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Friday, January 24, 2014

CNY Shopping

CNY or Spring Festival is the biggest festival in China but we feel that the festive atmosphere over here pales in comparison to what we have back at home (in Malaysia). Surprising, isn't it? 

We don't see much CNY decorations on the streets or anywhere else. As for the malls, hmm... let's just say that the people here don't place much emphasis on mere decorations...

Small, plain and simple only (this is considered quite a huge and happening mall!)

Hypermarket decor... a pillar of cute horses in the auspicious colours of red and yellow

Window shopping only...

CNY paraphernalia and all things red

Racks and racks of angpau packets on sale (free ones are rare so the people have no choice but to BUY them)

Here are some of the local CNY goodies...

Sweets... aisles and aisles of them from soft candies to hard candies to chocolates, nougat etc. It is quite a surprising fact that the local Chinese actually eat a lot of sweets! 

Imported chocolates and Danish butter cookies are very popular here

Lots of whole nuts... almond, walnut, pecan, peanut, macadamia, hazel nut, pine nut, cashew, pistachio, you name it! Not cheap though...

Look, a peanut mountain!

Waxed meat... from the zero-legged (fish) to two-legged and four-legged... everything also got but err, these are NOT for us. No thank you ;)

Mandarin oranges are sold by weight, not in boxes

Nuts galore! Mummy bought mostly nuts and seeds to be distributed as gifts when we go home (this is less than half of the total stuff she bought!) 

Yes, we will be home for CNY. Can't wait!!! :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The "Piano Chair Yoga"

Oh, I need a break from this mundane piano practice. How about some "piano chair yoga" for a change...

A shake head and roll eyes moment for mummy haha...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Car-less but it is OK

Since our big move to Shanghai a little over a year ago, we have learned to live without a car!

It is not difficult at all for us to adapt from having 2 cars back at home to none over here. We are very blessed to have most of our transportation needs taken care of. First of all, daddy's company shuttle  picks him up at our apartment entrance every day so shuttling between his workplace and home is a breeze for him. Being reliant on his company shuttle has another big plus point too... no more working late at the office! He is usually home by 6.30pm, which allows for more family-bonding time :)

As for me, I go to school by schoolbus. Mummy doesn't need to go anywhere except grocery shopping and for that, we live next to a big mall with Carrefour. Another two hypermarkets (Tesco and LotteMart) are within walking distance from our home too, plus a few wet markets nearby. Very convenient! 

On most of our outings, we take the Metro subway. Oh yes, the subway station is walking distance from our home too so going places has never been a problem for us except when we need to go somewhere not serviced by the Metro. This is when we are forced to take the taxi...

I HATE the taxis here because the drivers are quite reckless and their "jerk-y" driving skills sometimes make me sick... 

Thankfully, we don't take taxis here very often... only when we need to go to and come back from the airport ;) Or when we have visitors. Photo above is an old one taken last summer (July 2013) when Mah-Mah and Koo-koo came for a visit.

Happy to take the subway...anytime!

Can even pose and "pole dance" haha!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Makan-Makan in Taiwan

Taiwan is a food heaven, or so they say. However daddy and mummy aren't foodies so they didn't have the enthusiasm to hunt for the best food in town. We ended up eating whatever that tickled our fancy within walking distance from our hotel. Even with this "limitation", the choices were aplenty and we did not even have enough days to sample everything we saw!

Here are just some of them...

Seafood noodles on a cold and rainy night...

MOS Burger

We miss the rice burger!

Porridge is one of Hsinchu's specialty... we had seafood porridge, mushroom & chicken porridge and beef porridge. Mummy liked this a lot but not me. I didn't like watery porridge like this and preferred those grainy and lumpy ones cooked by mummy.

Beef and century egg porridge...something different that we have not tried before. Nice!

HUGE serving of black pepper squid and chicken rice

Fried rice 

Spaghetti set

Rice kuih...tastes like radish cake with sweet and savoury sauce

Noodles with special sauces

Deep fried fish fillet and chicken chop rice...sinfully unhealthy but delish!

Those were what we had for dinner with daddy every evening after he returned from work. For lunch, it was always just mummy and I in the hotel. We ate mostly fruits and takeaways from convenience stores...

Yummy sushi with oat drinks and fruits

Fanciful bread, cakes, yoghurt and milk (the papaya milk is nice!)

Cup noodles (cooked in the hotel's ceramic coffee cup) and some colourful veggies

Salad, bread, milk tea, egg, cheese and more veggies

And more fruits and raw veggies for my health freak balance out all the junkies we have been eating :p

Homemade preservative-free mochi bought from a roadside stall... quite expensive (RM11+ for this box) but delicious! It came in 3 types of fillings - black sesame, peanut and red bean.

Cute bread and Doraemon-shaped cake

These were complimentary and replenished daily by the hotel (plus soft drinks and beer in the fridge but we left all the soft drinks untouched). 

We indulged in tea instead.... 2 cups every day! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

He Ain't Old, He's My Father

Backdated post

Me: Mummy, can I donate some money... (filled in details)?
Mummy: You go and ask your old man.
Me: Who is my "old man"?
Mummy: You think and see...
Me: Err, is it Gung-Gung (grandpa)?
Mummy: LOL!

Me and my not-so-old (yet) "old man"

received a cute toy tarsier after making a small cash donation to help the victims of the Phillippine's Typhoon Haiyan (through a charity drive in my school).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Taiwan: Sunday Outing and How We Spent Our Weekdays

The Sunday shuttle from our hotel to Taipei was only for half a day so we didn't do much due to time constraint. We visited a "friendship clock". Right opposite was a night market, which obviously wasn't opened during the day so after watching the musical chime at 1 o'clock, we went for lunch and headed to the Chiang Kai Shek memorial. 

It was a slightly wet morning (drizzled on and off)

The busy-looking night market which only opened very much later in the day

The temple beside the night market was equally busy... there was a long queue to get in

Watching the musical chime of the "friendship clock"

Next stop... Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

The majestic hall

We arrived just in time to see the changing of the guards

Up close with the newly-on-duty handsome guard hehe...

The grand entrance of the memorial hall

The National Theatre

Arch at the main entrance

That pretty much sums up our visit to Taipei. We managed to cover only a few places but it is ok. Daddy has regular work commitments here so we will most likely be back for another trip in the future ;) 

Meanwhile, during the weekdays when daddy was at work, mummy and I spent most of our time relaxing in the hotel. The hotel is located along a busy street so going out for food and shopping was easy and convenient. Here are the things I did almost everyday...

Homework first thing in the morning. After that, I was free to do whatever I liked. I usually watched TV, read a book or played some iPad games.

Playing in the bath tub was my daily favourite too

Went to a nearby playground


Afternoon tea with mummy

Happy Hour at the hotel lounge on certain days... free flow of drinks (wine, beer, cocktail and juices) on the house :)

Big City mall in Hsinchu city... love this place!

More (window) shopping!

Taiwan is truly a land of bubble tea. In just about any street, 1 in every 5 shops is a bubble tea shop. We lost count on the number of drinks bought... at least one large cup every day, sometimes even up to 3! 

Me, my cuppa and a good book :)

The Wonderful World of Ruoyi

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