance, arts and culture) People all around came to China to study, work and live. Furthermore, China during the Tang Dynasty was open to foreign people, culture and influence.

I think Singapore has reached her Golden Age too. Singapore was once a fishing village but look at it now: first world metropolis city. We have a good education system, financially wealthy, plenty of housing etc. This all began with our founding father, our first prime minister Mr Lee Kian Yew. He had made many contributions to Singapore and spent his life building her up. Mr Lee provided clean drinking water for us, HDB flats for tiny little Singapore to hold 5.399 million people, etc. His hard work did paid off as Singapore had reached her Golden Age.

7th Entry
29 March 2015
The China Suzhou Industrial Park

In 1992, China's Deng Xiaoping and Mr Lee Kuan Yew had the idea of developing an industrial park with significan Singaporean influence. Thus, the Suzhou Industrial Park was born in 1994. However, not many years after, it has lost an estimated amount of $23.5 million per year. This was because China officials had set up a Suzhou New District not far away from Industrial Park. They concentrated on promoting the New District as they hold more stakes on the New District than in the Industrial Park.

Reflections: the SIP was intended to be a replicate of Singapore city, having self contained manufacturing, urban and high technology. People experienc what us Singaporeans are enjoying now; clean government, first world infrastructure and low taxes. It was inconsistent of the China officials to leave their current, ongoing project behind and to start a new operation for their own benefits. 

6th Entry 
9 March 2015

I think that a presentation is to voice out our own opinions about a particular topic. when I prepare for a presentation, I would first write out a script so that i can practice and memorize beforehand. when I write, I always remind myself to link back to the topic by lookin. at it once more. Overall, I think that 2H has pretty good presentation skills and I would love to learn more from my fellow classmates. 

5th Entry

22 February 2015

I will be commenting on Group 2's advertisement on their Magic Broom.
I think that they could improve their advertising by projecting their voice more to attract people's attention and the members could talk more on the Magic Broom's benefits and uses.
Overall their presentation was well done. :D
Take a look at Magic Broom:

3rd Entry:

27th Jan 2015
Future scenario of Singapore

I predict that in 20 years time, the population of Singapore will continue growing as the rate of child birth increases. As Singapore government would most likely not introduce one child policy to Singaporeans due to the disadvantages China had after having one child policy. There might be other ways Singapore government would introduce to prevent over population in Singapore without needed the one child policy In my opinion, most people would all prefer to be allowed to decide how many children they would like to have. We do not like having a government controlling every aspect of our lives.

17 January 2015

2nd entry: Poverty in Singapore

Though Singapore is one of the countries with the most percentage of millionaires, it doesnt mean that there are no poverty in Singapore. I always nitcie old uncles and aunties selling pocket tissues, desperately asking people to buy and getting rejected by many and i wonder if there are any better ways to help them out.Many of this impecunious people are mostly elderly people, probably because they have no children for support and they are too weak to work, basically just having nobody to take care of them. However there are people who neglect their elderly parents finding them very troublesome to deal with.
In my opinion, I think that we could help these pitiable poor people by raising awareness about their poverty. There are many official campaigns and services for the low income families and elderly people. As some of these older people might be illiterate, there are volunteers who go door to door to inquire them if they are in need of any financial help. 

 Low income families could apply for the financial assistance scheme MOE provided, specially for their children. Apart from that, they could also apply for loans, such as the Tuition Fee Loan and Government Study Loan. We believe that every child deserves to have educati

7 Jan 2015

1st Entry: My December Holidays

During my December holidays, I had done many things. One of the most enjoyable and indelible things I did was going on a vacation to Melbourne, Australia with my family.

Melbourne is Australia's second biggest city (first biggest city is Brisbane, I believe) and has one of the most populated state, Victoria.

In Victoria, we visited the Victoria Market which is gigantic with a breathtaking panoply of food, souvenirs, groceries...Also, we went to attend mass at the St. Patrick Cathedral which was one of the largest cathedral/church I went to. Both the outside and inside were ravishing. Inside, there were two long passages at the sides enveloped an arched central passage in the middle leading to a focal altar right in the center, gold lighting made the entire place look flawless.

My family and I also went to Philip Island which is home to an astounding array of wildlife, including Australia's largest fur seal colony, the wild little penguins and cuddly koalas. We were not allowed to take any photos of the fluffy furry baby penguins! Such disappointment. ;( However, we could put our legs out into the air when riding the Puffing Billy Steam Train! 

The trip was  fun and momentous and it definitely relieved all our stress from the past year!
(From left to right, up to down) St. Patrick's Cathedral, Brighton Beach Huts, Wallaby in Philip Island, Melbourne Town Hall (pictures are captured by family and i)

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