Thursday, October 19, 2017

MAGDALENA ZIEBA - How To Start A Business in Taiwan

taken from

Today, Prof. Chang Yi-Wen invited a guest, Magdalena Zieba (Maggie for convenience) to give the Cultural Organisation Management class a talk, about how to start a business in Taiwan.

Two of them made acquaintance when Prof. Chang was doing her PhD in US, she was doing interviews with Salsa dancers, and Maggie was one of her respected person. 

Maggie was a native of Polish, moved to Canada in her early years, and work as flight attendant before settling down in Taiwan.

Like the rest of foreigners, she came as a student studying Chinese, alongside with her husband, a music performer. She is fluent in several language including Polish, English, Portugese and French, with her learning experience in language, she thought it wouldn't be too hard? 10 years has gone by, best she could do was speaking Chinese in understandable manner, but can't write still. I grew up speaking and writing Chinese, I have no idea how hard can it be for foreigner XD

Maggie is a strong independent lady. As a student, she has took up a lot of part time jobs, teaching English, Dance and some other minor stuffs. But these experiences helped her setting up her own Dance studio, thanks to all the students she teach all over the years. 

To start with, she spent 6 months looking for a suitable venue for her studio, coming across with hundreds venues, but couldn't get a good one. Luck came some time later, through the social network she built over the years, someone offered a good place with reasonable price for her studio. She had to deal with a lot of paper works, travelling back forth bureaucracy, making sure the venue meets the safety requirements and so on. 

After setting up the studio, you will meet a lot of trouble like hitting the required revenue, local competition (some people would report you over the agency), maintaining the studio, doing marketing and promotions. Maggie again did a wonderful job of handling these issues, and she also have help from her generous student. 

She has passion in running her business, she treats her students/customers with respect, to the extend of went out and took lessons she is not familiar with, just so that she can put herself in a situation where her students might face difficulties in learning as a beginner. In a city where people are so stress dedicating most of their time in work, this is a place for them to reduce stress. 

Overall, she's a very positive person, set out to do the things that against all odds, she also earn the trust and love from her associates and friends. I could tell that, despite of staying for so long in this country, she didn't influenced much by the local mentality, she stood firm of her own. This is quite a feat to achieve by a foreigner who wants to settle down in Taiwan, she is respectable and I definitely will want to set her ways and discipline as an example. I'm lucky to meet this person. 

For a person who is so down with my life recently, this encounter is an inspiring one. Thank you. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I don't know what to do anymore

I've turned 30 this year, I still don't know what I want in my life.

This made me feels very depressed, worried, anxious and

These few days, I've been thinking over this matter, it distracts me from doing anything with focus, whether be it reading, or engaged in my hobby, playing the clarinet.

It feels so sucks. Over the time, I feels like getting more depressed and anxious. My sleeping pattern is disrupted, I sometimes sleep over more than 12 hours, getting more insomnia, or restless brain sleeps. I'm getting the insomnia and restless brain part recently.

I thought, part of these problems probably because I'm financially insecure as well, I couldn't kept myself from thinking about money all the time. I'm even eating around 100twd a day or less, calculating the expense regularly. FYI, a standard meal cost around 80twd, 50 for really economic.

I study and plays the clarinet. It is my hobby, but I don't really know if its what I want to do with the rest of my life. More over, I'm not playing at a competent level, I'm actually somewhere between amateur and professional, and that's sucks. I've experienced few kinds of emotions playing the clarinet includes excited, happy, boring, discouraged and miserable. I'm getting more discouraged because I realize my playing is moving backward more than I improve.

Now, I don't feel anything at all.

I don't feel I want to practice.

I don't feel bad from not practice.

I don't feel the urge to play.

I don't feel the desire to improve.

I don't hold any expectations from life.

I don't have any curiosity in learning.

I cannot sit down quietly and read in peace.

I don't even feels like listening to music, something that I enjoyed very much, be it pop or classical.

It is because I don't truly love music or clarinet after all?

I just know, somehow I don't want to give it up totally.

I am not able to put it down after I spent so many efforts and time on it. 無法放下..

I am currently enrolled in the Cultural and Creative Industries master studies, overall it's like mixture of art management and cultural research studies. I've worked as admin at music examination company in the past, feeling it was kind of interesting to work in similar field, so I took up this course. At the moment, I felt uncomfortable maybe because of different environment and social circle. However, I felt discouraged as well, because I don't find myself enjoying the content of the studies, and I have to think of thesis abstract by the end of semester, which I'm still totally clueless at this stage. I feels like I don't cut out to be in this field.

Would it be better if I just settle down with a job first? I don't know. I don't see a clear vision of myself standing anywhere in future or even tomorrow.

A friend says that finding what you want may be a lifelong process.

Perhaps I'm too rush, too eager to see the results.

Perhaps I'm worrying too much, or too greedy. There are so many out there who are more unfortunate than I do, why couldn't I just be content with what I have?

I'm living like a zombie now, still walking around, attend class, eating meals, doing chores, alive but with a restless foggy mind (brain dead).

I don't know what to do next, and anymore at this point.

If I can't find the reason to exist, maybe I shouldn't be existing at all.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

RIP Choo Han Peng

Slept rather late today, waking up at near noon.

I picked up my phone beside my pillow, as usual, checking if anyone contacted me and browse the Facebook for a while.

A post/news immediately struck me and jump off the bed trying to get more details.

Two friends of mine, on their way to airport sending another to Asian Youth Orchestra world tour trip, involved in a car accident which cost a life of one.

The other guy is in stable condition now, to both of them, it was both fortunate and unfortunate.

I can't handle this at the moment, my recent dilemma now seems a tiny compare to this tragic event.

I worked with both of them. Two good friends, we were quite close back then, when I was in Malaysia (currently in Taiwan pursuing studies), we played music together, talked together, and hanged out together.

Now the working experience become a memory, only to be reminiscent from now onward.

May you rest in peace, my prayers shall be with you always.

Thank you for being with us in our journey in music.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Chen Wei-Leng's 60th Birthday Party

A respected clarinet performer and teacher in Taiwan is celebrating his 60th birthday tonight. He is actually the teacher of my teacher, and he's still actively perform and teaching. He taught a lot students and many of them established themselves a successful career from university lecturers/dean to orchestra players/soloists.

On the other hand, I heard that one of the Malaysian student who went Taiwan to study with him, FFK-ed this Taiwan clarinet taiko, Malaysia Boleh.

We threw a party for him, performed some shows, played some games, and looked at his old photos, he looks like a Pakistani during his younger days. At the end, we played happy birthday song to him with clarinet, took photos, and had some awesome fruit cakes. 

I met up with some long time no see friends too, it was great to see them again. =)

He don't look like he's 60 in real person, seriously. 

yay, group photo

This is how a man in 60 celebrate his birthday

I don't know if I can even move like that when I'm 60

Sunday, July 31, 2016

In the name of OJA

An update just for the sake of update per requested by a friend. 

Sunny hot Sunday, went to listened to my classmates' string quartet performance at 十方樂集,a cozy small recital hall located in a small alleyway near Yuanshan MRT station. 

Met with a few uni mates, some teachers, and I sat beside my head department Onion Yang.  Sitting with him wasn't good or bad choice, it's just really hard for two person who are both not socially good to carry out a normal or fun conversation, we tried hard though. 

The quartet performance was damn well, they played Haydn's op.76 "Emperor", Ravel's String Quartet in F major and Tchaikovsky's op.11

After that I had some time left before the sunset, I went to ride my bike along the north coast as the sun sunk quietly into the ocean bidding farewell to the people on the beach.

not my best shot though

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cycle from Zhuwei to Songshan

Last Friday went cycling with a friend, he's one kind of giving me surprise because he's a music composition major, the kind that gives me the impression of some nerd locking himself in a room writing music whole day and exercise isn't part of their routine.

We actually cycled from Zhuwei station to Songshan station, damn far damn depressing, to put in KL people's term, that's like cycling from Sungai Long to KLCC, #@$X&!!!!

More over I had 4 slices of pizzas before the trip, a celebration party threw by our orchestra conductor maestro Fusao Kojima, a short and fun one.

The trip turned out to be quite fun, Taipei government spend some effort in building pathways for the cyclist along the river, make it a safe and leisure activity. Malaysia has quite a long way to achieve that I guess.


We ended up in Raohe night market, a night market I came only for the 3rd time for I had already stayed in Taipei for 4 years, the first time was with a Malaysian friend who came here as tourist, the 2nd time with my high school friends for their honeymoon trip. 

Ate some night market food to replenish our energy or waste our exercise effort, and then walked around the newly built subway mall nearby, then we went back by MRT.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Appreciation Dinner with my K.581 ensemble

Spent quite much time rehearse together for my graduation recital, I decide to give a good treat and some allowance to my ensemble members, dining at the Tasty 西提 restaurant at the Tamsui riverside, a restaurant serve a course of steak for around NTD500++

This restaurant is under the Wang Pin 王品 group, well known for their service, the waiter treats customer politely, and they generously give replacements or compensations for reasonable complaints. I do kind of surprise when I first visited this restaurant, well, I grow up at a place that don't really have restaurants with friendly waiters =P. A recommended place for tourist.

Tonight's dinner and hang out turned out to be quite surprisingly better than expected. Because of my lack of social skills, I was initially worried getting very cold atmosphere and it wouldn't last for more than an hour, our dinner + unscheduled hangout instead lasted from 7pm until 12am, keeping the conversation going on wasn't easy too. 

Thank goodness I actually found a group of nice people, we can really talk with each other so much, only when we're not doing rehearsals XD . I guess I really need to put more effort in coordinating and leading an ensemble. 

Thanks a lot folks, you made my last year in uni a memorable and "exciting" one XD , will miss you guys. 

a polaroid taken at the end of dinner