Saturday, November 7, 2015

Adventure # 15 - Taipei April 2014 Part Four

The last leg of our quick Taiwan getaway was right at our hotel's backyard—Ximending. This colorful, bustling, urban maze was such a delight to get lost in. Ten out of ten, would definitely come back just to be able to see everything as the five or so hours we had in this district was too few!

As this was our final stop before heading to the airport, most of the NTD we had went to food, souvenirs, and more food! There were so many novelty themed restaurants there we would have loved to try if time permitted. 

And now, finally—nineteen months since the actual trip, here's part four of our Taipei adventure!

Cooling off, after our zoo escapade with green tea ice-cream. 
It took roughly an hour to get from the Taipei Zoo back to Ximending.

Hello, my dear friend. Cilantro—the answer everything.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Adventure # 14 - Taipei April 2014 Part Three

I decided to split our final day in Taipei into two posts—This part will be about our unplanned Zoo adventure and part four will be about our last few hours spent in Ximending.
To be perfectly honest, I plan like crazy before going for a trip and that meant matrices, schedules, screenshots, pre-loaded maps, pages of research and notes all nicely printed out and stapled and ready to be referenced. Call me the prepared Adventurer. (Haha.)
Exhibit A
This trip, however, took an unprecedented turn when I lost my whole printed itinerary during our FIRST stop. Lesson learned: Always print multiple copies of the itinerary!! I had a slight panic attack and went into a minor fit before regaining my footing, found wifi and was able to download the pdf of the plans. Suffice it to say, it was very difficult to keep consulting a tiny screen to figure out where to go next. :\ Anyway, with that little hurdle over, I was able to calmly readjust half of our trip when both mom and my sister wanted to see the pandas. Taipei Zoo wasn't really a major part of our plans (more like a Plan B), and I didn't expect that we'd be spending most of our day there! I sadly had to say "see you next time" to some of the spots listed on our itinerary. :( 
I guess I'll just have to go back to Taiwan!

A ten-minute walk from the hotel we stayed at is the Ximending Red House Theater—This was originally a market building that became a theater after. Now, aside from being a theater, it also houses shops from independent artists. Photos inside in Part Four!

May I humbly introduce my favorite donut—EVER. Mister Donut in Taiwan mostly carries the pon de ring, mochi variety and it was love at first bite. It was sweet and chewy and nibbling those cute spheres was such a delight! I've been trying several pon de ring donuts here in the country, our local Mister Donut included, and it just didn't taste or feel the same. (The search is still on!!)

This particular outlet was at the Ximending MRT station.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

100 Days.

It has exactly been 100 days since my Dad passed away and not a day has gone by that I haven't thought about him. It's been hard to continue writing and updating during the first few months after his passing and I've decided to postpone it until today. 100 days after the death of a loved one means many different things to different religions—Some believed that the spirits are reborn after 3, 21, 49 or 100 days (or 7 years, even); some say that the family is in a state of sadness and mourning for 100 days after the burial or death. 

Whatever the case may be, if felt right to come back to this today. Besides, I got my documentation streak from Dad (he has stacks and stacks of video tapes of us somewhere in the house!) and I couldn't just stop writing and capturing moments and adventures.

I wrote this that night, in a flurry of tears and shallow breaths—I wanted to exhaust myself to sleep, hoping, wishing, praying that it was all a very, very bad, horrible, terrible dream. I thought I'd have a chance to read it during his wake but I never got to. Oddly, it didn't feel right at the time. 

To be honest, I don't quite know what to say anymore… I guess, if you're reading this, 
kindly send a thought or a prayer to my Dad.


Tony H. Chan
February 12, 1957 - June 18, 2014

Family, friends—we are gathered here today to celebrate the life of my Dad and to pay him our last respects. Thank you all for coming. This tragic loss fell upon us swiftly and suddenly—No one saw it coming. Not one of us would've thought that Dad will leave us so soon. Too soon

He's the coolest dad our family could ever have and have loved. His bigger-than-life presence at home will really, really be missed. And to tell you the truth, it's those little, everyday gestures and things that make me long to see him again. We'll miss the way he persistently calls on us every Sunday to come down for lunch in his loudest CAT Commander voice. We'll miss the way he keeps asking questions that have already been answered in the same conversation just to mess with us. He does this A LOT. (—so much, that it has become a running joke in our family) We'll miss our impromptu Tagaytay/ Santa Rosa trips just to get sushi from Ryuma. We'll miss those Korean ice creams, Yakult packs and squash cakes he brings home to us when he's feeling especially happy. We'll miss those back rubs and stretches he gives us when we're feeling under-the-weather, and the way he keeps scolding me to straighten my limbs when I sleep. We'll also super miss his amazingly diverse taste in music (that's sometimes a hit or a miss with the family).

Above all else though, we'll miss his warmth the most—his energy; his boy-like happiness; his friendliness and openness; his monster bone-crushing bear hugs. 

Dad, thank you for being the coolest father we could ever have. Thank you for being a patient driving instructor—for always reminding me to drive defensively. Thank you for always going the extra mile whenever you can. Thank you for the amazing and delicious anniversary dinner last week (June 11). Thank you for the constructive design critique whenever I ask your opinion on the project—Thank you for really speaking your mind and telling me that font is way to small. And Dad… Thank you for being half of the pair that raised my sister and I. I promise to strive to make you proud in every way. You're the best, Dad! We miss you! We love you!

I love you.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Adventure # 13 - Taipei April 2014 Part Two

That was quite a hiatus in between this 3-parter post. My apologies—Work and life got a bit hectic. Actually, it still is. But I've been putting my updates on the back burner for faaar too long. So without further ado, might I, after a more than a month, present Taipei Part Two! :D

On our way to Yong Kang St., we passed by THE original Din Tai Fung. This was actually the first ever branch that opened and its fame was absolutely palpable. Just look at that queue!