making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

My New Phone

I have had my HD Mini for 6 days now. I am still trying to get used to the touch screen.

I find it very sensitive to the touch. I have accidentally called friends without meaning to (oops, sorry!). I have deleted important emails without meaning to (thank goodness, I could retrieve those emails back!). I have turned on the Internet without meaning to (my new 12GB data plan should be enough for all these accidental surfing). I take ages to type simple smses and emails due to typo errors. :(

Hopefully I will be more familiar and get better using the touch screen. Soon!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Back to Singapore

My mother's back! She came back to Singapore today. The girls were most happy to see her. My mother brought more goodies back such as Taiwanese snacks (pineapple cakes, dried cuttlefish, pork jerky, etc) as well as stuff for the girls. Great, more yummy snacks. :)

Monday, 28 June 2010

Back to School

It's back to school for Marieann. Today's the first day of Semester 2. I was initially worried that she might have problem waking up at 6am in the morning as she was waking up at 8+am during the June holiday. No such worries. :) Marieann woke up on time and prepared for school without much fuss. After she returned from school, she completed her homework without much fuss too.

I will pray hard that Marieann continues to be so for the rest of the school year... :)

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Taipei Trip

I am still in the midst of updating my Taipei trip on the blog. It is a slow process because I have to sieve through the hundred plus photos I have taken on each day on this trip. I am almost done, 2 more days to go. :P Please check back on the posts later. Thank you for your patience. :)

Saturday, 26 June 2010

New Blood

"New blood", that was what it took to get me to agree to join the council. My estate held its AGM this afternoon. Two of the existing and out-going council members spoke to me about joining the management council. At first I was hesitant. "What do I know about the management of an estate?!" However, I was convinced towards the end. "What the hxxx, it is for the good of the estate that we have new blood, new perspectives."

Now I am a member of the management council of my estate, serving from 2010 to 2011.

Friday, 25 June 2010

New Phone

I got myself a HTC HD mini. Although I am still attached to my Palm Treo Pro, it is time for a change. I have to advance with the times, especially in the use of touchscreen.

I managed to get an e-voucher for my re-contracting with Singtel which meant I only had to pay $88 for my HD mini. A great bargain huh lol. :) As I played around with my new mobile to get familiar with its mechanics, I couldn't help but smile the entire time lol. The thrill of a new plaything haha. :P

Thursday, 24 June 2010


I have a Kindle. :) It is a gift from my friends, you can call it an early birthday present lol.

I have the Kindle for about 3 weeks now. Initially I was worried about the glare on the screen but my worries were unfounded. I found the reading on the ebook a breeze. :)

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Hot Dog

I haven't tried Blogthings quizzes for a long while now lol. I enjoy hot dog anytime. :P

You Are a Hot Dog with the Works
You are an open minded and curious person. You feel like the world has a lot to offer you.
You hate to pass up any opportunity - and as a result, you tend to be quite busy.

You are good at embracing your true self, and your true self is interested in everything.
You'll take a little of this and a little of that... until your plate is full!

What Type of Hot Dog Are You?

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Division of Labour

Our FDW left for her home on the same day the girls and I returned home. The new FDW will only arrive in mid July. As such, we are all chipping in with the housework for the next few weeks.

As my mother is still in Taipei, my father is currently in charge of the cooking and marketing. I help out with the laundry. The girls help by not creating a mess in the apartment lol. The girls' father helped out with the housework by going home to his mother who will do his laundry and for dinner.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Back in Singapore

Now that I am back in Singapore, I will have more time. I will update my blog for the rest of my Taipei trip as soon as I can.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Farewell, Taipei

Our flight departs for Singapore at 2:50pm. My mother's friend who pick us up when we arrived in Taipei, would be driving us to the airport again. :) We had a full breakfast prior to the aunty coming to pick us up at 10:30am. It was a smooth journey to the airport, hardly any traffic. Check-in was a breeze except we had to wait as we were an hour too early for check-in haha.

The girls were kind of scared to take this photo with Mr Tomato Head. They said it reminded them of some horror movie lol. I think there is horror with a scarecrow of sorts in it. :P

By 12:45pm, we had cleared immigration. Since we had plenty of time until boarding time at 2:20pm, I brought the girls to the cultural centre which was in the opposite direction to our boarding gate. At the cultural centre, the girls tried their hand at calligraphy and got their name stamp done in Chinese characters. While waiting for their name stamps to be carved (mine too), we went for a massage in the massaging chairs, compliment of the airport. The girls were thrilled to be massaged lol. I also took their photos with the various displays at the airport.

We were enjoying ourselves when I realised we only had 20 minutes to get from one end of the terminal to the other end where our boarding gate was! We ran as fast as we could and stopping for another photo shoot in between haha. By the time we arrived at the gate, the announcement was made for boarding. Phew. :P

The last shoot taken while running to our boarding gate lol

The flight back to Singapore was pretty turbulent but nothing the girls and I didn't enjoy haha. I managed to watch the movie, The Edge of Darkness and three-quarters of the movie, How to Train your Dragon. The girls played games, watched Korean drama and cartoons. Before we know it, we were landing in Singapore. By 7:15pm, we had collected our luggage and were waiting for the girls' father to pick us up.

The kid's meal: chicken patty with pasta

My diabetic meal: prawn salad with green papaya, broiled chicken and soya pudding

The girls spoke non-stop about Taipei to their grandfather and told him they were going back again next June. Haha. I am glad that they enjoyed their Taipei trip and I am definitely happy to bring them back to Taiwan again.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Grandma and Shen Ao

Two days after I visited my grandmother, she was admitted to Keelung Hospital because of a persistent high fever. All of us were worried and took turns visiting her in hospital and keeping the other family members informed of her situation. Today, my mother and I went to visit my grandma in hospital. My 1st aunt was there earlier said my grandma was sleeping and her fever had subsided. My 1st aunt helped to look after the girls in the courtyard while my mother and I went to the ward. The girls didn't go visit my grandma because their father and family are superstitious about going to hospital. When my mother and I were in the ward, my grandma was awake. She kept looking at me when I talked to her. When I told her I was going home the next day, she teared. I am going to take that as indication that she might know who I am after all. I really hope my grandma will get well soon.

We left the hospital after half an hour as my grandma was drifting off to sleep. My aunt brought us to Miaokou to have lunch as it was 11am. Even in the day time, Miaokou is fairly crowded. Imagine when it is night time, Miaokou Night Market would be packed! We settled at one of the food stalls for lunch. Both my mother and my aunt had Braised Sea Eel Noodles, Juliane and I shared Lu Rou Fan (again haha) with Pork Rib Broth, Marieann had Dry Noodle and we all shared Fried Chicken Roll and Stir-fried Vegetable.

Food stalls at Miaokou

The temple at Miaokou

Braised Sea Eel Noodles

Pork Ribs Broth with Lu Rou Fan

Just before lunch, Juliane and I also bought more clothes lol. :P Marieann bought her hair accessories. :)

After lunch, we went back to Shen Ao, my aunt's place and also my mother's old home to rest. My mother and my aunt were going to bring us to the cliff at the end of Shen Ao to see the eroded rocks and coast which have formed special shapes by the wind and sea. We set off at 3pm and it took us almost 30 minutes to climb up to the cliff. The journey was tiring as the path was rocky and uneven and we had to pay attention to where we put our feet. Marieann was fairly independent and adventurous climbing on her own but Juliane was clingy haha. Main reason being she was spooked by the sea cockroaches that were all scurrying away from us when we got near. I must say it was quite scary at first to see so MANY sea cockroaches scurrying about, thank goodness they were scurrying AWAY from us.

The view was beautiful when we reached the top of the cliff and the exhausting climb was worth it. We could see the Pacific Ocean and the eroded rocks and coast which were nature's art works.

View of the Pacific Ocean

The girls with their grandmother and their 1st grandaunt

We spent an hour up on the cliff top, admiring nature and taking photos. My uncle-in-law was most nice. Knowing we were going up to the cliff, he bought us some food, climbed the cliff and gave us all a pleasant surprise. :) We started our climb back down the cliff around 4:30pm. We took a different route down which brought us next to the beach. My aunt and the girls picked seashells while I pick pebbles lol. My aunt kept us for dinner. We had soup noodle, simple but the most fulfilling because it is home-cooked with love. :)

We left my aunt's place after 7pm back to our hotel. I started packing our luggage with my mother's help. She is really good with stuffing things haha. :P When we were done, the girls and I have 3 check-in luggage and 2 hand carry bags, not including our own personal bags! Haha.

It is our last night in Taipei. The girls were sad about leaving. They wanted to stay on with their grandmother who will be staying on in Taipei until 29 June. I myself am feeling a little sad. I am ashamed to admit that I have not interacted much with my Taiwanese family during the last 18 years, except the occasional phone calls. During this trip, I finally learnt that blood is thicker than water, even if it is diluted blood like mine, only half Taiwanese. I shall endeavour to keep in closer contact with my Taiwanese family.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Wild Life, Gondola, Underground Mall and Night Life

Today, we are off on our own, just three generation of women spending time together.

First stop for the day: Taipei Zoo
We set off after 9am and took the Metro to the Taipei Zoo. We arrived just after 10am. The girls were really excited to be at the zoo. We took the visitors' tram right to the end and slowly made our way back down to the entrance/ exit. We visited Amphibian and Reptile House, Bird World, African Animal Area, Nocturnal Animal House, Desert Animal House, Koala House, Panda House.

In between visiting the animals, we had lunch too. We shared spaghetti, Braised Pork Belly Rice (Lu Rou Fan) and hot dog. It has been a long time since I had Taiwanese Lu Rou Fan and it was as good as my memory recalled and the pork ball soup, yum! :)

Second stop for the day: Maokong Gondola
We were finished with the zoo around 2pm. We walked a short distance from the Taipei Zoo over to Maokong Gondola. The Maokong Gondola is a gondola lift transportation, like our cable car in Singapore, which runs between Taipei Zoo to Maokong, a distance of 4000+ metres. The gondolas travel mostly over green forest and hills. We could see Taipei 101 and Taipei city in the distance as well as Muzha district. The girls were really thrilled riding in the gondola. They were laughing and squealing away with joy being so high up in the sky lol. Once at Maokong, we ate ice sticks to beat the heat and to look around the area which has tea houses and hiking trails. It was 3pm when we arrived back on solid ground.

Third stop for the day: Zhongshan Metro Mall (underground mall)
We took the Metro from Taipei Zoo station to Taipei Main Station. We went to the Zhongshan Metro Mall which is an underground mall which stretches from Taipei Main station to Zhongshan station. For the first time in many days, I bought 2 blouses for myself at Zhongshan Metro Mall, so did my mother lol. Marieann also managed to find her Korean children's comics here. :) I bought her 3 comics at one go to stop her from asking us to visit bookshops again lol. :P

Fourth stop for the day: Shilin Night Market
By the time we arrived at Jiantan station (the start of Shilin Night Market), it was close to 6pm. We were all hungry lol. We quickly located a eating place to have some food just to stop the growling stomachs. We were keen to browse the night market for Taiwanese snacks lol.

Chicken Rice, different from Singapore's chicken rice

Oyster Omelette

Smelly Tofu with pickles

Before we went to hunt for more food, we stopped by the game stalls. I wanted the girls to play at a particular game stall which gave me lots of fun during my childhood in Taiwan. Catching fish! The girls were most happy trying to catch the fishes in their nets lol.

After 15 minutes of "fishing", we went over to the food stalls. There were so many people. I think the girls were kind of overwhelmed by the people, the food stalls, the smells, the sights... They didn't want to eat anything. Finally, we ended up eating Japanese puff with mochi ice cream and drinking ice jelly drink with tapioca balls.

Fifth stop for the day: Neihu
We took a bus from Shilin Night Market to Neihu, my aunt's place. I have to collect the pineapple cakes which my cousin-in-law have made for me. We also had rice dumplings at my aunt's place as my mother and I were still hungry lol. We watched a bit of tv programme before leaving for the hotel via taxi at 9pm.

Hotel Sweet Hotel
The girls were dead tired after a long day. They were asleep by 11pm, the earliest ever since we came to Taipei. :)