I will think of a better name for this blog one of these days.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

All-you-can-eat Hot Pot and Soccer

Saturday night, went to 吃到飽的麻辣火鍋 (all you can eat hot pot) and right afterwards we went to play soccer. . . in the dark, 10 o'clock at night, while it was drizzling out.

Not the smartest idea, this. . . stuffing yourself with random hot pot goodness until your stomach hurts and then going outside and running as fast as you can pretty much non-stop for an hour chasing the damn soccer ball. It was a surprisingly good game. My team won the first round, the other team won the second round.

But the biggest victory of all was not a single person puked. We should all be proud of that.
Us: 1, Nausea: 0

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Toyota 101, world's tallest billboard

While I was hanging out on saturday night I noticed Taipei 101 was a little different (see pic to the right) . I love how Taipei 101, the most well known building in Taiwan is now sponsored by Toyota! :( To me that's like the Empire State building having a big Volkswagen logo on the side of it. I'm not that big on national pride or anything but couldn't they atleast get a Taiwanese company?

Oh yeah, i had dinner at a hong kong style place near Taipei 101. It was one of the very few times i remember ever breaking out laughing when I tasted my food. You see, I ordered some noodle soup. It looked appetizing in the menu, but when I got it, it looked exactly like instant noodles. I was like, okay it looks like instant noodle but we're in a hip trendy looking restaurant/cafe located in a fairly hip trendy area. . . it can't possibly be instant noodles. . .

Then i tried it.

Lesson learned: Instant noodles by itself. . . not funny. Going to a restaurant and accidentally ordering instant noodles you could've made yourself in 3 minutes for 1/10th the price. . . hilarious.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Xing Nian Kuai Le

It's Chinese New Years, i'm off for a whole week! Feels so nice. Most of the family together, lots of great food.

I spent Saturday morning at my family's ancestral home in the countryside. I think that's what you call it. It's kinda like a little private temple for my family's ancestors. I think most(?) of the family gathers there and brings some food as offerings, light some incense and bow a few times, light some firecrackers, and burn a bunch of fake money.

The point of burning the fake money is that it will go to the heavens and our ancestors will be able to use it. But I always think to myself, what if it's causing massive inflation. . . because everyone burns stacks and stacks of fake money. I imagine one of my ancestors in some old style chinese clothing going "When will they STOP with the money already!?! A freakin' taco costs like 20,000 fake pieces of money now!"

Those things on the right are where we burn the money. Most of my relatives have left by this time.

This is the original house, which is right next door. My ancestors actually lived there a long time ago. Amazingly an old man still lives there, the taxi you see in front is owned by him. A few of my relatives and I were watching him having a heated argument, lots and lots of hand gestures, except we knew nobody else was in that house with him. Yeah, i forgot to mention, he's certifiably crazy.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Observations of Toronto

I'm in Toronto!

It's COLD!

There's a lot of Tim Hortons.

What the heck is there to do in Toronto?!?!

There's a bullet hole in my window!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Beijing not so fun

Time has passed by unbelievably quick. I can't believe January is almost over. I'm pretty busy with work and school, not much time left over for anything else (like this blog). It's ironic because I now have more things to write about but almost no time to actually sit down and write. Luckily for the three people that actually read my blog, i've found a few minutes! LUCKY FOR YOU!!!

So. . . I went to Beijing a few weeks ago. . . it sucked.

For all you Beijing lovers, don't start writing hatemail to me just yet. I mean my experience in Beijing was pretty bad. The city itself is probably pretty good. But I wouldn't know, because even though my "Beijing" trip was 7 days long, I spent a grand total of about 5 hours actually in Beijing.

Why you ask? Because this trip was not for fun but for work. I spent 8+ hours a day, every single day, on the receiving end of one-on-one training, in the business suite of my hotel room. The subject is actually somewhat interesting to me, but I don't care how much you like something. . . 40+ hours of learning, 5 straight days, on the same subject makes you question your will to live. Everyday I felt like my brain got bigger but lifespan got shortened by a few days.

A guided tour of my hotel room!

Oh I forgot to mention, I wasn't actually in Beijing until the last day of my trip. I was in a small town called Shunyi for the first three days. It's an hour away from Beijing by car. At the beginning of the first day of training, I thought, hmm 1 hour is not too far away, maybe after training, i'd hop on a taxi and check out the city.

8 hours later. . . what i actually ended up wanting to do is: dig a hole, hop inside, die.

View from my room in Shunyi. It's snowing! It's been so long since i've seen snow.

After 3 days of that, I went to Tianjin for more training with a different guy. I don't remember much of Tianjin, i think my brain died on day 4. All I remember is that I didn't have new years eve off, i still had 8 hours of training that day and I spent new years eve evening watching Stealth (terrible), Madagascar (not bad), by myself, in my hotel room. I didn't even wait until 12AM, i went to sleep at like 11pm. WORST NEW YEARS EVE EVER.

View of Tianjin from my room.

The next day was the last day of the trip. I woke up early to take advantage of free breakfast, caught a morning train to Beijing and finally saw the city. I didn't have much time so I spent most of my time at the Forbidden City/Tianamen square area. The place is huge! But i wasn't that impressed, I think I've seen too many pictures of it. The buildings looks exactly how you'd imagine them to look like. And there's so many buildings and rooms it all starts to look the same. By the time I was done looking at everything it was getting dark and I was hungry.

Guards! Dork spotted in Forbidden City!

So cold, the Forbidden City needs heaters! I would've suggested it but couldn't find the suggestion box.

I walked to a street market place where they had food stands. Decided to
try some of the street food. . . the food was pretty good but it was the sellers that left a bad taste in my mouth. All the menus are in Chinese only so they assume nobody can read so they almost always "forget" to give me change. It's a good thing I can read a little bit of chinese now, but it's not a good feeling knowing they tried to rip you off.

After filling my stomach, i couldn't stand the cold anymore and i went inside a huge shopping mall. Looks exactly the same as any other mall in any country.
Spent a few minutes in there, realized I was pretty tired from walking so much, remembered i had 7am flight the next day and i hopped on a taxi back to the hotel.


Lesson to take from all this. If you go to a new city, you want to spend more than 5 hours there.