Three Days and Two Nights in Taipei

It started because I need to go to Taipei to take a test but I have problem financially. I addressed my concern to friends in the hostel so they told me why not try hitchhike? I questioned the safety of it but I did my research anyway. I found a Facebook group of hitchhikers in Taiwan and thus I posted this on the wall and waited for response.

Two days before designated day, just when I was about to give up hoping, someone dropped me a message and offered to go hitchhike together. But on the day the day decided to cry hard and she decide to not go to Taipei anymore. I thought I got no choice but to go by bus but then she told me she could accompany me until I got a ride, even under the rain. I am so touched and so I decided to give it a try. Luckily, when we arrived on the spot, the rain has settled down and so we stood in front of the highway entrance. Holding this sign:

I know I know this is incorrect, should put the chinese upper and larger but anyway it is already better than my first try:

Anyway, we talked quite a lot about her travel experience and mine, half an hour passed and no car stopped, we were quite tired and thinking to change spot but then a car honked at us. Sadly he was not heading to taipei but halfway to miaoli, since I am stupid and has no money, I decided to not take the offer cause I might get lost in miaoli and ended up using more money. But this car gave me energy to keep waiting. Around minute 60, yes an hour, a car with couple inside honked on us and told us they can drop mw off in outskirt taipei since they are going to Taoyuan for Coldplay concert. YEAH finally!

The ride lasted for nearly two hours and we talked a lot about travel experience and a little bit of personal life, work and study also of course Coldplay songs. Well long story short I arrived in Yong Ning and I need to go to Sun Yat Shen memorial station = 45 TWD. I thought since I arrived early let me just walk station to station for sightseeing and maybe could reduce the cost. So I walked from there to Far Eastern Hospital. Though it was a long walk, I did not regret because I got to see these cherry trees and cherry blossoms, so pretty!

Then I took the MRT to Shandao temple and walk to my Couchsurfing host home. It was also my first Couchsurfing experience so I kind of nervous. My host turned out to be super nice and friendly. Her house also very cozy and spacious. I just realized how tired I was (oh yes I went to class in the morning before hitchhiking) so not long after I just collapsed. The next day she brought me to university and couple tourist spots while telling me some cultural and historical information with scooter! That was my first time riding one and I am lovin’ it~ The weather was not clear thus we cannot hike the mountain to see all Taipei but it is OK, maybe next time. After dinner in the night market we just go back and talk till midnight. Since I have to go back for class I can only stay those short period so the third day morning my host drop me off in front of the highway to let me find my hitchhike ride. This time I was alone so it is quite boring but since it is near a market some people come by and asked me stuff, gave me advice and even scolded me. First person – grandpa : “Miss, if you stand here with this sign, will anyone really stop by?”

Me: “Well I don’t know but I am trying.”

Second person – another grandpa : “Miss, if you just hold the sign like that the people who drive can’t see, you have to wave your hand like this” he waved his hand energetically

LOL, my response: “Oh yea? Should I do it like this” I waved too and laughed hard “quite embarrassing”

Then more serious one, taxi driver: “You crazy girl, it’s so dangerous to hitchhike, the bus ticket from Taipei to Taichung cost just around 100 (actually it is 290 to be precise), if you hitchhike, bad thing might happened to you and that will be the end for you, you might die!” a bit harshly and then he started to tell the people around me that I am out of my mind in Taiwanese. Well I decided to let it go and due to his shouting another person told me to change to another spot, maybe easier to get a good host. I took the advise and started walking. Then a car honked at me, a couple popped out from the car windows and ask if I am going to Taichung or not and ask if I need money, why don’t I take the bus or train, so on and so forth. I answered them honestly and then they offered to buy me a bus ticket and drive me to the bus station. Of course I didn’t take the offer initially because that would be like I am asking them money and I don’t think it is a good thing so I told them maybe I will just wait a little bit more. But they insisted that it is too dangerous for me to hitchhike and since they have reached out to me so they going to make sure I go to Taichung in the safest way. Long story short again, they bought me ticket and gave me pocket money for lunch and I arrived safely in Taichung.

I cannot believed that all these new experiences happened in just three days.

And yeah, my journey these days hasn’t been easy so internet access also limited. I would love it if I can write some more but these experience is not bad, not bad at all~

Now playing: Kiss the Rain – Yiruma, just because it is raining outside and it feels melancholic~

About Pumpkin Soup and Some Love

“Kitchen is the most dangerous place in the house,”  said my mom always when I was younger. I never hold a knife, use rice cooker or anything. Until high school, the fanciest thing I have ever cook is simple fried rice (rice+egg+sausage+soy sauce+salt+pepper+oil), or if you consider instant noodle is fancy then I can do that too. As mentioned, I went abroad to pursue my university study, during the time, I became the master of microwave cooking, I can cook a lot of different food with microwave but normally without needing knife skill and seasoning.

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Original picture: Pumpkin soup with pumpkin seeds. All rights reserved.

Sometime last week, I was asked to be a translator in a discussion about fine dining plan for 13 people. My friend was asked to cook some French/Italian cuisines for the event and I gladly offered her my assistance in anyway she would find me helpful. Since I thought she knew my extra limited cooking skill, I was expecting to be asked to help in serving, table preparation, translation and washing dishes. But amazingly, she actually trusted me to help her in cooking (of course with her guidance but this does not mean supervision). I kinda cooked the risotto (including one strike of salt and another strike of pepper to the plate!), tasted the pork belly (I think it is belly) and pumpkin soup for flavoring, and I half made meringue… Even though I failed to give the best comments on the flavoring, I was quite proud of the meringue and risotto, (again, actually the meringue kinda failed too). Anyway, it was my first try ever, to actually doing things and made something edible (HAHA). She also taught me about meringue, I made the French type, with raw (powdered) sugar and egg white, the others are Italian (with boiled sugar but not caramel and raw egg white) and Swiss meringue (with sugar and egg white cook to around 50 degrees) 🙂 *she told me yesterday so please feel free to correct me in case my memory decided to play a trick on me*

I stood for super long hours, translated a lot of words and washed countless dishes as expected. Some unexpected such as the emotional tension. Not only in the kitchen, it was about the whole thing, most of the time. The stress is combination of continuous function within two days time interval (if this phrase make sense to you) and problem kept arising like crazy. The physical strength needed, the procedures, the cooking, the everything also beyond my expectation, remember that I never cook for anyone, including myself. All home chefs in the world, you have my respect! So as dish cleaners… it was a very tough job.

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Original picture: Mushroom risotto. All rights reserved.

From this experience, yes I learnt about the cooking, French style fine dining and the harsh time in the kitchen. One thing that I really want to share however, is the importance of INNER PEACE, SELF CONTROL, EMOTION CONTROL, the art of LETTING GO, and most importantly APPRECIATION and RESPECT. My friend was amazing, I screwed up badly on the tasting but she thanked me, I was scared of doing my first meringue but she told me “I teach you and you will be able to do it”, I have no idea about how to serve, how to do plating, and a lot of small and big things but she told me “thank you so much for your help and everything”. Honestly, I felt so touched, respected, supported and positive such that even though it was an extremely exhausting day but I had fun and was still smiling and kind of “happy-drunk” (not because of alcohol cause I did not drink any) that night.

To close the day should I quote myself…
Living a live halfhearted is like eating pumpkin soup cooked without love 

Now watching: Moana ~ nice original soundtracks!

Advice from a Friend

Every person was born as a complete being, one whole person, no more and no less. When we got into relationship, often people will give part of them away to our partner, expecting him/her to give us back part of them to make us feel complete. This kind of relationship is very fragile; when the other party decided to quit the game of love, we will be left with part of us missing and thus make us upset and unhappy a.k.a broken heart-ed. But how can we play it right? No one goes into a relationship expecting to be left behind right, so which is why we give part of us as a symbol of trust. While this was a common thought, I received a very nice saying from a dear friend; this is my interpretation on what she said:
When we are in a relationship, we should not give a part of us away to the other guy. We should keep ourselves whole hence we stay as independent person in relationship. Sound a little bit self-centered and contradicting the relationship idea, but here is my favorite part;
Exact wordings: when we are in relationship we should share part of us, not give it away and thus we stayed as a whole (translated from French)
My interpretation: when we are in relationship, we need to combine ourselves to make value, and share that value together, we  should make ourselves more than a whole such that when the relationship fall apart, we become no less than we were before, actually we should have more due to the value added from the relationship.

I have never been in a relationship before but when I heard my friend told me about this, I really think that this is worth sharing. Relationship failure is one of the major reason of depression (see Wikipedia) and often lead to psychological disease or even suicide cases. Of course one might say that just talk is easy, but to the action which count; how to do it? My friend answered it like this: take a step back, look at your relationship case from third person point of view, try to give yourself advice as a spectator because it is all about perspective. If you can draw yourself away from emotional attachment to your problem, you will know the wisest way to encounter the problem and solve it. I found this is useful not only in relationship context but in generally every problem. Hard but not impossible, practice makes perfect.

Last but not least, though she mentioned it at the very beginning. Your happiness should come from yourself internally, you should not expect external factor to help you to be happy.

Dear Mélyssaa, if you ever read this, I hope I get your meaning correctly. Nevertheless, as I told you, this is a very nice advice and I really hope that this will help someone out there. I would like to elaborate longer but I think that should wait until I experienced it first handed. Thank you so much tho!

Featuring: Mint na Bokura manga by Wataru Yoshizumi. Love and learn :3

Non-Valentine Random Post About Low Class Work

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Retrieved from Google on February 14. All rights reserved. 

Investment bankers, financial analysts, mechanics, computer programmers, doctors – we all know how hard to attain these professions are and we have to spent days, months, years to be part of the job market. While waiters/waitresses, administrators, helpers and kind are the type of job that perceived as low level work, easy and stupid job. I thought so too, I always want to be one of the high class people and underestimated the other group, well, don’t you think serving food, washing dishes, cleaning the floor, etc. are super easy job?
Yeah, only until I tried doing it.

Now you might stop and pity me. That poor girl with useless bachelor degree is doing low life job. Judge me all you want but let me just say this: both groups are equivalently tiring in a different way, one require more brain power while the other, heart power and muscle. One will argue that working in high tier organizations also involve a lot of emotions. It is absolutely true but different emotions indeed, you will get it after you experienced it.
Not to get too specific but I am currently finance my travel by working on the hostel I am staying in. It is a great place and I really love the people here, a lot of stories, thoughts being exchanged and I feel like I have been talking forever to so many different people. To make it clear: it is amazing, great experience. But here is the thing; maybe it is because this is the first time I am doing this, I feel a little bit oppressed. Since I will be staying for (kind of) long time, the manager just asked me to do everything, like I should have had a week holiday before everything started but I started working since the first day already. Of course I don’t mind at all, really I would love to help out as much as possible. But then there are times when I need to be alone or when I was tired, but he always called me because there are always something going on around, it was just……
Also, at home, I never need to wash my dishes, such a spoiled little girl but here I need to wash TEN people’s dishes (with extra cleaning and a lot of other things). Again it is not a big problem at all, but you see when he keep adding work to do – it just become so frustrating. Well I am lamenting right now but this is a big emotional test for me. As a low class working employee, it is just so hard to earn respect and hard to complain or voice out my opinion. He heard me out but not listening I think. He is a nice person but not a very nice manager. But this is part of the consequence of my decision so I am trying my best to take it easy and not going crazy……

PS: I know I should return to the top and re-read before posting but I think I need a crying break so please pardon my English as always.

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Retrieved from Google on February 14, 2017. All rights reserved.

PSS: Happy valentine’s day peeps! (or single awareness day whichever applicable)
Now playing: Breakeven – The Script and S.A.D – Joseph Vincent.

“…Still alive but barely breathing…”

A New Kind of A…

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My friends and family always associate me to working; took too many projects, work long hours, cannot relax, enjoyed doing task even when it is not very necessary — workaholic. While it might be true but it does not mean that it is what I want to be. I enjoy having things to do, being efficient and produce something in result. I also need to work to support my life financially. Thanks to that my schedule is normally full of shifts and my to do list is seldom (or never) empty of prioritized tasks. Even in my leisure time (read: less busy period), my wondering mind never failed to add bullet points to my list, new ideas to work on or progress and revision on what I have been working or has worked on. This behavior started from high school and recently I started to get overwhelmed, which was why I took a short break from things and travel (as mentioned in the previous post). But here is the thing:9051d8061c0e382af394e6a79c5c8cd1

Being busy is addiction, I am out here trying to get out but ended up piling more work due to the feeling that I have more time to invest now.

Currently I have at least four things that I marked high priorities on my new list (which was blank half a month ago). I feel excited to have new tasks with different nature from what I was working on before. I can see my exhausted self around the corner due to overworking (again) but I cannot just drop these opportunities. Is it good or is it bad? I don’t know, but I hope things will work out eventually.

***Marked shortest post so far***
PS: too busy to write longer but I want to write.

Because Plan Does Not Always Work Out

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Retrieved from Google February 8. All rights reserved.

Not every plans in life went exactly like how we wanted them to be.. In my case to be exact, only very few things worked out as planned. When I was younger, I have always dream to be a chef, playing with mud soup and soil rice – literally. As I grew older however, I realized that my talent on working with knife limited to spreading jam on my breads or I might ended up hurting the kitchen. So I decided the alternative, I planned to be a veterinarian. Again as life went on I realized that animals seem to dislike me, vice versa. As a child I had so many dream jobs and future fantasies; beside chef and veterinarian, I have had wanted to be basketball player, short distance runner, housewife, writer, pianist so on and so forth. I guess that’s pretty normal for kids, everything seems cool and we aren’t scared of dreaming big just yet. But truth to be told, it was far too early for me to make any decision by that age, I planned nothing and just follow the orders and suggestions given to me, to go to A primary school and B middle school.
Around the age of 14, I started to make minor decisions in life, including high school choice but it does not really matter actually. I have always thought that I will walk behind my older sibling’s footsteps and that I won’t need to make my own decision; graduate high school and go to the same university with the same degree. However, toward the end of senior high school, suddenly it dawned to me that I cannot just parrot my sibling’s decision since we have different interest and capabilities. With very little clue on what I want to be, I chose the safest major in one of the prestigious university in Asia, used up my life luck and got unexpectedly admitted. First big encounter that was not planned, a good one turn in life.

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Retrieved from Google February 8. All rights reserved.

I was so nervous about studying abroad and really afraid that I might have made a wrong choice but with other’s encouragement, I decided to face front. In this university, we have a year introduction to the school before eligible to specialized in a major. I spent this one year to planned on which major to study, minor and my other three years study path. Of course I made alternatives in case plan A failed. But sadly, no plan was well executed, I was rejected by my major choice, have not enough credit for minor and that study path has (hopefully) arrived to recycling place. Of course I was upset due to the rejection, I was dejected to be enrolled to the so called inferior major and I felt that my whole life has just ruined, not exaggerated. This was my second life changing unexpected event. It took me some time to cool down and accept this bad news which when I think about it now, actually might not be that bad, and restructure my life.
Half a year after, around two years ago, I was given the opportunity to go on study exchange. I wasn’t planning to go at all since the living expenses are too high around Europe and it’s a waste to pay full tuition fee in my university of I go to university in Asia which generally have lower cost. Anyway, I did my research and found two affordable cities to study in Europe, so with not much interest I applied to those two universities only (normally students choose 10 to increase probability of success). Later I was told that the destination universities I chose were not popular a.k.a exotic choice and as you might have guessed I got admitted and suddenly have to re-planned my study path, again! I could have rejected but I was curious and I dislike the idea of ditching opportunity so I went. Third unexpected event, nervous to fly to Europe alone for the first time.
Before I went. There was another happening, I was offered an internship in a conglomerate for the summer before my exchange study. Unlike the previous case however, I did my research, applied with expectation and gave my best for the interview. It was unexpected for me to get the offer because I found the other candidates have more experience and that I have no expertise required. But I was glad that I was offered and did my best to reach the manager’s expectation and acquired more than one new skills! Fourth unexpected experience.
Work life is so much different from study, it challenge my thinking, tiring but excite me the whole way. Exchange life also does change one’s way of thinking, especially when you came from the study-the-book-everyday culture like me. It also gave me exposure to western culture, which to be honest I found not THAT different to the east, we are all human after all and I came from one of the most diverse country. The experience opened my eyes of out of the book learning and make it happen yourself kind of learning. On the down side however, I became too lazy to attend classes after I come back to my mother university.
Half a year after my Europe trip again I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to have a summer internship in my home country. Before I always went around driving and could care less about my country’s social issues. But then in this occasion I tried to be independent of my parents and went around with public transportation, eat modest and rely only on my allowance. It is amazing how things looked so much different in that period of time. I have been living there since birth but I never really care and take notice of my surroundings, I was too pampered with my family’s luck. That summer, it dawned to me that there exists another side of the city, gloom, dirty, but has their own beauty.
Half a year after, again I was faced with another options. Either spent a chill last semester or do something to fill in the gap semester and rush my graduation requirements in summer semester. In the last minutes an opportunity came by to do work away and I accepted. A lot of things must be done in such a tight time frame, very tiring and I was unsure if I could make it in time. Eventually everything work out though and I just arrived to my new adventure destination! I wonder where will this chance bring me in future.
This has got longer than I planned to so I will leave my sharing to another post.

Listening to Simple Plan – Taking One for the Team, great soundtracks as usual 🙂