jingning: (Ginko)
[personal profile] jingning
About a month ago, after weeks of intense research, meticulous planning, and tense negotiation, I finally entered the world of apartment life in Taipei. My new place is a mere two blocks from my previous residence and a bit more expensive, but the privacy, convenience, and comfort of living in an apartment more than makes up for these slight drawbacks. As I would eventually come to discover, however, finding out how to pay the bills and work the quirky-shaped keys would be the least of my worries. It wasn't until two weeks later that I fully realized the significance of previously neglected facet of my daily life: taking out the trash.

Within two weeks, I had accumulated enough garbage from moving in, ordering out, and general laziness to fill two large bags, one for trash and one for recyclables. At one point, I ran out of room for garbage in the first bag, so it moved to a temporary home by the door, another bag covering the top so that the smell wouldn't flood the room. The bottles and containers threatened my living space in their own way, forming a toppling plastic mountain in the corner of my room. The drink boxes needed to be flattened and rinsed out to prevent a TetraPak mountain filled with mold spores and festering strawberry soy milk; those, in turn, came to fill a medium-sized paper bag. Needless to say, I needed a solid solution, and fast. Otherwise, that solution would have to be The Ghostbusters.

I ain't afraid of no ghosts )

-- Sara

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hejinglan: Abra dozing off. (gintoki reading manga)
[personal profile] hejinglan
If you haven't guessed by now, you should know that Sara and I are both total 宅女 (also known as "otaku"). One of the geeky activities we like to participate in is Cosplay, in which one spends a ridiculous and unjustifiable amount of time and money dressing up as fictional characters from anime, manga, movies, and/or video games, all in the name of good fun. So when we heard that a comic exposition, dubbed Fancy Frontier, was being held at our doorstep, we couldn't help but check it out and catch a glimpse of the cosplay scene in Taiwan.
So, does Taiwan know cosplay?

I'll let these pictures speak for themselves. (Caution: image intense; has been known to eat slow connections.) )

In conclusion, I think the only words that can describe Taiwanese cosplayers are 厲害! If you get the chance, I would highly recommend going and seeing one for yourself, even if you aren't a huge fan of anime or manga. As far as I know, you don't need to pay to roam the outside area and take photos of cosplayers; you just need to pay if you want to check out the vendors' hall (and the price is usually nominal). For information on upcoming anime conventions in Taiwan, this site has it all: comic.com.tw (only in Chinese, but a translator can be used to get the gist of things if your Chinese is not up to par.)

Next up is the bigger ComicWorld Taiwan '26 on Dec. 11-12 at the same venue, the National Taiwan University gymnasium located on Roosevelt Rd. (臺灣大學體育館:臺北市羅斯福路四段一號) Check out those links for more information. Sara and I will be there taking photos and browsing the racks (unfortunately probably not in cosplay as our studies are keeping us too busy).

For those who can make it, hope to see you there!



***SPECIAL NOTE: THANK YOU EVERYONE! 感謝大家! To everyone who keeps up with our blog: thank you for your continued support! Please excuse the sparing updates as we are busy with schoolwork and it takes several hours to write one up. We appreciate your comments, feedback, and suggestions so we know our work is of some use or entertainment to someone out there. Let us know if you have any questions we might be able to answer, an experience to share, just some random nonsense that popped into your head, or if you want to see embarrassing, potentially incriminating and/or inappropriately shoopable outtake photos, like that one time I tried to eat a pear as large as my face and Sara released her deeply melancholic pop ballad Greatest Hits album. Nothing is too silly, too serious... or sacred).

More photos can be found on our Flickr. Until next time...
jingning: (Totoro Playing)
[personal profile] jingning
The Moon Festival (中秋節) is a very important holiday in Chinese culture that signifies the reunion of good friends and family, in which people make their way back home to spend an evening eating delicious food and Moon Cakes (月餅), while enjoying the beauty of the full moon. The holiday is held every year on August 15 of the Lunar calendar, which usually ends up being near the end of September and the beginning of October. This year, the festival was on September 22. First, however, there was a need for some spontaneous exploration of downtown Taipei, graciously hosted by a Taiwanese friend of ours that we had met in the States.
Enter Joyce.

捷運台北車站 - MRT Taipei Main Station )


When you've lived on the other side of the world, you begin to feel an indescribable feeling welling up inside of you. It is a feeling that transcends all the feelings of doubt and worry, one that makes you feel like all of your troubles are ephemeral, that the world is vast, and that while you stay up late at night writing inane things in your travel blog, there is someone back at home getting ready for work in the morning, making breakfast out of last night's leftovers, or just starting to fall asleep from a long night of video games and energy drinks.

Indeed, the world is so vast I almost feel as if I will be consumed by it. However, being all the way over here while everything I have ever known is all the way over there is not swallowed up by loneliness. I feel that I have friends that are going about their lives all across the globe. And, even while I sleep, there are amazing things happening and amazing people thinking of me, of you... somewhere. There is always something in between the distance, connecting you to me.

我們一定有緣。 (We are definitely tied together by fate.)

Thank you all for being in my life.

-- Sara

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hejinglan: Abra dozing off. (Default)
[personal profile] hejinglan
These past couple of weeks have been plagued by a passing sickness, general busyness (we are here for academic purposes after all... supposedly), as well as every video editing program out there trying to assassinate my patience, so my apologies for the long hiatus. Nevertheless, I present to you... Images of Taiwan*! (Again, lots of pictures and videos; modems beware.)

From Taoyuan to Taipei to Shilin to Danshui and Beyond! Read on... )

Bust through the heavens.


Since then, Sara and I have been struggling to overcome our respective colds while adjusting to our new life here in Taiwan. Although the initial "EVERYTHING IS AWESOME" phase has finally passed, we are continuing to seek out new experiences day by day. So far, our Chinese classes as well as our other NTU courses are progressing smoothly, and it seems we'll have plenty of time to devote to club activities or general shenanigans without having to spend too much time devoted to academia, which is nice.

So expect more posts from us as our adventures continue. Thanks for all of the comments and support up until now, everyone! 謝謝光臨!
jingning: (Lightning Melancholy)
[personal profile] jingning
Sorry for the hiatus! I have been sick for the past couple of weeks, the first of which consisted of me lying in bed with a fever during my first typhoon in Taiwan. I am entering my third week of school here and my Chinese classes just started on Monday (September 26th), so I thought this would be a good time to sum up my class experiences.

I apologize for the relatively boring subject but I hope you will find some interest in how things are conducted here at NTU. Also, although I was not able to go out while the typhoon was at full force, I did get a taste of the amount of damage done to buildings, trees, and vehicles. I suspect I have yet to experience the worst of them...

「萬般皆下品,唯有讀書高」 - All Things Are Beneath Contempt, Only Learning Is Superior )

While Lara and I sort out our schedules and class workloads, we may post less frequently. However, we have a lot of ideas and adventures that we would like to share so please keep following us. 謝謝~! Thank you~!

Eating shaved ice at a place near the Taipei Main Station (MRT)
Yet to come: Eating a shaved ice dish (剉冰) with Lara and our Taiwanese friend from the States, Joyce, and other such escapades.

-- Sara

Disclaimer: "萬般皆下品,唯有讀書高 - All Things Are Beneath Contempt, Only Learning Is Superior" is from The Analects (論語), compiled by the disciples of Confucius (孔子)

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