Starting more than a week ago my home welcomed the stay of a Taiwanese exchange student under the MOE Taiwan Immersion Programme. The moment my sister came back home one day a couple of months back talking excitedly about this immersion programme which she wanted to sign up for, I felt a wave of excitement for her too. Maybe it's because of my homestay immersion programme two years plus ago in Germany which I really enjoyed and learnt a lot, and also seeing the friends around me having went for this programme and other immersion programmes years ago which compelled me to help my sister persuade the parents to agree to letting my sister take part in this programme.
In my dad's words, he said to my sister, "Just sign up first la, you think so easy to get meh?"
In the end, my sister did manage to snag a slot in this programme. I remember she came back one day after the first rounds of interviews saying that her name wasn't in the list of the pupils selected for the second round of interviews. But it turned out that she aced the first round of interviews that she needn't return for the second round. Since then, the family took a more ambivalent view of this immersion programme as we all geared up to welcome the stay of this Taiwanese girl.
I clean up my room, cleared up all the mess. My mother too, cleaned up the house, and cleared the dining table for use (because we don't usually use the dining table, it has become a storage table over the years). My dad thought up of a whole long list of places for us to bring the girl about hoping to show her more of Singapore, not just those parts which the tourists see.
The came the D-Day. The family including me were all at RELC all psyched up waiting to meet our new ward. I was imagining a girl something like those I've always been seeing in the various Jacky variety shows I tune in to regularly. Something like Rainie Yang, or Selina, or Hebe, or just some cute little girl with big eyes small face and long hair. Let's just that the Taiwanese girl whom we had to host was everything opposite of what I had dreamt.
The first moment me and my mother thought when we saw her was "Is this a guy or girl?" Yes, it is this bad.
She had the shortest hair among all the female students, she was the biggest size among all the female students, and she wore the longest skirt among all the female students. She had small eyes, wearing spectacles, and very masculine features which do not look good on her at all, she basically looked like an outcast. I know it's shallow to judge people based on looks, but I think looks also defines a person's character, whether he or she bothers to put an effort into how he/she looks like and how he/she wants to be seen by other people. Well, the kind of message this girl was trying to send across was that she was a reject.
My excitement died down as fast as I could say byebye, but I still wanted to try and be nice so I attempted to talk to her and see if indeed we shouldn't be judging people by their appearances. But the moment I started to talk to her I knew she wasn't a person I can get along with easily. I asked her if she'd like to have some refreshments, she said no, not even a little bit. I passed her off as being shy and reclusive. And on the trip home, she talked so little and so reluctantly and her replies comprised only of mono-syllabic answers, I knew she was just being difficult.
I thought the main purpose of this immersion programme is for the Taiwanese students to learn English and to practise the language, but this girl here did not understand a single English word and basically I felt no sense of her wanting to learn and improve. That's it, I washed my hands off her and called her weird to my sister.
At that time my sister was still very nice to her and tried to show appropriate care and concern and said I was being mean when I called her weird and stuff. But the longer that Taiwanese girl stayed the us, the more problems arose.
Later that day during dinner, she didn't want to try anything we offered her. When we asked her what she eats, she said she eats everything, but when we offer her local food to try she said she doesn't want to try it. Then as she rejected more and more food, we realised that she was an extremely picky eater despite her declaring herself as being able to eat anything. For the starters, she only eats things that she has eaten before, so she doesn't eat anything she never saw before, which comprises of almost all the local food. Wanting to bring her out to eat in a nice dining restuarant, my dad suggested Cantonese cuisine at Crystal Jade, which she flated turned down. Trying to be accommodating, we suggested Hokkien cuisine at Beng Hiang, but she too turned that down. She's crazy.
Anyway, as I was saying, the first day of her stay with us was problematic. Just about dinner time when we were happily tucking into our food, she threw her tantrums and said she didn't want to eat anything. On probing, she confessed that she was not feeling well. Being the super nice parents, we brought her to see a doctor. At the clinic, that stupid girl didn't even know how to write her official English name! I mean, who can't write their own names??? Then she was totally clueless when we asked about her date of birth, she doesn't know that Taiwan uses the ROC year system unlike the rest of the freaking 6billion population of the entire world. I can't believe that there can be such a stupid and ignorant person like her. I wonder how she managed to pass through the interviews to get to be on this programme.
I was so freaking pissed by having such a short end of the stick that I questioned my dad if he was willing to fork out the money on the doctor fees, but my dad being the nicest man on earth said that as long as she's okay, that few tens of dollars was okay.
Well, that was not the only time she went to the doctor lor. A couple of days later she went to the doctor again for flu, and altogether we spent $80 on her doctor fees which we wanted to get the insurance to cover, but here's another problem. The Taiwanese side of the teacher was unable to give our side's teacher a definite answer about the claiming of insurance. The that asshole opportunist of that butchofabitch said that she will keep the medical receipts, then she will bring back to get the insurance settled. Then my mother shrewdly asked her what was she going to do with the money claimed, that stupid buth said that she was going to give it to her mother! Like what the bloody hell?!! It is our money lor. In the end our family's stance was that it's okay if we don't get back the money paid, but we're definitely not going to let her or her mother profit from it.
If things were still not so bad, there're more horror stories coming up. On the second say of her stay with us, we found that our toilet was spewed with blood drops. My sister and I both had our period already so the only other female living with us (not counting the mother) was her. If spewing blood all over the toilet floor was still not so bad, she had let her blood stained the dining chair while we were having dinner. Luckily our dining set was marble made and not cushioned if not it would be totally disgusting. And that stupid girl didn't have the mind to clean up her bloody mess (pun intended).
I understand it's a pain in the ass (no pun intended) to have your period when travelling because I got mine on my first day in Germany on the immersion trip. But I had the sensibility to inform my host about it and ask her where to dispose of the waste material and I always made sure I cleaned up properly. So there's no excuse that this Taiwanese girl couldn't do the same.
She then took for granted that my mother was washing all her clothes for her, but my mother by then was complaining to us secretly that her clothes were disgusting. She's a girl yet she was wearing men's boxers. Men's boxers and sports bra, and her clothes were sweaty and disgusting, especially her underwear. Then again, I wonder how she managed to place her sanitary napkins on a pair of men's boxers. *shudders* I don't want to think about it.
At first I was the only one being mean about her, but by two days later, my sister was downright mean to her, in front of her, and bitching about her every night to me, mostly to vent her frustrations about the exchange buddy from hell. My sister concluded that she got the shortest end of the whole long stick. So, it wasn't just me, and my sister has taken it much much further.
The exchange buddy was irritating and downright rude to everybody. Every day she's ask my sister the same question about what they were going to do a few days from now, which my sister is totally clueless about because the itinery hasn't been set by the teachers so how'd she know. And when my sister wasn't able to answer, she shouted at my sister that she didn't knew anything so how was she going to properly host her. That was just downright rude and insolent. My sister was already trying her best and there she was not doing anything to help. If she so want to know what was going to happen, go and find out yourself la.
At first I thought she was somewhat of a butch, but according to my sister, she was a whiny butch. Her favourite phrases in school is "wo bu yao wo bu yao", in the whiny voice. If Selina or Hebe were to say that it'd be cute, but imagine a fat ugly butch like looking rude asshole saying that, it's just sounds so frigging gross.
Then not contented on just being the worse low-life ever, she was starting to dig. She made my sister pay for her expenses as part of the hosting experience, which is just totally wrong.
And it's not just our family thinking that she the most disgusting creature on earth, but all my sister's friends thought so too. My sister has this friend who was at first extremely patient with the Taiwanese asshole, and my sister thought that she was really nice, but once the Taiwanese girl was turned, my sister asked her friend how could she be so nice, the friend's reply was "It's the be-nice-to-animals week" OMG. hahaha~ Together they first started calling the Taiwanese girl polar bear, then they went on and called her ogre, so that they can talk freely in front of her because she didn't understand English.
The other Taiwanese girls on this programme from her school all shunned her too. They didn't asked her along when they went out together shopping and visiting other hosts.
Under a circumstance like this, all the little behaviours all matter. During dinner she never greets my parents to eat even though they greet her. She never once thanked my mother even though she treated my mother like a Filipino maid. She would wake my sister up unnecessarily by poking at her sides which my sister is intolerant about. On the day she left, she never said byebye or thanks to my mother even though my mother said byebye to her.
And the final straw. After the farewell dinner, me and my parents went to pick my sister up from the hotel when we saw her walking by us. She walked straight by us without any acknowlegement. My mother even said sarcastically if she had forgotten who we were, and she just walked by without any reply.
Even my dad who has the most even temper on earth by the end of her stay was totally disappointed and told us just not to be bothered about her. Ignore her.
All that we done for her, paying for her meals, washing her clothes, making sure she lived in comfort, ferried her here and there go shopping go school, even gave her an EZ link card to use without asking her to pay us back, and when she wanted to visit a family friend in Singapore, the parents arranged the meeting session, and brought her there and back, all those petrol. wah lau! And what we got back in gratitude is plain insolence from her.
Really no manners at all, really not well-brought up at all. Really a screwed up kid.
Thank god that we bade goodbye for her, but the return leg of this programme is that when my sister goes to Taiwan for her immersion programme she has to stay with that freak. My sister has already made plans to make friends with the other Taiwanese girls from her school so that she can hang out with them rather than being stucked with that piece of crap.
But one thing I am very disappointed with is how the teachers handled this problem. The teachers showed no maturity in ensuring the wellbeing of the students all they cared was to make sure the programme ran smoothly. It's kind of very sad.