Friday, October 29, 2010

Still in Taipei... the next morning

Finally gotten around to writing part 2. We woke up to a very windy and rainy Taipei. We even asked the reception if we can go out and the staff advised us to stay indoors. However by 1pm we were getting hungry and restless, so we decided to venture out into the wild. There are very few people on the streets. Most establishements were closed. And bringing an umbrella was futile. We even had to hide behind pillars when the wind was just too strong. Here we are waiting in front of Taipei's main station.

This old man tried to fight the winds. See no use for the umbrella. We all dressed down just in case the subway was closed. We all crossed our fingers it was open since our stomachs were already growling.

We were quite relieved to see this bakeshop open the second we stepped into the station. There were also other shops open, like this umbrella stand. The prices were quite similar to what we have here in Manila.

Anyway we were all looking for a good place to eat. One thing I noticed was the Taiwanese have a lot of Japanese restaurants. The reason why will be revealed to me in the next few days. So we ended up eating Japanese food as our first real meal in Taipei. Funny isn't it? We ordered a set meal, which cost us about 200NT. It consisted of Tonkatsu rice toppings, Chawan Mushi (steamed Japanese egg custard) and a beef noodle soup with bean sprouts. Pia and I shared the meal since it was big enough for two. We added additional 20NT for the bottomless soda.

We then decided that we were brave enough to check out if other places were open and we needed to have money changed. Since we were first time MRT riders, we first bought single journey passes to Zhongxiao Fuxing, the third station from the Taipei Main Station. Our goal was to have money changed first at the Sogo Mall. But it was closed. The underground mall was open however and this are some of the stores we found. I fell in love with the Hello Kitty hand carry bag. It was calling my name...I had to go back.

But they pulled me away and said we shall just try going to Wu Fen Fu Market near the Houshanpi station. And when we arrived there the wind was howling still. The streets were almost deserted. But we walked around anyway.

It looked like everything was closed but then we saw some bright lights across the street And we rejoiced. Wu Fen Fu market was alive and some stores were finally open. Then shop we did.

There were lots of clothes, bags and shoes to choose from. It was overwhelming. And all this on the first day in Taipei. We had to stop ourselves from spending too much because we haven't even been to other markets and other shopping places. What we enjoyed browsing in was this huge store filled to the brim with bags, clothes and shoes. What to choose, what to choose!

Then Eve, decided that we should try visiting another shopping area, Ximending. We had to take the blue line MRT again and got off at Ximen Station. Taipei was slowly coming back to life and there were tourists like us roaming the streets. The stores were also officially open. It was like Myeongdong in Seoul.

There were a lot of interesting store fronts like this building below. There were also Westernized restaurants there. We were all famished and decided to eat at Risotto. It's a cutesy restaurant with a golden retriever as its mascot. We thought it was unique at the store we ate in but apparently all their branches had golden retrievers in front.

I ordered bacon and cream risotto while Pia had a tomato and beef risotto. We also ordered apple soda. It was a nice meal and with the cute and light ambiance it was a good experience for me and my sister. What was hard though was communicating with their non-English speaking staff.

Our (me and Pia) major agenda in Ximending was finding this huge Japanese magazine store. Pia and I are a sucker for Japanese and Korean fashion magazines so we just had to find it! Instinct told me to turn left and we found it on one try. It was called Magazine Freak and we absolutely freaked out over a gazillion of titles.

After buying about four magazines (it weighed a ton), we met up again with the other girls and they took us to taste a Taipei specialty dessert, shaved ice. One thing weird about their shaved ice cafes/stores is that they have ampalaya decors. Pia and I decided to share one order again and we got Strawberry and Mangoes for 120NT. So we had a cold dessert on a cold day. LOL. After being barely able to walk back to the train station, we all agreed to call it a day.

Oh I forgot to mention we stopped by the Hello Kitty Sweets Cafe, since it was within the area of the Zhongxiao Fuxing station but it was closed. So guess what we did on day two? :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Visiting Taiwan - Touchdown in Taipei

I almost backed out of seeing Taipei. My editing sideline stopped sending documents which threw me off my budget. With a little help from some angels, I was finally able to scrape something up to enjoy the trip with some friends from ABS-CBN and my sister.

The main agenda of the trip was to visit the Hello Kitty Hotel in Kaoshiung and of course the Hello Kitty Sweets Cafe in Taipei. However, the schedule changed because of a typhoon! Our Cebu Pacific flight arrived in Taiwan at around 12:30am, a bit earlier than expected. It was a shakey landing because of the typhoon and the taxi we rode to Taipei was zooming through the empty streets. Probably scared to get caught in the deluge.

The airport was being renovated, we sort of found it just so-so. Boy band Farenheit was this season's celebrity ambassadors for Taiwan. Some years ago it was F4. :)

We stayed at Keyman's Hotel (No.1, Huaining St. , Zhongzheng District, Taipei ), near the Taipei Main Station. It was a decent hotel. We had to transfer rooms 3x though because of late bookings and complications because of the storm but their staff was friendly and patient with us. Here's the first room we stayed in, it fit 7 people all in all. We watched the weather news on the big flat screen TV.

My sister and I didn't eat dinner so we were hungry when we got to the hotel. Since everything was closed due to the storm, we just dropped by the friendly Family Mart next door. We bought an egg salad, Hello Kitty cupcakes (of course), a not-so-yummy bun, a bottle of Minute Maid Pomelo and mineral water. We didn't notice bottled water was free at the hotel.

We were all hoping the storm would just pass or disappear quietly but it was a real big one. A few hours later we woke up and we knew, our schedule for the day will have to be redone. The view outside our hotel at around 10AM. It was pretty dreary and windy day. So what did we do on our first day in Taiwan? Will tell you in my next post :)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

sad thoughts

Maybe I'm not special enough.

If I disappear maybe he wouldn't even notice.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Back tracking

Last night, I was watching Channel V and was very happy to see and hear 90s music playing. So I compiled some favorites today and with some help from friends was able to come up with a decent playlist. Not exactly 90s only though, bordering on 2000 too. Mga after graduation na songs din. LOL. Some artists I put multiple songs in, some just one, nakakalito kasi sa dami. The other songs I remember singing in the old UP MCO tambayan. It was the good old days. Good times. :)

1. Hit Me Baby One More Time - Britney Spears

2. Love Doesn't Hurt To Feel Good - Atomic Kitten

3. Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chilly Peppers

4. Wannabe- Spice Girls

5. Move Over (Generation Next) - Spice Girls

6. Quit Playing Games With My Heart - Backstreet Boys

7. Tearing Up My Heart - Nsync

8. Genie in A Bottle - Cristina Aguilera

9. Have You Ever - S Club 7

10. Do You Really Want Me - Robyn

11. Girlfriend - Billie

12. Sometimes - Britney Spears

13. You Get What You Give - New Radicals

14. What Can I Do - The Corrs

15. Runaway - The Corrs

16. Barely Breathing - Duncan Sheik

17. Stay - Lisa Loeb

18. Linger - The Cranberries

19. I Don't Wanna Wait - Paula Cole

20. Hip Hop Hurray - Naughty By Nature

21. Each Time - E-17

22. You Were Meant For Me - Jewel

23. Only Wanna Be With You - Hootie and the Blowfish

24. Say My Name - Destiny's Child

25. Fantasy - Mariah Carey

26. Dreamlover - Mariah Carey

27. Losing My Religion - REM

28. Waterfalls - TLC

29. The Boy is Mine - Brandy and Monica

30. Try Again - Aaliyah

31. One - U2

32. I Want You to Want Me - Solid Harmonie

33. Black Coffee - All Saints

34. Say You'll Be There - Spice Girls

35. Candy - Mandy Moore

36. Summergirls - LFO

37. Everybody - Backstreet Boys

38. Sailing - NSync

39. Never Had A Dream Come True - S Club 7

40. Unbelievable - EMF

41. Insane in the Membrane - Cyrpress Hill

42. Bitch - Meredith Brooks

43. Believe - Cher

44. Tennessee - Arrested Development

45. Fly - Sugar Ray

46. Who Will Save Your Soul - Jewel

47. Loser - Beck

48. MMM Bop - Hanson

49. You Ought To Know - Alanis Morisette

50. Jeremy - Pearl Jam

51. Creep - TLC

52. No Scrubs - TLC

53. Time After Time - INOJ

54. Missing - Everything But The Girl

55. Say What You Want - Texas

56. Sober - Jennifer Paige

57. I Love You Always and Forever - Donna Lewis

58. Buses and Trains - Bachelor Girl

59. Candy Everybody Wants - 10,000 Maniacs

60. Cornflake Girl - Tori Amos

61. Sweet Soul Revue - Pizzicato Five

62. I'll Be Missing You - Puff Daddy

63. Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio

64. Smooth - Rob Thomas and Santana

65. Song 2 - Blur

66. Don't Speak - No Doubt

67. Just A Girl - No Doubt

68. Tonight Tonight - Smashing Pumpkins

69. Wonderwall - Oasis

70. I'll Be There For You - The Rembrandts

71. Stars - Simply Red

72. The Sign - Simply Red

73. No Rain - Blind Melon

74. Torn - Natalie Imbruglia

75. Lovefool - The Cardigans

76. Truly Madly Deeply - Savage Garden

77. Im Too Sexy - Right Said Fred

78. The Freshmen - Verve Pipe

79. Closing Time - Semi Sonic

80. My Loving (you Ain't Gonna Get It) - En Vogue

81. That's The Way Love Goes - Janet Jackson

82. Back For Good - Take That

83. Love Sensation - 911

84. Where Have All The Cowboys Gone - Paula Cole

85. Cest La Vie - B-Witched

86. Cryin- Aerosmith

87. Baby Baby - Amy Grant

88. Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover - Sophie B Hawkins

89. This Used To Be My Playground - Madonna

90. Angel - Sarah Maclachlan

91. It Must Have Been Love - Roxette

92. You're Still The One - Shania Twain

93. Barbie Girl - Aqua

94. Wishing on The Same Star - Girlfriends

95. Too Many Walls - Cathy Dennis

96. I'll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me - Expose

97. Step By Step - New Kids on the Block

98. Plush - Stone Temple Pilots

99. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

100. All I Want - Toad the Wet Sprocket