Sunday, November 29, 2009

Living in Taiwan

Well i find myself here in taiwan. I have been living here now for almost 3 weeks. I just moved out of the hotel into an apt. I more or less spent the weekend getting used to the new apt. Life is not easy when you dont speak the language, to get around you have to walk and well...your apartment smells bad.

The apt... Dont get me wrong, it is not bad and i am greatful to have a place to stay. It is almost 2000 sq feet....ah... yeah! 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen, dining room, and laundry room. Im on the 14th floor and have some great views of the city. But there is minimal furniture in this massive place, so it feels very empty. Im not kidding, a family 5-8 people could live here. oh and for some reason every time i smells funny. it almost is a musty rotten dead animal smell. I dont know what it is but i bought this aromatherapy thing that makes it smell better...i had too, i would gag everytime i walked in the place, let alone try to eat. They bought me new bedding and it is very nice, i am happy with that. the bed is as hard as sleeping on the concrete floor, i think that is just how they sleep out here.

as for food.... i have found some, i made it to costco and bought too much food. but i also have found a few places near by to get food. i am no longer too worried about eating. however for somereason, i am gaining weight. i assumed i would have lost, but i feel like i have gained. food and eating are still an issue, but getting better and are at least semi comfortable now.

travel...well i have a driver to take me to work..but all the rest of the time i either pay for taxi or walk. i walked for 4 hrs on sat...on the map it didnt look quite as far, but it was. i walked about 3 miles to a mall and then walked around the mall for a couple hours. its funny how seeing something familiar makes you feel comfortable...yes seeing mcdonalds or dunkin donuts makes me feel good, good enough that i had 2 donuts on sat. BTW dunkin donuts is huge over here...they love those donuts....actually wouldnt mind another right now...ha!
Again today i walked to the hardware store and got a plug adapter for my computer. it was about a mile away. Loving the Iphone right now. i just turn on the maps application and it locates me and i have saved my apt in it also, so i can always see where i am in reference to my apt and (more importantly) can always see where to go to get back.

The weather has been really great... it is lite outside by 5 am or around then and it gets dark by 5 or 6 pm. I so far have been taking off around lunchtime and going for walks....but what is funny is that in a city of over a million folks, i will be the only person walking down a main street at 2 in the afternoon. Seems crazy to me, but is totally the case. Not to mention maybe 1/3 of all the stres are open. it seems like everything is closed. but as soon as the sun goes down and it gets dark....everyone comes out, the streets are packed there are people and lights everywhere....everything is open, even the little misc. shop with the small hickamagigers and tiny little whatchamacall its... Everything! and they will stay open until the wee hours of that night and so will the people...everyone stays up late and sleeps in in the morning. sunday morning, things didnt even start to wake up until around noon. i am shocked and surprised with this culture.

was without internet, computer this weekend. might as well not had a phone either as now i have a taiwanese and american cell...yes 2 cell phones.. no one knows the taiwanese number so i dont get calls on that one...and the american one doesnt really work.
luckily i found hbo and stars on the cable...sure the commericals are all in chinese but when there is an american movie(which is most all) then it is in english and it has chinese subtitles. so i just leave the tv on the movie channels...its my second time watching 27 dresses in the last 2 days.

as for overall health...i am doing pretty well. i have this annoying headache that comes and goes and the same with a stomach ache. both have been better since i have been making my own food and getting more sleep. i think it will be better in notime.

ok..more soon with pics!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


HI ya.....well here is a shoe i recently worked on.....the AIR YEEZY.
picture from

an article about this shoe is linked below....

9000 pair are hitting the market starting 4/4/09.

Designers are really the only people who get public credit for product like this, but i was "innovator/developer" who made all of Mark and Kanye's wishes and designlines come true.  Of course i have a team of people supporting me also.....

Execute, execute, execute....move on to the next product and execute, execute, execute!  Thats the life of this Innovator at Nike.

It was a long and challenging process that had a killer shoe throughout every single step!

I wish the shoe the best and I thank Mark for asking me to work on it with him.  It was a pleasure as always. 

Also to the team... Chanhmy, Steve, Marlene, Patrice, Han, the whole sample room, Jaro and all the factory folks who put such a great effort into this program, THANKS a bunch, for your effort, your time, your patience and your laughter! 



Orchid images from international orchid show in Taiwan

Recovery insite!

Well i successfully returned to good ol' Oregon last thursday.  All my flights and travel went very smoothly, despite some 4hrs of turbulence from Narita to Portland.  

I am still adjusting to my new/old time zone.  Sometimes this is referred to as Jetlag....what is that you might ask?  Well you basically feel a little out of sorts because your body is used to the other time zone.  In my particular case, i have been having more difficulty that usual.  For example, it is 1:06am and i am wide awake.  This seems to have been the routine since i have returned....

1st day of return: mostly slept all day and all night, exhausted.  only woke up because i was hungry and that was in the late evenings and middle of the night.

2nd -4th days.  I would stay up until around 10, fall asleep and wake up promptly at 2am.  Wide awake with no hope of sleeping. I would stay up until around 7am and then fall asleep until around noon. (fortunately this was still the weekend, so it wasnt a big deal).  After i woke around noon, i would be up until 10pm or so.

5th  and 6th days (today)- things were looking up, i came home after work, i took a couple hour nap.  woke up for a little while and went to bed around midnight.  To my joyous surprise, i did not wake up until i heard my alarm at 6am.  Great i thought!!  so i go to work and get home.  Take my nap after work (5-9pm, a little long). And now i am up, not exactly wide awake, but definately not struggling to keep my eyes open.

OK so sleeping patterns are definitely an issue with jet lag.  So is food and brain function.

Food: well i am basically hungry in the middle of the night and not so much around lunch time.  breakfast and dinner, i am kinda hungry.  Its the mid-day meal that is throwing me off.  I must say though, it is extremely wonderful to be eating my normal food again!  although i stand to have more Indian food and mochi!

As for brain functions, they dont work the same when you have jet-lag.  At least for me, i cant always think straight and my memory seems to be lacking at times.  speech can be a bit blurred and stuttery. Overall its probably equivalent to how some folks behave from having too much to drink! : )  

It just takes time to readjust!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finally hit my turning point

Well it is day ...15?... 17?...18?...37?...43?....... ..who knows but it definitely feels like too long.  I am just about at my wits end after the day i had today.

For starters late last week, I was entertaining the idea of staying 2 more weeks past my 4 week plan, so that i could finish up a bunch of other stuff and stay for a series of important milestones in the project.  because we were so far ahead of schedule, it looked like it would work out.

so i kinda got the ok....and our entire plan was based on when we confirm the product....(now i cant really tell those of you too much about the details because it is all confidential, but i think you will get the point anyways.)...we were set to confirm monday....

well go figure, nope things just did not look right.  being that we have reviewed these same things over and over and over and this was about our 6th time or so. We were all very frustrated.  now we would try to confirm on wednesday....but unfortunately this change made the entire schedule bump out another week.............  YEAH!   sooooo that means 7 weeks!!!! I can tell you right now, there is no way i am willing to stay for 7 weeks...I will not do it and thankfully my team back home in oregon agreed. I said great! now we are scheduled to confirm on wednesday, if all goes well i will return is wednesday...the end of the day............

so lets talk about food. on saturday i went up to sun moon lake with a coworker and her mom.  The mom was the cuties little ol lady...measuring in at about 4 feet something, teeny tiny/super petite, age 77 and wearing at least 5 layers that i can see (it was supposed to be cold).  She was just so cute and she would not let me out of her site as she feared i would get lost.  more about that in another blog.  back to the point, so on sat i didnt have a choice except for chinesse food.  i managed to choke some down and it wasnt too bad. still pretty hungry though....
so sunday comes around and as soon as i wake up, i know i have to get some decent food....(as you will see, decent becomes relative, as is everything, "all relative").  So it doesnt take me long to decide to go to subway and get a sub and starts to cross my mind that mcdonalds IS just beside the wouldnt hurt for just some nuggets and the great buffalo sauce they have. 
So i head was a beautiful walk(extremely relative) to the near by subway (about 3 blocks).  at least it was a very safe walk and i could view the city.  did i mention the low lying clouds that added a special touch to the view...which is great n all, but those arnt clouds, my friend.  That is pollution, smog, ...toxic even.  GREAT!  so i get to subway and its a pretty easy choice. a roast chicken sub, 12 inch.  I can have half for dinner and half for lunch the next day.  You ask about lunch today?  o no worries, i already have plans for that.  So on my way back from the hotel, i stop in at mcdonalds.  hmmm, no english.... and only a few pictures.  Thank God for value meals with numbers...I stand back from the counter and make sure i know what i want to order before i get up there, cause its hard enough to explain what i want, especially if i dont know for sure that is what i that point who knows what they will give you.  So it takes me about 10 minutes to decide....i went in with plans of nuggets, but actually left with nothing because its only 10:45am and they dont serve any chicken until 11. bummer

so i head back up to the hotel and drop off my sub, you would think i would just eat half and call it good and head to mcdonalds for dinner.  NOPE, my mind is made up, I want mcdonalds for lunch.  So i head downstairs to the little cafe and order a kiwi juice.  Just wasting time until 11:15 or so.  I dont want to go right at 11, cause maybe the chicken is undercooked.  but i dont want to wait to long after 11 cause then they might have already cooked it and then reheated 11:15 should be just right for freshness(again relative).
so i am sitting outside in the sunshine (which i am pretty excited about) and the waitress brings out my kiwi juice.  Little did i know when they say kiwi juice, they actually mean they threw 2-3 kiwi's in the blender and added a little water....more like a kiwi and water smoothie.  O well, its just a time waster until i enjoy the tender juiciness of some mcdonalds chicken...
I read for a little while, choke down my kiwi smoothy (its sour by the way, not sour as in bad, but very tart, i especially dont like tart things).  So i finish up and head over to mcdonalds by 11:20, right on time! ; ) i stand back for a sec and make sure i know what i want. Then i walk up in line and stand behind the guy in line. He finishes up and walks away, the moment he takes the first step, this WOMAN comes up and cuts infront of me and starts to order. IM LIKE WHAT?  I look around and several people saw it but they didnt flinch.  Im thinking, did i miss something?  so i take a step right directly behind her, i am crowding her according to american standards, but i wont be having any more cutters taking my chicken!!!
so i get up to order finally and the girl cant understand which number i am saying.  to me it is a clear 9.  "number 9", "NUMBER 9", i say again and again, so finally i hold up my fingers and she gets it.  this is where it gets crazy, im not sure what happened, but when i left i had 2 bags in my hand and a big box of chicken.  I managed to order a small french fry, and the family chicken meal(9nuggets and 4 pieces of spicy chicken).  needless to say, i wasnt really too disapointed....oh and i had a coke too.

unfortunately when i got back to the room, the hole toile situation had occured(broke), so i had to wait to eat my chicken......but it was delicious.  my tummy was singing the praises of mcdonalds.

so then dinner comes and i eat half my sub.....great day for food, i must say.

ah yes, so now it is monday and i am supposed to confirm parts...but no...a few other things didnt go well that day after a rough day, what would i like more than anything??????Mcdonalds! some normal food, especially after forgetting my sub for lunch and having to eat the chinese food in the cafeteria(by the way, did i mention it is free? all the factories offer free lunch to their employees).  So eat mcdonalds i did, actually first i ate the other half sub i had then i ate a number 6 from mcdonalds, a 2 piece spicy chicken meal with a large fry.  To top things off, i walked down to the cafe and also bought a chocolate cake roll desert.  yep ate that too.....ahhhh, normal food!  was very content.

gluteny is brutal though and things always have  a way of working them selves out.  I woke up at 2am in the morning after this horribly frightening, yet vivid dream and my stomach wasnt feeling too good.  I managed to fall back asleep, slept thru my 5am alarm and woke up after 6am.  Still not feeling well at all, nausious and other things. I was strongly considering not going to work.  I hung around the hotel for awhile and left a bit late.  had a little breakfast down at the hotel free breakfast place(rice, eggs, toast and banana).  All i could remember was that those things were easy to digest.  and I knew i needed to eat or i would be in trouble the rest of the day.
I get to work only about 15 minutes late.  Pretty quickly people are asking me if i feel well, because i am really pale.  no i dont feel well, matter of fact it feels like i am getting a fever. I eat about 3 bites of lunch(free cafeteria chinese) and i cant take anymore.  I was also sitting bymyself which is even worse because not only do i not understand the language to know if they are making fun of me, but now i am sitting by myself, feeling sick, hating the food and just plain ol irritated.  a little bit after lunch, my friend and coworker irene stops in the middle of our meeting (6 or so folks in them meeting) and says "Tiffany are you feeling ok?"  at this point i said, "what?" i was feeling pretty dizzy and didnt understand her.  So she asked again and i said "no, i think i have a fever and im real naseaous"  She puts her hand on my forehead and says yeah, i think you do too.   She says ill get you some medicine.  I kinda say, uh what kind of medicine, she says chinese natural medicine, it will make you feel better.  As skeptical as i am about this, i dont say to much because if they think it will work, then i will take it.   Pretty soon they are asking if they can use my driver to go get it i said sure.
As i am finishing up with the meeting and starting a new meeting, someone hands me these two small plastic grocery bags with clear fluid in them, a string tied around them to keep them closed and a straw.  Now i had seen people drink fluid out of a small grocery bag before, but until now i had not tried it.  
so i put the straw in  and took a sip.  It tasted like fresh coconut juice, and in fact it was. I thought well thats a relief.. I have had this before.  slowly but surely after drinking it i started to feel better.  Apparently all day i had been talking about how much i didnt want to eat any more chinese food, so lynn volunteered to take me to tgi friday's for dinner........mmmmm it was good, very bad, but very good.

ok...enough about food.  you get the point, i will do anything not to have to eat any more chinese food.  not sure why i got so sick, but am still feeling better.  I went as far as getting breakfast and dinner at starbucks today.  lunch was basically a pile of white rice.

as for the was wednesday and we were supposed to confirm.  we had some minor changes in the morning and we were able to confirm in the afternoon.  that is for 1 part of the project, there are about 6 other parts, that did not confirm today and infact all facts are pointing to monday or tuesday before they will ......that.....means....i  probably have to stay thru then. Definately not too happy about that.  And there is no way i can keep eating the mcdonalds and tgi sure i already gained 5 lbs from it.  not sure what i will do....but i am sure  i will keep you posted!  
Good Night!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

things i have done during my lifetime

Things I have done during my lifetime are in big letters.
1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band. (I played in the concert band...clarinet.:)

4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower. (mom, billy and me sat in the back of bill's truck in the driveway at 2am.)

6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland.
8. Climbed a mountain. 
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. (definately in grade school, was a mortifying experience!)
11. Bungee jumped...never will!
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables. 
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitchhiked. (to mt hood meadows to snowboard, during my interview with nike)

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.

25. Held an alligator.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon. does half marathon count?
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language. enough to get by
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. ( was only for a couple days)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David.
41. Sung karaoke. 
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. (thailand)
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing. (just call me ralff!)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.

55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check. (oops, sorry mom!...just kidding)
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. 

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar.
72. Been to Canada. (should this really be on the list?)
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London.
77. Broken a bone. (my arm)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person. (Thanks, Steve and Jenn!)
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car. (5- tacoma, tacoma, tacoma, hylander, fj)
83. Seen Bon Jovi in concert.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper. (sports and wearing bridal gowns for my moms bridal shop)
85. Read Gone With The Wind.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury. (last year was an alternate, loved it!!!!)
91. Met someone famous. (many, but my favorite is still Dave Matthews)
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a lawsuit.
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee.

100. Totally copied a post from someone else's blog to your own. (first and last time, thanks Kristen and seth)
Im adding some to the list
101. has watched each and every friends episode more than 20 times!
102. has tried something many times that scares you to death!(kiteboarding)
103. has knowingly eaten raw duck liver and assumed they would not get sick from it (yeah, threw up daily for weeks! Taiwan!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009


My apologies to my loyal readers for me not being able to post since tuesday. I feel so behind and i have so much to share...but as usual work comes today is sunday and i am hoping to make back posts for the last few days.  So look down below this post and before march 10th post....thats where i am adding them....

some quick corrections on prior posts:
so the folks here in taiwan do not call the "scooters", scooters.  they are called bikes.  To them a scooter is something different and me not being up on my bike.scooter jargon creates confusion...anyways you know what i mean! there are still alot of little "bikes" all over the place over here.

some more fun:
 so my toilet in the hotel stopped flushing sometime last night.  at first i thought it may be a way to save water because they were having a drought and all(even though it has rained a ton), but this morning, it still didnt work.. so i called in housekeeping....they came in and i went out while they were cleaning and fixing and came back with food (mcdonalds!?!) they said it would be 5 minutes....but now it has been at least 15 and my mcdonalds is cold and they are still working....I am tempted to leave and go eat elsewhere, but i dont think it would be polite to let anyone see me scarf down this american mcdonalds food, cause that is what i am going to do.......

cheers and happy sunday!

btw - the post times are wrong cause it is noon here!