Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back to the motherland: Taiwan

2nd to 5th Oct!
Haven't seen my grandmother for a really long time, and she looked, well, TIRED. :(

So on 2nd October, I went to Taiwan! Both to visit my grandmother and attend my grandfather's funeral. So while you guys were mugging last minute humanities and biology, I WAS ON A PLANE! WHHEEE.

Okay la, I know that's the Singapore Flyer, not Singapore Airport, but it was a stellar shot and I didn't want it to go to waste :D

Eva Air: Taipei, Taiwan! :D

Had lunch at the airport. It was nice! Lotsa local food!


So we went to the Boarding Gate!

Happy and contented! :D

GESS colours!! See, I love GESS so much, still can think of it.

Anyway my flight was scheduled to be at 1:10PM but by 1:30, the plane had not taken off! Many people were very "WHY? WHAT HAPPENED?" but we were told to be calm. 1:45, I was fiddling with the buttons on my in-flight remote control. At finally, at 1:50, the Captain's voice buzzed through the air,
We regret to inform all passengers, however there has been a hydraulic leak.
It would require at least 6 hours for all mechanical parts will be delivered. Meanwhile all cabin crew have......

By then everyone was very -____-||| because SIX HOURS is a very draining phrase.
We were shooed off with service vouchers, and my aunt started her nervous tirade.
Aunt: 不好了,如果晚上还不能到台湾怎么办?!

Picture of the leaky plane. My dad said hydraulic leaks aren't simple, they are actually serious problems because they can result in loss of control. Hydraulic system is used for braking the plane or something, if there's a leak, the water will gush out, not apply pressure on the brakes @__@ IT'S PHYSICS EVERYWHERE!!!
But OMG right! Were you guys worried for my life?! Cheryl almost met an unfortunate accident!!! I was almost on Discovery Channel's show about the plane disaster thingy!!

Dad and aunt frantically trying to get on another plane bound for Taiwan.


At 3:30PM, they went to queue to get boarding passes..

...and at 4:30PM. -___-

The queue was so freaking short but the service was so freaking slow -________-

Was falling in and out of sleep. They gave us food coupons, and we went to eat. I had a random plate of rice and SNAPPLE! :D And the lovely bottle cap revealed a secret I never knew existed.

Mosquitoes have 47 teeth.

I have a thing against mosquitoes. They look rather disgusting. And they're full of blood. Eeerughh.

Anyway our new plane is Cathay Pacific! It's a nice plane :D (Vii beams with delight) But the downfall is that it's flight is at 6PM, and we'll reach Hong Kong at 11. At 12AM, we'll take the second plane to Taiwan.



Wake up at 9AM in the morning, and reach Taiwan at 1AM! CRAZY CAN. One whole day in the airport. WITH NO FORM OF PROPER ENTERTAINMENT!! Computer...

At 530PM, I was simply DYING OF BOREDOM.

Butbutbut, there were many sunflowers in the airport! Spent a lot of happy time looking at their big, big heads.

Dad: What's "Sunflower" in Chinese?
Me: I know, I know!!! Er. 太阳花!!
Dad: *whacks me on the head*

FINALLY WE GOT ON THE PLANE!!! Cathay is a nice place, really. I watched Pocahontas!! How long has it been, *sniff sniff* Feel like a little kid again! :D
I watched something else too. But I can't remember. It was all fuzzy. Hmm, but I didn't sleep. My original plan to study Chem on the plane - FAIL. It was cold and comfy so I decided to take advantage of it xD Airsickness didn't kick in this time, and I was glad! :D :D :D :D :D Of course, as soon as I got on the plane, my evil, un-roaming phone switched to "Emerg. Calls Only". KNNNNNNNN.

Edible food!! :D :D :D

They have ICE CREAM!!

AND CHOCOLATES! How crazy awesome is that! xD

See, it says right there! Taipei - 23:00. T_T T_T T_T T_T T_T!!!!!

When we finally touched down in Taipei, it was 1:10AM. I suppose many of you guys are alseep alr, but I was still scouring for my luggage. At 1:30AM, I was still scouring for my luggage! Then this guy in uniform came up to be and asked in coarse Hokkien, "Are you looking for your luggage?"
I went, "Um, yeah..."
And he continued nonchalantly, almost happily,
It must still be in Hong Kong, because there're no more luggages left!

Go to heeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllll.

Got to my lovely, lovely house, clambered up the stairs and plonked on the bed at 3AM, thoroughly drained.


Woke up at 9AM on the 3rd of Oct (lol, I bet many of you guys were frantically trying to finish your humanity papers at that point).

The main living room - CLUTTERED. Beat this, Zaza!

Area next to the TV.

Ah, I like this thingy. It's cute! :D :D

The second living room, on 2nd floor. AKA: MY HAVEN.

黑社会!! Had to censor out my aunt's face cause it's SUPER UNGLAM and my conscience tells me not to be evil to her xD

Got dressed in BLACK and went to the funeral place. Omg, that place is flooded with tears!! Had to wear this.. traditional taiwanese uniform when I went to see my grandfather. It was papery, and was like a robe. There was a head-dress too, which was long and papery as well! It was really weird, and the head-dress kept falling from my head, which is apparently a bad thing. Couldn't bring my phone there to take pictures, because when my mom saw my pocketing my handphone, she went:
"干吗! 没有礼貌,不要带那个!!"

And so, I didn't.

It was pretty sad there. The "sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters" were brought to the back room to see if they got the right body from the Cold Room. Yeah, from there on, my aunts were sniffing non-stop. As for granddaughters and grandsons, only a cousin from Malaysia and I went. His older sister didn't attend, and neither did mine :( Went back out to the main funeral room. My third aunt invited acrobats, lion dancers and hokkien opera people there. It was crazy and NOISY!! (my aunt almost got fined for making so much noise at a public funeral place, cause there were other funerals going on too, lol)

Arghhhhh, I can't remember much.

I'm not fluent in Hokkien and I only understand to a small, small extent, and EVERYTHING was simply DRENCHED in HOKKIEN. I was so LOST that day .__.

There was one part, the guy-with-the-microphone was dedicating some sutra to my grandfather, and all my aunts, my uncle and my mom, kow-towed at the red carpet and pressed their foreheads to the floor. And they began shaking with sobs. I'm like WOOAH O__O! And my cousin on the other side of the carpet was wide-eyed too.

In the end we had to do that as well, and I didn't do it very well, cause the minute my head touched the floor, my head-dress fell off and I had to scramble to keep it on my head -___- Smooth I am.

Fuzzy, fuzzy, fuzzy.

We stayed till quite late. Traditionally, after the cremation and after grandfather's bones were placed on a tray, everyone in the family has to pick a bone using a really long pair or chopsticks and place it in the jar. Freaking scary, I thought I would drop the bone (bad manners) or screw up or something. But it went okay, and my grandfather's larynx bone looked like the Buddha in meditation-stance, and the lady was rather impressed with the bone and said larynx bones are normally too fragile to make it after exposure to high heat (but the guy who sealed the jar squished it anyway -____-).

Went home really late. Watched the Borne movie on TV with my cousin before we had dinner.

LOTS AND LOTS OF PEOPLE! LOTS AND LOTS OF FOOD! Taiwanese rice is soft and sticky, wheee.

Tried to improve Hokkien by listening to my relatives spewing it forth, but it didn't really work :|

By then it was midnight, and my mom wanted me to sleep.

But I went to sleep shortly after anyway, cause I was too tired.


In the morning I went to the cute little food shop behind my grandmother's house to hunt for my lovely EGG CREPES. Haven't had them in Taiwanese authenticity for like, 3 years T__T HOW I MISS THEM SO.

Yum yum yum yum yum.

That afternoon, I had planned to study Chem, but as usual, FAILED!! I went to Xi Men Ding instead, this huge shopping district. But I didn't buy anything from there, just walked a lot xD
PAO PAO BING! In direct English translation, it's BUBBLE ICE CREAM. HUGE OKAY. Cannot finish!


Ximending is more people-populated at night, so I've been told.

Random shots xD This was actually a cartoon I used to watch in Taiwan when I was six xD!

After much looking around, we finally went to the BOOKSTORE!!
I was so afraid there would be no English books T__T


OMG. Randy Pausch, THE LAST LECTURE, was SOLD OUT. English edition some more!!!

But yeah, I didn't buy any books :D

Ximending during evening. Was starting to become really pretty! :D

Rushed home for dinner, and around 9PM, when to the awesome SHI LIN NIGHT MARKET. WHEEEEEEE.

Didn't buy anything from Shi Lim either, but had A LOT OF FUN. My 大阿姨 and third 阿姨 WERE BRING VERY HIGH. I have a video of them, in their 40/30 year old glory, SCREAMING THEIR HEADS OFF as they threw sharpened darts at poor, innocent balloons. MADNESS, was such a funny, funny moment! :D

Does anything look wrong with this picture:


Dog: *thinking to himself* Someone, save me, please.

Apparently, my third aunt can't hear her dog's cries cause she's too busy buying lemon water xD

Shilin was okay, but not as magnificent as I remembered it to be. Maybe things looked bigger then xD

But these, I did not see when I was here 3 years ago:


These brown babies are TOY POODLES!

I'm in love with this one!!


I'm such a dog-perv.

These, are Taiwanese Bitter Gourds:

OMG. LIKE MANIFESTED CHICKEN POX!!! I get the goosebumps when I see them. *shudder*


And that was about it!

Went home at 1AM, tired again. Heh. It was the 3rd of October, you guys should be preparing for Emaths while I was gaga over puppies xD


The 4th day, we went to the temple to place my grandfather's jar in a locker in the temple. It wasn't much, just that the monk was late and my grandmother started complaining loudly O__O

Went to visit my great-grandmother. She could recognize me!! WOOOO! :D :D :D

That day was short, nothing really happened. Hmm. I did go to Shilin the second time that night, but it was a Saturday and EVERYONE was there. FRIGGING CROWDED!!! Went home about 15 mins after stepping foot into Shilin. Scary place, ESP when the police are around!! Then all the people who set up stalls illegally will grab their bag and their stand AND RUN FOR THEIR LIVES. Shoppers will have to be careful enough to stand still and not get in their way, or one will die a very painful, trampling death.


Woke at 6AM to catch the 10AM flight back to Singapore on Sunday. EARLY. My grandmother was very much asleep.

WOW. Why is it so short when I type it out? O_O

Oh well.


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