6/27/2017 11:11:00 pm

starting to bore of this routine life


life seems to feel it's getting very routine-based and I'm finding it suffocating

wake up at 6am, travel to school and reach before 7am, start lessons at 8am and ending in the late afternoon.

travel back home, slack for awhile, have dinner and start on homework.

Sleep at 12am. Wake up, repeat.

the most exciting that happens comes up only once in awhile

I can start to feel myself operating like a robot

nothing much really happens

sure, there's events at school once in awhile and the stress of tests

friends definitely make the grind more bearable

and here's the thing, I am barely putting up with school but I want to make this the best time of my life so far

but things are so predictable and sometimes I want to break away from this regime

do something exciting, have something every day that makes me look forward to the next moment

a school life with anticipation of the unexpected

full of changes that no one foresaw

something that I can take control of

Instead of seeing glaze past me

5/23/2017 02:39:00 pm

Danshui // Taiwan 2016

I had plans to blog about my travels, but I kept putting it off because the trip was almost three weeks long and there was so much to write about, I didn't know where to start. It's almost the June, and since my exams are pretty much over I figured I would take this time to put it all up before my next trip in the June holidays. I'll be sharing about my trip in segments (days or places), so it's easier to tackle.

And because I'm not good at recalling things and I also happened to take a lot of photos, I'll let the photos tell the story, and interject along the way. (The bulk of it is unedited, but please do not download these photos and use them without explicit permission from me :))

Danshui, 淡水, or Tamsui as it is called in English, is a popular destination located at the northern tip of Taiwan. It is also very accessible from the city, with it's own metro station.


What I really liked about the station was that it looked colonial, like a train station from the oldern days. There's something about red bricks that gets me every time, be it walls or the whole building. It just gave a classic feel.


Ice cream despite it being late morning. My family loves to try ice cream when we travel, so even if it was currently 17℃, if we were in the mood for ice cream, ice cream it will be!

 






The first (or second) food in Danshui - red bean cake 红豆饼. It's made up of fluffy waffle-like batter filled with red bean paste. But my dad had over-estimated out appetite and bought two of those each, and these are humongous, so I gave some to my still-in-puberty-with-a-huge-appetite-brother.





We had stopped to admire some T-shirt souvenirs at a stall. Somehow the design had caught my parents' eye and they started chatting with the stall owner, who, like many locals, are extremely friendly and approachable. We ended up not buying any T-shirts and this lady above was still smiling at us as we left. It's one of the many reasons I love this country- the people are warm and friendly.









The Old Street is made up of many rows of shops, cafes and restaurants, both old and new.








One thing I find interesting while travelling is the alleys and small walkways each country has, and some of them are really unique or different from the dull and dark alleys we have.






A street artist when he's not 'activated'. After I took this photo, someone dropped a coin into the pot in front of hm, and he started playing the harmonica. It was a really cool thing to witness. (You can hear the very strong winds in the video due to it being taken at the riverbank.)


video




Somewhere about this time, I had let my brother use my camera. It's quite fun to let someone use your camera (provided you trust your precious camera with them), because you can later get a preview of their perspective, plus you might get some candids of yourself.






















Interesting doodles on the surfaces (I'm not sure what you call that)







A breathtaking half-painting half doodle on a wall. At first I thought it was advertising for a cafe, but the Chinese words didn't make sense (last year at Ma Lun Bar?). The watercolour effect was nice nonetheless.





A pink lifebuoy - usually we see orange-white ones around but pink ones were quite unique to me.















Freshly squeezed orange juice.






















This piece of art was also quite cool. At first glance I thought it was a cartoon elephant 'climbing up' the stairs with a backpack and sweating, but not that I look clearly it's from some cartoon or something. I like how the art is allowed to stay on the walls and not covered up by more white paint.









I had read about the 'lightbulb milk tea' found in night markets in Taiwan and was really excited when I saw this stall in Tamshui! It was around 75 NTD (around $2.50 USD) and around two times more expensive than the usual pearl milk teas which cost from 20 - 40 NTD, but it was worth it because we got to keep the lightbulb glass bottle!







A young child looking curiously at the dog. The kid was probably not used to walking on it's own two feet, because he was tottering towards the dog. But it was quite an amusing sight.





The second street artist




Another street artist.


Danshui was a really nice place to visit despite being a popular tourist attraction. I had wanted to stay longer to see the sunset, but my family wanted to visit another place.