Friday, November 28, 2014

Day 6: Shopping at the Outlet...

~19th March 2014~
Pinky has sent me a photo to show me that it's really cheap to shop at the outlet which happened to be in Taichung. So, I agreed that we should go and have a look. How to go to that outlet? How would I know? Hail a cab, jump in and ask that taxi driver to take us there. Drop us at the main entrance. Even if it's the wrong outlet also we wouldn't know. Whatever happen to our thrifty thinking? Take a bus, walk. Taxis are for rich people only. Okay, we are rich then. Amen to that~!

One of Pinky's activities is to shop and shop and shop. Yeah right, we did no shopping at all. 
No photography inside the outlet. There should be spring sales but I wonder why weren't there any shoppers thronging the outlet. The first shop that we set our eyes upon was the one selling branded handbags. I dug out the price tag tucked inside one of the zipper compartment and my eyes nearly rolled out of their sockets. Talk about China selling the most expensive things in their shopping malls where after a slash of 70%, the price of a simple blouse cost 6000++ yuan. There's not much of a difference in Taiwan. Everything was written in five figures. I would need my scientific calculator with me next time if I'm going back there. After all the price slash, we couldn't even afford anything in the outlet. I wonder where do the Taiwanese buy their clothes from? I can buy lots of clothes in Gurney or whichever shopping malls back here, but I couldn't afford to even by a piece of bra at the outlet in Taichung. The price of a bra and the handbag is almost the same. The handbag looks like it's more worth buying than the piece of bra. But I couldn't wear the handbag as a substitute to my bra. So, the conclusion was on the way to the outlet, hopping into taxis and being driven by drivers, we felt like rich people. The moment we entered the outlet and walked out of it empty-handed and with terrible headache and eyesore, we walked out feeling like paupers. We hopped into the next taxi that we could find and asked to be taken to the night market where we felt like rich people again.

Day 6: Dinner at Tea Time in Taichung...

~ 19th March 2014~
Walking around like we've been there forever...
After looking at the pandas on display on the floor at the place that we're going to stay for one night, we went hunting for food. You've not seen any proper food photos for day 6. That's because we've not been eating. I wonder what were we made of at that time. How could we not be hungry at all? We were becoming like professional street walkers in Taiwan. In Taipei, we relied heavily on the map. We do not have Taichung map with us. But now that I'm back home, I realized that we do have a complete map of Taichung but we never seem to bother to check it out. It's okay. We managed perfectly. We were walking to where we could find crowds of people. Even if I was holding a map at that point of time, I have no idea where our location was. We just walked on.
A catchy name that caught our attention...
After the food shock in Ximending on the first day, we have no positive expectation for night market food. Until now, if you were to ask Pinky, she would still stand firm on her opinion that there's no good food at the night market. So, we came to a row of restaurants. We stood outside thinking of which one to enter. We finally settled for Tea Time. Fancy being served tea at dinner time. And there seem to be a lot of people there. Others do not look that appealing.
Completely empty :D
The ground level was totally full. We asked to be seated at somewhere with no crowd. Yeah, we are a bunch of travelers who dislike looking at crowd and definitely do not like being sardined among crowds. The waitress asked us to go upstairs. Cool~! We have the whole upstairs all to ourselves. Completely without any humans except for the three of us and the waitress serving us.
Pinky sitting for food exam...
When we saw the menu, I think we could swallow a cow. But mi mama was wise enough to ask Pinky to order for two persons only so that we could share and see what's good at the night market. I read a lot about Fengjia night market being the mother of all night markets where they experimented on food before starting to sell them in other counties. Give it a try. Anyway my student has reminded me to try the bear paw burger at the night market. I was determined to try that one. The menu was something like we had at Kim Gary. It's like sitting for an examination, tick your right answers or else you will get something that you do not want. If you are an illiterate then you better go eat at the night market. I was Chinese illiterate so I let Pinky decide.
Our breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner....
Pinky ordered cheesy rice, I think and another hot pot of glass noodles. I just know that the taste wasn't that good but they were edible considering that we have had no breakfast, lunch or tea. That would do for that time. But I really regretted eating those because the portions were so huge and we were full to the brim. I will tell you why I regretted having dinner there. It's not about the place. If I were to have dinner some other place, I would regret, too.

Eat. Sleep. ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

The plan was to wake up late in the afternoon. The hungry stomach woke me up at 10:30a.m. We had the tastier leftovers. We finished cleaning up and returning the house to its usual state at 2a.m. Took a shower early in the morning before shutting off the brain. After a simple lunch, we crawled back upstairs to the bed. I was thinking of going to the horse stable but after checking out the route map, the road seems to be a very long drive. Then, we lie down on the bed still thinking whether to go or not. My precious woke up just to have lunch then crawl back to sleep. She lacks of sleep for a few months already, maybe a few years already. So, I just let her sleep. She's not that keen to get out of the house. So, okay. I strike our trip off temporarily. I did up the photos and only managed to publish one post only about yesterday. I'm really sleepy and tired. Then, I thought of going to the night market in Perak Road. Even the weather is not on my side. The moment I voiced out my suggestion the sky roared with thunder. I looked out and saw that.... *sigh*.... Is that going to blow away?

Owh... It's not going to blow away. Instead, it started showering. So, we crawled downstairs to have something to eat and crawled up again. I think only my phone has been charged 100% while my body is only charged at 10% for eating and crawling up and down the stairs. Right now, I'm comfortably stuck to the computer. Just yesterday, the house looked like it's gonna split apart. Today, it's so quiet. I did not even make it to my front door today. I'm just upstairs and down at the kitchen and the toilet. It's just like eating, sleeping and shitting only. I think all of us are going to crawl back to bed later and wake up late for tomorrow.

I Have Another Blog Address...


Just to let you all know, I have another blog address at where I write about everything that I cooked and what happens to my kitchen. You can grab some ideas of what to cook if you don't have any idea. This blog here of course is still active. Just want to separate food from my kitchen then everything else here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I Launch: Penang, Where My ♥ `•.¸.•´ ♥ Is....

I have live here all my life but I don't know anything about this place. Now that I look at other people's photos, I have no idea where they took it from. I have a house in the middle city, one at the end of the island and one at the outskirt but I don't know anything about this island that I've been born and bred. Sad, right? While others take flights or had to squeeze in their tight working schedule to tour this little island, I have all the opportunity to walk every corner of the island at whatever day and whatever time that I wish, yet I've never done that.

So, for this school holiday, I've shifted my working days to three days a week only. For the other four days, I'm going to walk my own island like how I walk all over Taiwan and explore other countries. I just hope I can survive the hot sun. Mi mama will be using an umbrella while I might be wearing a cap or a hat and wear my long sleeves out. What to bring for this self-made trip:

  • maps...
  • cameras...
  • drinking water...
  • don't know....
My initial plan was to take Rapid bus then I will be a true budget traveler but then I've changed my mind now. I'm going to drive. It's the comfort of walking around the homeland. I don't think we'll going for food hunting because we're picky eaters. It depends on our level of tiredness. If too tired, then we will just shift the plan to the next day.

I've searched on the places to go online and most websites wrote the same boring stuff. After reading so many, I feel like staying at home and not going anywhere. I choose to write a different one for this trip unless it really bores me then I'll write an honest post about it.

I don't drink coffee but mi mama does. We might hop into a few cafes in town. Treat us nicely, serve us well, I'll write you a good recommendation post. Give us lousy service and spoil my day, you will end up here and become famous as well.

Tomorrow I will be hosting a party bigger than last year's. I have yet to start on the preparation. Only a last minute person will truly understand me. Sometimes, I do prepare early then after I'm done cooking, I still have an hour or so to wait for the guests. I'm not sure how tomorrow will be. Maybe I'll be as mad as last year where I'm all the time in the kitchen making McJu. This year I'll make mini McJu's and then we'll have.... ahhh.... you have to come to know what's going to be around. But I plan to dress up nicely and leave the kitchen empty with everything done. I want to be the photographer for my own event. My kitchen crew is taking a leave because it's their birthday celebration. They will be enjoying themselves tomorrow. So, I only have my precious who will man the grille. I'm thinking of making the dumpling on the spot. My precious is handling our lunch and dinner for today. I have just dropped her a barrage of instructions but I don't know whether those instructions went into her brain or all floated from the right to the left ear only. 

I'm still torn between writing my one month long trip which is still stuck on Day 6. If I am to write about my Penang trip accordingly, it will be end of next year that I'll start writing about it. Too many things to write.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Day 6: One Middle New City? Panda Tour??

~19th March 2014~
Our double beds...
Finally, the young lady, not like we're old ladies, but the girl who took us to the office to settle the remaining of our payment was really young, like she's in her early 20s. This minsu in Taichung is like the budget hotel we have in Malaysia. Mind you, this place is more expensive than the luxurious minsu that we stayed in Taipei. It's in a building with shoplots and after taking an elevator up, we had to hoist our luggage up two flights of steps. We weren't very happy with all these. Then, the inexperienced young lady made mention that if we needed anything, we could just call her on her mobile. All three of us shouted at the same time,"NO NO NO NO NO NO!" We told her straight in her face that we will not call her no matter what as her phone would be switched off and we would be listening to the annoying voice recording. What we weren't happy about was that the girl did not even offer a simple apology. After we spent hours and our kind taxi driver spent hours calling her, she could just muster up a SORRY, but instead she just explained that her colleague took the phone. If that colleague took the phone, couldn't the phone be switched on? Very bad way to run a business. I don't care whether you're just an ignorant staff or the owner or the owner's daughter, you did a lousy job. Apart from all the inconvenience, the mattress was really comfortable.
This is the only reason that I can think of on what the heck we were there for. Before I go further, one thing that you must know is, in every trip and every step, it has been pre-arranged by God and we just followed without realizing that it has been arranged in such a way. By the way, the name of the place is 一中New City and the last two words, please figure it out yourself. Direct translation for 一中would be ONE MIDDLE. Beats me... I will not torture myself mentally by thinking about the name of this place. When we were at Taipei Central, we picked up a few brochures at the information counter. There was a brochure about Pandas World Tour Taipei 1600 but everything was written in Chinese. I really wanted to look at those pandas touring around Taipei. Clueless me thought that there would be real live pandas being brought around and how could there be 1600 pandas parading the town when there were not that many pandas. My partner in crime international travel buddy told me that they aren't real. So what are they? How can you have fake pandas walking around? Humans in panda suits? I think my questions asked in Taipei were answered in Taichung.
The adorable panda soft toys. They were right smack there on the ground level of where we were staying. I took the chance to snap photos but not that many. Thank God that I took the few photos as after we came back, all the pandas have been kept. The next morning, we left the place as early as we could muster up our strength to move on. Do you realize that there's no food photos at all? It's because we did not have any breakfast and we only had those two sweet potatoes for brunch. There's no proper lunch as well. Marvelous us were not hungry at all. I wonder where did we get all the strength to mark our footsteps all over the place without fuel in our body. We hardly drink water as we always ran out of drinking water and public toilets were as difficult to find as rubbish bins.
This might not be the real Pandas World Tour Taipei. Maybe it's just an introduction to the world tour. The full information was right smack there but please don't expect me to understand a single word. You can enlarge the photo to get the full information. I'm not gonna guess what it says as well. Don't know means don't know. Cannot read means cannot read. I know two Chinese words though... 一中 [ONE MIDDLE for direct translation or yi zhong for the pinyin] You don't know what's pinyin? Then you're worse than me in understanding the Chinese language. God is good... how could you ever deny that? I got to see my pandas whether the person in charge of the minsu was lousy or not. Thank you Pinky for getting this place.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Unthinkable and Indescribable Joy...

It was on a Wednesday. Additional Maths for Paper 1 SPM ended at 10 a.m. I woke up at 6:30a.m. to cook lunch for my two musketeers. We arrived home at 10:30a.m. as I wasn't punctual and it wasn't like both of them will walk out of the school at 10 sharp. The papers needed to be collected and they needed time to sashay out. Upon arriving home, all three of us had the same thought. Dim sum~!!! 
Both of you so big already. My job is completed. It's finished~!!!! They have two more papers to go but hubby will be fetching as I'll be working from morning till night all over again. Such short-lived pleasure of not working. I don't even have a whole month of sitting around and doing nothing. Not working seems to be more work bouncing out from I don't know where. I can't even finish my holiday photos and updates. Whatever it is, without realizing it, last Wednesday was my last day being a chauffeur driving up and down come what may. I have to fetch them from school whether rain or shine, in good health or sickness. There was once the whole place was flooded and the jam was so bad, I actually walked to the school to get them home safely when I was drenched in flood water as some crazy passing by cars just zoomed off and I got splashed from head to toe. I've sacrificed going out with friends for lunch but now that I'm used to it, I would rather cook at home. You may have two more days to go before you scream out loud for finishing high school but I'm the happiest person of all. I no longer need to drive under the hot sun. Love you, both for growing up. I've waited for this moment for 11 long and dry years.
We had our favourite deep-fried plates. Owh... such crunchiness. That's all we had as I have prepared lunch for them. The moment they entered the house, they were attacking lunch. Hmmmm....  SPM is just SPM okay... No straight A's then let it be. Straight A's won't bring you to heaven. Love you both~!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day 6: 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan [國立自然科學博物館九二一地震教育園區]

~19th March 2014~
921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan
This is a place suggested by my cousin-in-law, the laughing doctor. She has been there before and she said it's something different to open our eyes. Taiwan is badly seated on the long horseshoep-shaped seismically active belt of earthquake epicentres with daily movements of the earth. Either the movement was so small that it was insignificant or it was so deadly that the Richter scale went crazy. This place used to be a primary school but has been dedicated to become a museum when the biggest earthquake shook the Taiwanese nation on the 21st of September 1999 hence, the name begins with 921.
The Richter scale walkway...
I've only experienced two aftershocks when earthquakes happened in neighbouring countries. This place was a little bit far off from the city of Taichung thus, the place was not sardine packed with humans. I guess tour agents won't bring tourists to this place which doesn't portray happiness but reflected on a very sad incident. It's only a reminder that life is fragile. The earthquake happened in the middle of the night or else there would be more children casualties as this primary school was badly hit.
One from the gallery....
The entrance fee to the museum is NT$50 only, somewhere around RM5. There are 5 different buildings that needed to be covered. Please move faster. We slow pokes ended up running to get all chops on our paper. Remember to bring an empty note book or paper to collect the stamps at various places. Even at MRT stations you could collect the chops. We had all the chops of the places. It's something like souvenirs without having to pay at all. The first building you walked into is known as Chelongpu Fault Gallery. That's where you can see all the displays and explanations on what makes the earth move and how earthquakes take place.
The main building of the school...
The Earthquake Engineering Hall is next. I wasn't paying much attention to the explanation. Small prints in Chinese, English and Japanese kill my eyes. I am not a reader when I'm holding the camera. I'm more interested with snapping photos. And I find it annoying to listen to any wrong translation of the English Language. It is either hilarious or after listening to all the wrong usage of words, you ended up so confuse, your brain has been shaken with an earthquake of a different kind, that would be mental earthquake.
One of the classroom blocks...
The first thing that you would come face-to-face with to know that this place was truly a victim of a massive quake would be the running tracks, which has been lifted up and brought down at such impact, the running tracks looked like a frozen surf on the sea. 
The running tracks...
Then, we came upon this school building which you could see the water tank on the rooftop was slanted. I couldn't think what would have happened or how would the children felt if the quake happened during school hours. I would want to be at home in the comfort of my room, bed and comforter when all come tumbling down in a heap. As one with fighting spirit, I will find ways to come out of the rubble but if its meant not to come out alive, praying for the last time would be good enough.
The washroom being shaken away...
Was that the washroom? Where to run when calamity strike? There's nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. Crying would be futile. Screaming would be useless. Dying wasn't your choice either. Losing limbs would leave one totally devastated. Being alive would be a miracle. When we saw the ruins of what an earthquake could do, we were really thankful that Malaysia is still, until today, a peaceful country without calamities but unless the nation starts praying, there might be a change in future. Change for the worse, not for the better. Some parts of our beloved country has not been spared of hurricanes. The sign of the earth at birth pangs.
Thank God no classes in the middle of the night...
Another reminder was no matter how rich you are, how powerful you are, when calamities strike, no one, rich or poor, would be spared. Therefore, humble yourself before you are brought down to your knees by force. No matter how big your house is now, everyone ends up at practically the same big box at the end of the day.
Be careful... how? I don't know...
There were three more buildings which were not connected. One was the Image Gallery. That's where we were given the experience to feel the same magnitude of quake that happened on the 21st September 1999 measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale. The room has small round cushions stuck to the floor and at first we chose the corner, nearest to the bookshelf with books. Then, I was thinking what if the shaking was really bad and the bookshelf come tumbling down on us unfortunately, that wouldn't be such a great holiday and it was only our third day in the country. So, we shifted to the centre of the room. True to my words, the books, not the shelf, same tumbling down on where we first got ourselves seated. After watching a short video clip and going through the quake simulation, we said that if really there's an earthquake, we wouldn't run anywhere. There's just nowhere to run.
In every life, there's death. The same goes with in every death, a new life is born. Isn't that new plant a resilient one? It grew out of the concrete slab. Before long, the concrete slab will completely crack to give life it's on way. A concrete slab has no life of its own. This is another one of God's amazing creation. Oh, don't miss out the 3-D movie at the Disaster Prevention Hall? I don't remember where. I don't even know where. I just know there's this 3-D movie to tell you what you should do in the event of an earthquake and what you shouldn't do. The midnight earthquake really taught them an expensive lesson. The casualties must be very high but not as high as Tangshan's big earthquake in 1976. I read Chinese history written in English. I would very much like to read about Taiwan's history but I've not come across any such books yet.
The completely shaken school....

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day 6: The Call Rate and The Taxi~!

~ 19th March 2014 ~
The prepaid which we subscribed to...
Our kind taxi driver stopped us at a phone shop so that we could get down and get our prepaid card ASAP. That ASAP took an hour long as we encountered various problems. My name has been registered before as a user thus, could not be used anymore. That's absurd as I've never been to Taiwan so I think, the system is not so smart after all in such a hi-tech country. How could you just look up for the name with the same spelling and who's that person with my name hah~! The system must be smarter, programmers, do something about it~! If you need our passport to register then the system should be able to detect that the names might be the same but the passport numbers are different. And that person with her name similar to mine is from another country~! Don't tell me Taiwanese with the same name cannot register for a phone card as well?

Pinky has a bigger problem. The girls at the counter has never seen a visa issued by the embassy in the Land of Oz, so they said her document is not valid for registration as well. The girls even called here and there for verification but in the end both of us sat there for so long not being able to register for a phone card. In the end, we have to get mi mama as our last resort.
Finally done~!
Finally, we got our phone card and our NT$1000 just flew out of the pocket. We became NT$1000 poorer. My phone was used as my battery can last longer than Pinky's dying 5 years old iPhone.
The rate~!
While waiting for the registration process to be done, I flipped the guide booklet. As long as there's English, I could survive. The calling rates to Malaysia is not cheap so I couldn't get to call mi hubby. But I have hotspot to online 24/7. The lowest calling rate would be to the United States. Why so cheap huh? And it's so expensive to call back to China. In the end, we did call back to China but my calls to Malaysia was cut off. Hhhhmmmm.... not enough credit? Couldn't be...
Still calling...
Now I know why were we so happy in the taxi other than the uncle being a nice person. You look at that window sticker? MasterCard or Visa. We paid our taxi fare with a credit card so we wouldn't feel so poor with always not having enough cash. I was still very loaded with cash at that time. Imagine walking the streets with thousands and thousands of NT$ in hand. Pinky was still trying to get the person in charge of the homestay. Do you know how annoying it is to listen to,"We're sorry. The number you've dialed is not in service." It's annoying in whatever language. You can speak in alien language, but that tone is still very annoying. 
Heading to our next destination...
It's okay. We're going to our next destination. We're not going to worry about where to stay as long as we have our luggage with us. Sleeping under the bridge or the train station would be fine, too. That's what mi mama suggested for Alishan~!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day 6: That Rainbow Village in Taichung...

~ 19th March 2014 ~
If I'm not mistaken, you'll have to walk into this Rainbow Village. Just a short distance from outside. You'll be greeted by these few walls erected with kiddy paintings. It's not done by kids but a veteran soldier. A little bit of story behind this village. It was a village for the veteran soldiers but the small village was bound to be removed to give way to development. Because of one man's stand for his only place called home, he started painting all over the village and thus, became one of the tourist attractions of Taichung. When a place has become a tourist attraction, hopefully the government would not have the heart to tear down the old place. The whole of Taiwan seems to be relying heavily on tourism.
It was spring but the hot weather was really killing us. None of us enjoyed walking and soaking in our own sweat. Mi mama wasn't smiling in any of these photos. I think mi mama was about to faint under the terrible heat. I can smile because I know I'm photogenic.... hahahahha... I smile when the camera snaps and then my face turned monstrous and we marched on. You should see how we walked through the whole village. It was like we ransacked the whole area looking for hidden gold or chasing after a refugee. We were really fast.
It was at this place that all of us felt that the tripod has contributed the most to this trip. We were so efficient, I set up the tripod then in every corner that we felt like we wanted to take a photo, I had the timer set at 6 seconds, Pinky and mi mama already posing and left me one spot, I walked over, the green light blinks faster and faster and *ka chak* and either Pinky or I grabbed the tripod with the camera stuck on it and we just said,"Go~! Go~! Go~!" We didn't have to say much. All three of us had synchronized brain. We knew where to stop to take photos. Hhahahahaha....
If you look carefully at the windows, there were papers tied to the window sill. I think they were good wishes written by tourists. Sorry, we didn't know much. We were in a great hurry because it was so hot and we didn't like the idea that our kind taxi driver was in the taxi outside waiting for us. We didn't want him to suffer from heat stroke while we took our own sweet time. 
We were not the only people there. You see behind us? There were quite a number of people. The veteran soldier was still staying there but when we arrived, he has gone out for lunch. That's what another person told us. Even if I got to meet him, I wouldn't know what to ask him. Maybe I would ask him why would he want to continue staying there when maybe the authority could give him a better place? Well, maybe when you have grown roots in one place, you refused to move. I know I wouldn't move anywhere no matter how green the grass was on the other side.
So, as international tourists, we could help by just going there. There was no entrance fee charged. Maybe you would be moved to donate some cash for the upkeep of the place. It was afterall, a lot of effort put in to paint the whole place from the ground up to the ceiling. It shows just how desperate for a person to retain his living squatter from being bulldozed down. I said let's help by keeping this place alive and around. It is beautiful even if it was just doodling. This is a form of art that should be appreciated. If one could appreciate graffiti, why not this?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day 6: The Most Outstanding Taxi Driver of Taichung...

~ 19th March 2014 ~
Uncle, you're the best~!
We had our luggage with us. We had money with us. We don't have phone cards. We don't know where's the minsu that we booked. But we have mouth to ask around and we're not afraid to march on. I taught Pinky the Western-style of traveling like those in the movies. Hail for a cab, hop in and decide later. The taxis were in a queue so we were not allowed to choose which taxi we would like to hop into. So we just climbed into the one next in line. Uncle, I'm sorry I couldn't even read your name. Seriously sorry, can't Google translate as this is a piece of photo.

As the uncle drove off, he asked us where did we want to go. We told him straight-forward our whole story of not being able to get to the homestay person in charge and we already paid the deposit and bla bla bla bla on and on we told him in great detail when we didn't have much detail with us at all. I think we just vomited out a whole lot of problem to him. We told him we had the person's phone number but we never call before coz' no phone card how to call? Then, this taxi driver whipped out his mobile phone and he asked for the phone number. He said he would call himself. He couldn't get to the number at all. The phone has been switched off. Oh, no~! Have we been conned? Couldn't be, right? So, since we planned to go to a few places in Taichung, we actually wanted to go by bus but we checked with this uncle about the route. He said it would be difficult to get transport as Taichung is not as developed as Taipei. And the places we wanted to go would be at different ends of the county. 

Since, he's so kind to tell us the details, we don't mind paying him extra to take us to our destinations and also to pay him for the waiting time, but in the end he didn't charge us for waiting for us slow pokes. Bless you, uncle~!

We asked him to take us to any homestay if he still couldn't get the one we booked for. He said okay as he knows a few homestays and also hotels. We then happily moved to our next destination. After we're done with our next destination, he took us to a phone shop to get our phone card. Oh, my~! It took us more than an hour just to get the phone card. Again, we parked mi mama inside the taxi just in case the taxi drove off. Thinking about it now, we should be more worried if mi mama was driven away. How odd of us not to think of that. My name couldn't be used to register for the phone card as someone else who has the same name as I do, had registered for a phone card before. Hello... isn't that stupid? There are so many people with the same name but different passport number, couldn't that be recognized? Pinky's name also cannot be used as she's holding a travel document given by the embassy at the Land of Oz and they have never seen such travel visa before, so they refused to let her register her name. In the end, we had to get mi mama out of the taxi and things were settled soon after. Easy as that. But our one hour just flew away.

Then, we headed to the next destination and wasted uncle's few hours waiting for us at the hot parking lot. When we were done, uncle announced that he knew where we were going to stay. We were quite surprised by that sudden knowledge. So, he said that he had tried to call the number many many times until in the end the phone was switched on~!! That's very irresponsible for a person who runs a business to switch off the phone~! I have my phone switched on 24 hours~! We were very touched by uncle's initiative to make those phone calls. Many people wouldn't be bothered and we would be so lost. But, this uncle, while waiting for us, he thought he might try calling. Uncle, you're so kind. If there's such an award to give you, I would have given you more than an award. I would give you a pension and let you lead a comfortable life not having to work at an old age. 

When we were about to arrive at the place, uncle called the homestay person to pick us up from downstairs. He only left when he saw that we were accompanied to where we were gonna stay. Uncle, thank you very much. God bless you and your household~! 

Day 6: The High Speed Chase to Taichung...

~ 19th March 2014 ~
Girl~! What's that in your hands??? 
After taking the bus ride down to Taipei Central Station, we decided to hail a cab to take us to our minsu to grab our luggage. It was a mad chase as the traffic was piling up at noon time. We were really smart asses at times. We asked the cab driver to wait for us while we go get our luggage babysat by Miss Chen. We parked mi mama in the cab just in case the cab driver decided to drive off without any of us and it was really hard to get a cab at our minsu. We ran up and almost banged down Miss Chen's room door. To our horror, after much banging, no one opened the door. We didn't have our phone card yet to make phone calls and the wifi connection was very poor at the corridor. I kept on banging until the building that was about to crumple to the ground rattled like there's an earthquake... nah, that's just a metaphor. We didn't know what to do, then there was a still small voice telling me to turn the door knob. I'm a very decent person who doesn't simply open another person's door. But since we're about to miss our train, I turned the door knob and voila~! The door opened and I ran into Miss Chen's room with my dirty shoes and got all our luggage and stuff and ran to the elevator. We then hopped into the cab and the cab driver said we were slow. We were not slow, we were just busy banging down the door. Then, we got stuck in traffic and I wished I had not taken so many photos. The moment we reached the rail station, we were again so totally lost. We did not know the pathway to our platform. In the end, the blind led the blind and we came to our train, hopped on and found our seats. We were 2 minutes before the departure time. The door closed behind us and sped off before we could even lay our arses on the seats. We heaved a sigh of relief and settled down for the short ride to Taichung. If by car it would be a few hours, this is by high speed rail, so it was less than an hour. 
Resting my tired feet....
I was glad to be able to rest my overworked feet. The leg room was spacious enough to have Pinky's luggage comfortably be my leg rest. To our next destination, we were still unable to contact the minsu owner. The minsu owner in Taichung can only be contacted via WeChat by Pinky. She didn't reply any of the messages at all and we have paid the deposit.
Enjoying the view....
Mi mama had no worries. She doesn't know the minsu people and we could forget about the deposit and go somewhere else. Mi mama just need to enjoy the high speed rail train ride, looking at the scenery of the outskirt of Taiwan. Beautiful, that house outside. Very English-like~!
No eyes to see...
Mi mama not worrying about anything. She said no eyes to see. Just walk ahead since we're already here. Jesus will take care of us.
None available...
Our plan was to park our luggage at the baggage storage. Park our arse~! Our luggage can't fit into any of those and all the big ones were taken already. Then, we looked carefully. Actually there was not even one that was available. So, forget about this plan of coming back to the station. We were marching forward without looking back~!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 6: Yangmingshan National Park [陽明山國家公園]

~19th March 2014~
Tada~! That's a real clock ticking away. It's just like what we've seen from the official website of the country. I should have taken the photo from a higher ground. How could I not think of that? How silly :(
There will be shuttle buses taking you into the scenic places all over the hill. It's something which we missed as well due to lack of time in hand. We have purchased our high speed rail tickets on the first day itself upon arrival thus, we had to follow strictly to our schedule. That's the only guideline that we had to follow accordingly. Anyway, we got to strike off one of the things we wanted to do from our bucket list, not like we really have a bucket list. There are lots of beautiful flowers as it was spring season but we wanted to see the sweet osmanthus in pink and it came in different colours as well.
Sitting under the old oak tree sweet osmanthus tree. I would like to sit under an old oak tree... one day, it shall come to pass. I don't think we really have any regrets no doubt we missed out on all the lovely trails. We're happy and that's what matters. 
There are various colours of bougainvilleas as well. I grew up with a small hill in front of the house with lots of bougainvilleas. This is the sight that makes you feel like you're in dreamland. Talking about sleeping on a bed of roses. How did that idiom come about when roses have thorns? It wouldn't be comfortable to lie on a bed of roses with all the thorns poking you.
It's okay whether the waterfall is man-made or natural. It's beautiful. I think this is where I started falling in love with flowers. I do not like flowers in a bouquet. That's why I insisted on planting flowers in my own garden. Too bad that our weather is too hot to let any of those beautiful colourful flowers live. 
We totally ditch our eating plan. We didn't have nay breakfast and lunch time was nearing. Still there's no time to sit down properly for food. Then, we saw this lady selling sweet potatoes. The price was very reasonable and I don't think she would lie about the sweetness of her sweet potatoes.
Mi mama and pinky bought the purple and the yellow sweet potatoes. They were really sweet. I think that's for brunch - breakfast + lunch. I will have to remind myself not to cheat our hungry stomach during our next trip together.
I had that for lunch. Sausage roll waiting to be deep-fried. The taste was really horrible. The bread was powdery to the point of choking. Why? Why can't the deep fried food be nicer? My hubby can make better deep fried food~!
Goodbye~! I'm sure we won't be back again, with no regrets. One more thing that I want to complain, please put more dustbins at the parking lot, the entrance and the exit and everywhere you can see lots of people mingling around and also near the stretch of food stalls. It's ridiculous to walk all the way to the entrance just to get to a small dustbin. Rubbish were strewn on the road at the parking lot and when I saw a staff of the national park sweeping the rubbish, I asked him nicely whether I could throw our rubbish into the big rubbish bag he has with him. He answered rudely,"NO!" Almost yelling at me. He said the rubbish must be thrown into the dustbin at the entrance which would be a 10 minutes walk away. I ended up keeping all our rubbish in my bag.

You are a very rude man. The municipal worker outside my house, whenever they see me walking out with bags of rubbish, they would quickly tell me to put it into their rubbish bag to save me from walking far. Rude man~!!! I should have thrown my rubbish on the road itself and let you continue sweeping since you stingy fella refuse to let me throw into your rubbish bag. Keep on sweeping~! There will be more tourists from the mainland who couldn't stand not able to find any rubbish bin. Wait till they throw in your beautiful garden~!!! Whole of Taiwan don't have enough rubbish bin, want us tourists to keep our rubbish in our bags... follow China please. China has rubbish bins at every turn of your head.