Friday, January 30, 2015

My 1st Round Birthday Celebration of 2015: Nippon Yatai Mura...

I've finally found a restaurant which caters to my style. I'm a complicated and picky eater. That red raccoon has been around in Queensbay Mall for many years but every time we walked past that adorable raccoon, we had no idea why we just walked away. For many years we just walked away without giving it a chance to prove it's worth. So, last year we decided to give it a try since the restaurant has been around for many years. We walked in and *sigh* the choosing of food was one difficult one. I dislike flipping through menu as it would take up so much time. For example, having a meal at Kim Gary was like sitting for an examination or quiz with a pencil in hand and ticking the correct box for your order.

The waiter from Nepal was serving us on our first visit. I have no photos from the first visit as I just realized that those photos have not been uploaded into the computer and I have asked the hubby to remove all photos from the memory cards. I was a tad upset yesterday upon knowing that I don't have any of the raccoon photos. So, back to the story. I was asking the waiter regarding one of the dishes on the menu but I had no idea what the waiter was trying to say. He ended up dragging the chef out from the kitchen. The chef was one fantastic man who said he would whipped out something not in the menu. THIS I LIKE~!!! Surprise me~!!!! Bring it on...~!! *dancing on the table* I definitely like this kind of service. Thus, for my birthday, my precious and mi mama treated us to Nippon Yatai Mura for lunch. Hubby had called earlier to ask the chef to prepare 3 dishes. I thought the hubby was a bit crazy.... all of us are big eaters and he called for 3 dishes. But the chef knows best he kept bringing food out from the wonderful Japanese kitchen. The chef is the best. He knows what kinda food we like. I just mentioned that NO VEGE PLEASE~!

Surprise~! Surprise~!!!
Fancy having such a big half-head of salmon for birthday? The sauce was so wonderful we refused to let the waiter remove the plate when we were done with the head. I think hubby ate the fish bones as well as it was so delicious. Nah.... actually he ate the huge eyeball. I'm starting to get hungry now looking at this. We started digging the flesh out and putting them aside.
Then, those tender chicken with chilli powder and lots more of marinade done to perfection took a place on our table. I can't eat those two alone. Where's my rice? I have been influenced by my travel buddy to eat rice and more rice. Don't worry I'm having healthy rice like basmathi and for that day we had fried sushi rice.
The unagi fried rice finally hopped onto our table. My precious said that she wanted to comment that the fried rice looked very simple. The aroma of the fried rice was just so-so. Then, when we scooped the rice into our mouth.... have you eaten something which tasted so good that you feel like jumping up and down like a mad person? The dishes at Nippon Yatai Mura actually made us felt like doing so. It's like we haven't have any experience eating fantastically prepared food before. I could have the whole huge wok of that fried rice. Trust me.... I scooped my rice to my empty plate of salmon head, the sweet soy sauce was there to dance with the rice. I could lick the plate clean.
That was the dish for the month of December 2014 but he made it again with small blobs of mayonnaise as decoration. I don't know whether it's mayonnaise or tartar sauce or a mixture of everything. But the potatoes and onions were fried or were they braised? to such texture and taste that I could just pretend that those onions were noodles. I'm not exaggerating. You should go there once but maybe you will have to pick from the menu. I see others having to choose from the menu. I'm thankful that we found favour with the chef. Actually that salmon dish arrived a few minutes before the unagi fried rice. So, my precious scooped her share of rice onto that empty salmon plate with all the yummy sauce.
Okonomiyaki appeared without warning. The first okonomiyaki I had was when I was in Melbourne. The taste from the Melbourne Japanese restaurant was horrible so I was afraid this would turn out to be as bad. But in the end, this was so good but of course it wasn't in the menu as it took quite a long time to prepare. Again, I am grateful for this kind gesture. We licked almost all plates clean except for one. Will show you which one shortly.
The beef was served. I was okay with that. I preferred the teriyaki chicken which I had the first time I was there. The teriyaki chicken was so good, I think I ran out of vocabularies to describe how delicious every dish was. That plate of beef with peppercorn was just okay. 
The volcano sushi came to our rescue. The beef had to bow out and gave way for the sushi. My precious said it was volcano hot but to me, it was just nice. I love Japanese food. Sometimes I would go and dine outside, then came back cooking the same thing. We observed the food and we dissect the food and looked at the garnishing, by the time we arrive home we know how to do it. Terrible us~! But for Japanese food, I can't prepare even a dish. I'm not familiar with the sauces neither am I familiar with the preparation. I thought I found Tsuruya as my favourite spot to dine in but the red raccoon has just secured a permanent place in my tummy.
Nippon Yatai Mura is actually famous for serving ramen with spiciness ranging from Level 1 to Level 40. We ordered Level 1 and that's the last we could take in. The soup was great but the spiciness made us sweat and we ended up downing glasses of cold sky juice. Eventually, the tummy got bloated with water. So, smart suggestion by the waiter as somehow or other, the crew knew that we were almost done with our lunch. The ramen as finale~
The hubby had to finish all for us. We couldn't take it anymore. Mi mama also could not take the spiciness. Imagine if we were proud and called for Level 10 I think we would grab the whole jug of water and a bucket of ice to rescue our tongue.
The only bowl that was not dry. And we left a mess of tissue paper. I was wiping hubby's sweat. It seemed like he just went for a marathon chasing after wild boars. Next time if you have the intention to try out the food in Nippon Yatai Mura, get the spicy noodles last. Or if you really want to feel for an explosion in your mouth, drink a bowl of that spicy soup and shove a volcano sushi into your mouth. That would be the ultimate explosion~!
We were so full we had to walk around as I had a birthday dinner to go to. I need the food to digest faster. We had a walk around as mi mama wanted to get me my birthday present. The Skechers shoes were nice but I had no idea where I would wear them to. It's not like I need any nice shoes for jogging. I don't even have time to cycle or swim, let alone jog. Wherever I go, when I reach the house or someone's house, I just need to remove my shoes. So, why spend on such expensive shoes to be left outside the house? Then, we went to Jelly Bunny. I wanted a handbag that was blinking red beautiful. Then my precious asked me where am I gonna take that bag to? It's not like I have a wedding dinner to attend to every week. I just need my sling bag then when I reach home I would dump it somewhere in the house. In conclusion, no need for expensive shoes or handbags. Somehow or other, we would always go to the bookstore. That's my present for this year, a book. 

Oh, red raccoon, we will be seeing you at least once a month. If I have the time in the world, I will go everyday. Finally.... finally I've found the kind of restaurant that I like. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Do Not Worry...

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
There's much that I learn from my own garden. I don't know what are those plants called. A friend told me once but it never seem to register in my list of vocabularies. Because they looked beautiful, I bought three different colours of those and planted them side-by-side. In less than a month, all died a natural death. Thus, I was positive I do not have green fingers. It's just like my hands killed any beautiful plants. It was really discouraging but I just left it as it is. Dead or alive, I can't do much...
A few months later, I saw this growing at the other end of the garden. Somewhere so out of its path. I've always envisioned that they would grow beautifully like the photo above. Yes, that photo above was taken from my garden. It was just like how I wanted them to grow. They started growing that way in five different shades of colour. I have no power over them.
One or two things I learnt through my own garden was I have no power over live or death. Whether I water them or I don't, it doesn't matter. They will live somehow or other. The ones I really take care, died instantly. I left them to be, and they flourished. It's not whether I have green fingers or not. But I am reminded of the verse
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
He knows how I want the garden to be. He's the gardener, not me. I can't make what I want in my head happen in reality but He can. I went searching for landscapers and told them what I want and how I want my garden to look like. They said it couldn't be done. It would never happen. They gave me various designs which I do not want at all. Call me fussy. I am at times. So I left. And there... I have what I wanted without paying a single cent. Or I would be charged RM1500 for something which I will not get. You know it's like going to the hair salon. I always wanted to have a straight cut with no frills, no style just plain boring straight cut but the hairdressers always seem to have the upper hand on my hair. After cutting my hair, the mirror would be handed to be and you should see my horrified expression. They would give me the jagged V-shape which I hated so much. One hairdresser cut until neck-length and upset me so much. The moment I looked up and saw the scissors at my neck level, my heart almost stopped. Before I could stop the scissors from snipping, it was gone. They would never listen to me. It's my hair and I want it just straight trim with nothing fanciful. I stopped going to hair salons for half a decade already. My hubby cuts my hair for me how I wanted them to be.
You see, someone who loves you very much will give you what you want. I want a garden like how I want it to be but since I am not in control of how the plants would grow, Jesus did that for me. I want a straight cut hair with no frills, hubby did it for me. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What Do I Want For My Birthday?

I'm in the writing mode now, so why not just continue writing it here? I have to write so many essays every week, probably I can produce a book of model essays. I take my writing here instead. My 31st birthday is just around the corner. 5 days to be exact. I'm not even counting it down. I feel so old.
Mi mama asked what I want for my birthday. My precious asked the same. The hubby is also asking the same thing. The friends don't ask. We eat to celebrate. So I've been thinking hard on that question. What do I want for my birthday? 
I search in my mind and I find nothing that I want. I seriously have everything. I don't go hungry. I have a car to drive around. Even if the petrol price goes down and petrol stations decide to stop selling, I have a bicycle to ride on. If not, I have my legs to walk around with. I have good food on the table I just have to slave through in the kitchen but I am completely satisfied. I have more than one house as shelter over my head. Whether I have my name on the house, I guess it doesn't matter looking at the situation now, I prefer going to my mansion which has been prepared for me up in heaven. I have hubby after working hours no doubt we don't have much time to talk now. We're both so tired after a long day of squeezing our brain power, I just want to sleep. I have mi mama who makes really wonderful jellies for my jelly cravings and mi mama can bake and mi mama is no longer working, so anytime we can go out together but again, I have no time to go out and we don't like the scorching burning sun in the afternoon. We watch our one hour Singapore movie on weekdays so that the television will not grow mould on it. We have good health. Good health equals to everything.
I'm so tired everyday. I feel like collapsing on the bed by 8pm. It's definitely good to have less. Working long hours kills. It just kills off the joy in everything. I don't mind earning less now. The only thing I want to see now is sunrise. I have yet to accomplish that. I don't even know whether I want the customary birthday cake or not. I have so many in the previous years. You know when you have something in abundance, you don't miss it anymore. My kitchen crew wanted to bake for me because I bake for them on their birthdays, but I don't want it anymore. It's just so lame. The shaggy dog birthday cake, I had two in two years. When I didn't have it, I wanted it badly. Last year I wished my friends would take me to E&O for a buffet treat, but that didn't happen. I got really upset. This year, they wanted to take me there but I don't want it anymore. After going to Rasa Sayang for their so-called 6-in-1 International buffet for free, I looked at what they have compared to what I have in my kitchen for parties, I think my kitchen can produce better quality food. Thus, I have no love for buffet anymore. If I want lobster, I know where to get them from. I want crabs, no problem. Hotel food doesn't mean it's good. Some really good, but some just.... below average.
Not only cookies.... so it has been set that I'll go for Japanese cuisine for lunch and then Chinese cuisine for dinner this Sunday. I wanted a day off on my birthday but I will not know what to do being so free. If I sleep the whole day, it's like wasting time. The school is teaching so fast and we're running out of breath running ahead by a few steps. The hubby will be in school until late in the afternoon. The house will be void of humans. I do not have any place that I want to go except to roll on my bed in my comfortable caftan. 

This year will be more horrid than last year. While everyone says that 2015 will have better things in store, well.. it definitely has but something greater will happen according to God's timetable, no longer ours. Men can do all the planning. I stop planning my life, not like I carry out my plans. I will just go with the flow. My camels are coming :D 

I have three more essays to write for this week but I think I will put it off for now. I want to be the kitchen slave now to feed my growling stomach.

I have this song playing in my head all day long... I guess this is the only thing I need...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Day 8: Lunch at Alishan Gou Hotel...

~ 21st March 2014 ~
After literally throwing our luggage in our room, we went hunting for food. We could smell food and hear the clinking and clanking of chopsticks against rice bowls and we could eat a horse anytime. It was really cold so we needed food all the more. We couldn't be bothered with the pricing. Even if we were overcharged, we welcome that because they needed to transport the food supply all the way up. It was a long journey from the bottom of the mountain. I couldn't remember whether we ordered each dish separately or they all came in a set. I think they came in a set or was it charged by the head count? Couldn't remember anything but I could remember we gave two thumbs up for the food at Alishan Gou Hotel.
Don't be surprise by the food that we ate. It's nothing fanciful. It's very simple food but we really appreciate the food on the table. We licked every plate clean, even a stray dog would find it disgusting with how little, almost to nothing, that we left for the strays. Don't get me wrong, there are no stray dogs around that area. I'm just using it as a metaphor. Don't read everything out of context and jumped to conclusion that there are stray dogs around the vicinity of the hotel. *sigh* It was a small plate of cabbage but it was really sweet. We could have a few plates of that at that point of time.
Then came the plate of sweet corns with I dunno what beans. As long as I see corns with prawns, I know I wouldn't die of hunger up in the mountain. That dish reminded me so much of what we were served in Beijing. I'm okay with corns anytime of the day, as long as it's not corn-on-a-cob. I don't like the fibres getting stuck in between the teeth.
Pork slices~! Shabu shabu~! We really had a small pot of soup with the portable stove. It's cold so everybody would enjoy eating hot pot or steamboat. We were not gonna have those pork slices raw.
Were those mango slices? Oh, I really couldn't remember. It's like 10 months back when that happened. I know I'm slow in uploading photos and updating this blog. If any restaurants need my recommendation through blog-writing, I think it would only happen when the restaurant is no more in service. Sorry, I don't live on blog-writing. If I'm paid to write then I would sacrifice my sleep doing so. Back to our soup. I don't remember the taste but I remembered that there's something which I like inside. You know those deep-fried fish pieces like those eaten for steamboat? Never mind if you don't know what I'm talking about.
My wolf was hungry as well. I tried feeding it but it wouldn't eat. It was shy because there were too many people staring at it. I know my wolf is very handsome.
Awesome~! My plate of boiled chicken with soy sauce. Then, what were those? Tendons? Should be chicken feet skin, a cold dish.
Obviously, the travel buddy was extremely happy with the bowl of rice. Did we get extra bowl of rice? I was very happy with the food. Correction.... WE WERE HAPPY WITH THE FOOD~! And yeah, when you're hungry, everything is delicious. That was the only day we had three square meals. How did three become square? We had three triangle meals that day, breakfast at Tanxiang Holiday Resort, lunch at Alishan Gou Hotel and dinner in Alishan where I couldn't even remember the place, neither did I snap a photo of the place.
Done with our food and about to fall asleep, the dessert came. Not my style of dessert. I still prefer watermelon or a scoop of ice-cream even on a cold day. Pinky enjoyed those cherry tomatoes if I remembered clearly. We went up to catch a forty-wink, did we? Nah... couldn't remember...

Day 8: Arrival at Alishan...

~ 21st March 2014 ~
Finally, we placed our footsteps at Alishan, the famous site to view cherry blossom. The mini bus dropped us somewhere but we walked back to where the main entrance was. I was really awestruck by the beautiful coloured marble-wall. This island is really doing everything to attract tourists. 
Then, I grabbed my travel buddy to snap a photo of her. It's really difficult to snap a photo with no one at all. I just managed to capture a side of the wall and then humans started walking towards the wall to snap a photo. Why no one stood there to take photos when I wasn't there, beats me. 
The reason why we had to walk all the way back down to the entrance was to get the train tickets for the scenic ride and also to catch the sunrise. The huge crowd was such a turn off and Pinky said the queue would be more than an hour and we wouldn't know for sure whether we could get the tickets or not. The train would not take in passengers more than it could handle. It's an old, slow moving train. I have no patience to wait for something which you wouldn't know whether you will get it or not. So, we left. There's no such thing as booking ahead. If there is, we would have gotten those tickets. It wouldn't be fair to those who walked in because if everybody can pre-book those tickets through tour agencies, then I think people will need to book those tickets way before they book their flight tickets to Taiwan.
The cherry blossom trees were everywhere, along the road, down the hill slope and just outside our hotel. If you want to snap a photo of just you and the flowers, you have to be quick-handed. People really push and elbowed others away just to take a photo. Some tourists are real barbarians and they might have left their manners back at home or never have them in the first place.
Our hotel provided us with shuttle services between the station and the hotel. I think I took this photo on the way to the hotel. The number of buses bringing tourists up to the mountain, it's a surprise the mountain did not turn bald and decreased in altitude. So, I think to earn a lucrative pay, one should operate the tour bus business or tour agencies. The money goes *ka-ching**ka-ching* Oh, yeah... everybody goes to 7-11. The 7-11 in Alishan has more people than in a marketplace. They just grabbed at the instant noodles like there's scarcity of food at the area. Well, you really don't find any food stalls up there so we dined comfortably at the hotel restaurant.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Frugal Living...

Every year I have some ideas how I want to live for the year. Every time I fail to keep to it that's why I never make any New Year Resolution. For many years, I plan to buy a piece of new clothes every weekend. Yeah, I know... I know... that sounds like overspending. But it never happen because I wasn't one who enjoy shopping. It's a very boring activity. I only get excited looking at plates... yes, plates, especially square plates or any plates which appear in the shape of quadrilaterals. Any odd shapes get me really excited as well. Hubby got excited with cooking utensils. So, both of us together has accumulated quite a fortune in terms of kitchen stuff.

This month we rewarded ourselves with an item each. I, the stingy frugal one will only go for clothes with a 70% discount hanging on the rack. The best will be 70% + 10%... it's not 80% if you calculate it properly. I still want to sew my own clothes but I really don't know how to do it perfectly. Have to be more patient but I always get really furious with the sewing machine whenever the stitches started to jump. Felt like slapping the sewing machine.

Hubby needed a new belt. The earlier new extremely expensive so-called leather belt broke into two. *sigh* So, why go for expensive stuff? Hubby got himself a Lumberjack belt while I got my one and only Jeep blouse. I used to go for shopping spree for the Chinese New Year but now I realize that I don't need any new clothes just for Chinese New Year. Life in 30's seems to tell me nothing matters much actually. I just want a quiet and peaceful life with not much happening. I'm one boring person.
This morning and early afternoon, both my classes got cancelled so hubby and I went shopping. Grocery shopping in Tesco. A whole chicken and two red tilapia cost RM60. Add everything up from the minute load of stuff came to around RM133. I used to buy a whole big load of trolley for less than RM200 and look what RM133 gave me. Not even a quarter of my usual load. I think I got really worried whether our currency would collapse next and we inched into cashless society. Then, we would have nothing to eat at all since we were not able to purchase anything. I felt so poor looking at my small load. The vegetables cost as much as the meat. Makes me think should I plant my own vegetables but it seems to be a lot of work and I'm not cut out to be a farmer.
But God is so good. When I came back from another house to another house, I saw this beautiful rainbow, bright and clear right in front of our house. I'm rest assured that the Lord will take care of everything. Cast all your burdens upon Him. I'm not much of a person who can memorize verses but there were a few that I remembered. I remembered about God's covenant with us in Genesis.

There were so many people at the field in front of the house but nobody seemed to look up into the sky. I've wanted to see a rainbow for some time. A clear one... as clear as this. Yeah, I'm happy like this. Diamonds do not attract my attention but rainbows do. It's priceless and was that a double rainbow or just the reflection in the sky? I've seen a ring-like rainbow but that time I have no interest in taking photographs.

Well, no worries now. Everything will be taken care of.... Adios... 

Day 8: Tataka Visitor Centre...

~ 21st March 2014 ~
The next stop was suppose to be a toilet break. No? I don't really remember this part. The place sounded very 'Japanese'. 
This one I remembered. It was really cold. The temperature has dropped to around 11-degree Celsius. Compared to Taipei which was around 26-degree. I welcomed this coolness but the mistiness and drizzle were no good.
I think this was the place where mountaineers can start their hike. This is no usual hike as this is hiking up a mountain. It's Jade Mountain, the tallest mountain in Taiwan and some said in East Asia. In order to hike up there, you will need to apply for a permit seven days prior to your hiking day. That much information I can give you. Apply for the permit online. Mountaineers catch sunrise at the peak of the mountain. The sunrise in Taiwan is around 5:30a,m, so I have no idea what time you should start hiking. Maybe you should just stay at the lodge for a night before catching the sunrise. We're not hikers so we had no idea what this place was for. Other than toilet break, we did some other stuff, too.
There's quite a lot to capture inside the building. For example, that grizzly bear. I have no idea whether it's telling you that you might have a bear-encounter while mountain climbing or the tribal people of the mountain has the ability to tame a bear.
How do you withstand the freezing cold up in the mountain living in a bamboo hut? I think this is the part where my travel buddy went missing. After our toilet break, we loitered around the area searching for her high and low. She explored the upstairs of the building without us~! and she said there were so many things to see. Well, we didn't have the chance to walk through the whole place. We needed to get to our mini bus or else it might decide to leave us behind.
Oh, you can see these macaques all over the place. This might be a reminder that you'll see them so you should be careful with your belongings. Macaques are cousins to monkeys, I think that's the best I can explain what are they. The monkeys in Penang would rob you of everything including your mobile phone so these Taiwanese macaques would do the same. I've yet to meet the macaque.
Oh, you might meet the deer as well. Again, none of us met them deer. We met them in the zoo. Touched one before. I have touched quite a number of animals but I really want to hug a koala and panda. Maybe one day... one day...

Friday, January 09, 2015

Day 8: Husband & Wife Tree [夫妻樹]

~ 21st March 2014 ~
Oh, no~! It began to drizzle. I thought it was the mist but it was really drizzling. That's no good because if the rain became heavy, the jungle trail tour would be cancelled. I know it's for our own safety but it would be a terrible thing to happen right? Let's focus on the good. It was just a drizzle and it would stop eventually. 
You know why you don't need to travel with tour agencies in Taiwan? It's because they have tour buses which you could engaged upon your arrival in Taiwan. Not everything that was planned back at home came into pass. After some priceless experiences of travelling, I would advice that you make rough plans, at least you know where you want to go and what you want to see, and when you arrived at that country, grab every map you could put your hands on from the airport. It's totally free. Then, from there you can hire guides for a particular area. Sometimes you need local transport badly. Not everywhere is within walking distance. At first I thought we were doing this backpacking style and we're travelling cheap but I just found out that actually we're travelling the rich way's style. We hardly take any public buses instead, we kept hopping into taxis to save time and save energy. 

The mini bus was excellent after all. The bus stopped at every scenic area that needed to be seen. It didn't just drive straight and maybe use a recorded device to explain to you where you were and whizzed off. So unlike in mainland China where the tour guide just mentioned the places you're looking at on your left and your right and refused to even let you hop down the bus to take a photo. That't the most horrible tour anyone could ever have. That's the very reason we refused to follow any tour groups. We would rather hire a driver to take us around. 

On the way up to Alishan, you will need to use Yushan Scenic Highway unless you're coming from somewhere else instead of from Shuishe, Sun Moon Lake. The first stop was that amazing Dream Works of the Mei. Then, the next stop was at this two dead cypress trees which were believed to be more than a thousand years old. Both the dead cypress trees were still standing tall after witnessing the biggest forest fire in 1963. So, we got down when the driver asked us to get down. It was a quick stop which I appreciate very much. Thank you, mini bus~!
I've read that this would be a good spot for sunset. But fate hope, it's so foggy no chance of seeing any colours of the sky. Oh, of course we had the obligatory photography session of human together with dead trees :D
After taking a few photos, we boarded our mini bus and waited for the next surprise stop. Cool, right? Very well done, Taiwan Tourism~!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Day 8: Dream Works of the Mei...

~ 21st March 2014 ~
After having our breakfast prepared by the resort hotel which looked more like a motel, we dragged our luggage and crossed the road. The bus station to Alishan was just opposite, a few steps away from Tanxiang resort hotel. Not bad, eh. So near. Seriously, where's the photo for the breakfast? How could I have none of it at all?? 

We have bought the tickets the day before when we first arrived. There's no seat number, it's free-seating. We thought there won't be many people but suddenly there's a throng of humans who appeared from nowhere taking the same bus. 
The bus was packed so we took the back seats. Look at how squashed my travel buddy was with all our luggage and other people's luggage as well. But at least we're not squashed by humans. We're okay squeezing with non-breathing objects. Why must the buses be so mini? Can't they have bigger buses with more breathing space?
Just when I was about to get comfortable in the mini seat, the mini bus stopped at somewhere. Through the window, it looked like it's a dead town. The driver asked everyone to get down to stretch our legs as the journey up to the mountain would take some time still. I think he didn't want anyone starting to puke and faint in the bus. Nobody will want that to happen. So, yeah... we got down to the dead town. We totally had no idea where we were. Never seen this place in any websites at all.
Praise the Lord for wonderful drivers and strangers~! This place was one that I wouldn't want to miss. The decorations all around with life-sized copper cartoon characters of the tribe of Mei were really cute. I love that long snout doggie especially~! According to my translators of sort, this place must have been set up by the tribal people of Mei to promote their specialties. Is that so? But there's another huge sign placed beside the floor map that somehow or other showed the organizer of the place as Shin-Yi Hsiang Farmers' Association. Don't know... seriously don't know. And then 'Mei' in another word means plum.
So are those unripe plums? I don't know must about fruits grown on trees. I know fruits already plucked and ready to be eaten. We ventured around the place which was mostly close. The driver said the whole place lacked of human workforce. There's not enough people to mend the stalls and run the stores, so they will only be opened during the weekends. We were there on Friday. Or was it because we were there too early?
I would really love to enter that Carton Zoo. All the animals were made of carton boxes. Something like the Carton King in another county which wasn't in our list of places to visit. We did not have enough time to place our footsteps in every corner of Taiwan. Getting to sit outside Carton Zoo was considered as good enough. We peeped inside and saw quite a few animals. I have a picture of a llama made of carton cardboards.
Really cute cartoon characters. Taiwanese men must be afraid of their wives? Hahahahaha....  Pity the man being tied like a dog. 
There were so many cute huge figurines all over the place. But lazy me started becoming lazy to them each one by one so just took a snap shots of a few of them together. There were a few souvenir shops opened but poor us couldn't afford anything. I couldn't even remember what were they selling.
We, the adventurous people who didn't want to get down suddenly became truly adventurous. The path less taken was explored by us. We went to the back portion of one closed bakery and saw the scenery at the back. What was beautiful stayed in front. The ugly sight stayed hidden. The misty hill was beautiful on its own but there was something mysterious with this place.
What's with the barren land? Or was it a land for plantation? I'm very curious... I just want to know what's that for. I don't like that feeling that your eyes are only allowed to feast on those lovely views when there's another side of the story that's more real. Curious.... curious.... very curious....