Category Archives: Taiwan life

March 21-31, 2016


Here is a list of things that happened during the last 2 weeks of March:

Kelly said that Nina bought Garrett popcorn back from wherever she went and they had a lot that they couldn’t finish so they shared some to us. It was a combination of the original, cheese, and caramel flavors. I liked the caramel one the most because it was sweet and had the most flavor. Oops, sweet tooth! One of my colleagues also gave me some cupcakes.

My manager treated us to Magic Lantern coffee for no reason at all, so that was nice. I tried their matcha latte (without sugar) and I liked it. It wasn’t too sweet and it wasn’t powdery although if you look at it, it has a weird light green color. Hahaha! One of my other colleagues who is into essential and magic oils wanted to use us as test subjects and so she gave us 2 bottles each to use for the next 3 months after which we can tell her our feedback.

We had the mini-celebration for Q1 birthday celebrants and this time, we had balloons and Ding Gua Gua’s 頂呱呱 fried chicken meal set. Oily goodness.

IMP finally made good on their promise of coffee so one Friday afternoon, they ordered coffee from Qahwa Coffee for me. I chose the black sugar latte 黑糖拿鐵 and it was pretty good.

T’s colleague gave him movie tickets that were about to expire, so we went to Q Square to watch Gods of Egypt. We were supposed to watch Zootopia but tickets for the time we wanted were sold out, and the next one was for a much later time. I liked the movie because it wasn’t super cheesy or exaggerated. The visuals were also nice, and the leading female characters  were so pretty! We bought McDonald’s burgers to eat inside the cinema. Hahaha! After watching the movie, we walked around Taipei main station and bought some snacks. Then, we went  to Gongguan because I needed to have my umbrella fixed. Lastly, we went to A-Mart to buy some lightbulbs because my room’s lightbulb recently died. We were still in the mood to watch another movie so we watched Deadpool at home. It was all right.

On Sunday, we were a bit lazy to go out so we stayed at home and watched Kung Fu Panda 3. I don’t think I’ve watched the 1st or 2nd movie but I feel like you can watch them separately/they’re not interconnected/you’d still understand the movie. It was a cute movie that I think would really be appreciated by kids. The pandas were super cute! Only when the credits rolled did I find out that there were a lot of big stars involved in the movie – Jackie Chan, Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson, etc.

I did Tone It Up’s Burn It Up workout routine because I wanted to try something new and they have new workout videos on their channel. I also did one of their HIIT workouts.

We’ve recently been talking about how I’m annoyed at Z (T is too, a little) and how we should be the bigger persons. I told him that as much as I wanted (and I will of course) to be the bigger person,  there are times I really wanna tell her off for being so immature and self-centered. She also feels like she’s ALWAYS right and she won’t listen to opinions or views that are different from hers. Okayyyy.

I got 2 vouchers for a facial treatment at Debola spa that was about to expire, so my cousin Roxane and I made an appointment and went there. It was my first time having a facial done in Taiwan, and the experience was pretty good. It was really relaxing and my face felt softer and brighter immediately after the treatment that lasted about 90  minutes. The regular price is expensive so I was happy to have gotten a bargain!

For some reason, I got into a conversation with my manager about personal finances, and her praising me about not spending too much on unnecessary things and knowing which expenses are important/necessary and which are not. She says it’s good to know these things from a young age so you don’t end up wasting your money away. She also said that once you’re older, you have more income but likewise, your expenses will also increase because you have other things to think about and plan for.

My colleague went to Japan so it was a busy few days for me. I was left with all of her cases and so I was really nervous that something would come up that I wouldn’t be able to handle. Luckily, I was able to successfully and gracefully(?) handle the 3 days she wasn’t around (her cases + my own cases).

That’s it! Can’t believe that March is over. In other words, a fourth of the year has passed by. So far, it’s been a pretty good 3 months overall. Let’s see what the next 3 months have in store for us.


March 14-20, 2016


I must say, it’s been a simple yet productive weekend. On Saturday, T and I cooked green curry pasta for lunch and then ate it while watching Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. We used this green curry pack from Costco that Lorraine gave us before, and it’s good. There’s meat and veggies inside so theoretically (and if you’re too lazy to), you don’t have to add anything else and you can just heat it up and pour it directly on top of your rice/pasta, or you can use it as a dip with bread. Since I love meat, we added ground pork.

I was supposed to attend this beginner parkour class taught by a foreigner who just arrived in Taipei and is a practitioner(?) but (thought process). True enough, it kept raining the entire morning as well as the early afternoon. When the rain died down a bit, I started doing my laundry. I also uploaded photos on FB, and uploaded photos and posts on my blog.

By nighttime, it had stopped raining and we were able to leave the house. We went to Jingmei and had dinner at this fragrant sticky rice and oyster vermicelli(?) noodle food stall that T likes. As per usual, we were a bit full after that so we were trying to find something lighter that we could eat and ended up buying some meat balls. We brought that home and ate it together with Dilmah’s masala chai tea (added milk of course) that I recently got from Jackie.

On Sunday, it wasn’t raining in the morning so we decided to go to the market to see if there were any fruits/vegetables we could buy. We only bought a cabbage head (95NTD) and string beans (60NTD/600g). We didn’t see anything else we wanted, and they were mostly expensive (e.g. 600g of bananas now costs 55-57NTD, huhuhu) so we left to have brunch at MWD. Apparently, they have a lot of choices such as pasta and rice dishes. We wanted to try their brunch set so we ordered the French brunch set and a chicken sandwich. I was a bit disappointed because I thought the French set had French toast; but turns out it’s French baguette (fine, it’s still French), a small omelette, 2 hash browns, about 3 small pieces of bacon, and a small salad.

T wanted to check out Daiso so we went there as well. We finally ended up buying a water bucket (10L) and a really cute dipper. T also bought a glass canister for his ground coffee beans, and I was able to find a medium-sized laundry basket. He didn’t find what he was originally looking for. After that, we went to A-mart to continue grocery shopping. We bought meat, carrots, oat and almond milk, original and unsweetened soy milk, and pineapple! When we got home, I made pineapple milkshake to share. We also ate Popcorners’ cheesy jalapeno popcorn chips. Omnomnom.

T made an appointment with someone to pick up coffee grinders he recently bought, and so we went to the place to pick up the packages. We were supposed to go to this dessert cafe that opened these last few months that was around the area, but it was drizzling so we decided to just go there next weekend. We did go to Daiso for a bit to see if they had the thing he was looking for, but they didn’t. We also passed by Gakuden quickly to see if they had any breads we wanted to buy. We ended up basically tasting/eating free bread. I couldn’t control myself because there were a lot of free taste breads so I just kept eating. Huhuhu!

At night, we had steak and teppan (?) noodles while watching BBC’s Sherlock Holmes. We watched episode 2. I also continued eating Popcorners and then we also had coffee (with creamer of course, because I don’t drink black coffee). When we had finished watching Sherlock Holmes, we prepared my lunch boxes for the next 3 days, and T also prepared sandwiches. Before taking a bath, I also ate 2 pieces of chocolate. Sweeeeetsssss!

March 1-13, 2016


One of the sales people in our company had a client from Iran that he was going to meet and discuss matters with, and he asked me if I could sit in their meeting to act as an interpreter in case they wouldn’t be able to understand each other. Luckily, the person brought one of his Taiwanese business partners who could speak English to the meeting so I didn’t have to interpret for them anymore.

Ene was back in Taipei for a couple of days so we met up for lunch with Lorraine. We went to an Italian restaurant near my office called Cin Cin Osteria. I’d passed by the restaurant a couple of times before, and felt like the interiors and the restaurant itself looked nice so it was on my list of places to try. It did not disappoint. We were all satisfied with our orders because they were delicious and flavorful.

Coincidentally, one of my colleagues who recently got a raise wanted to treat us out to lunch and we also ended up again in Cin Cin Osteria because they wanted to try it out too. One of my other colleagues had previously eaten there with her family and she was also recommending the place. Good thing we made reservations because when we got there, the place was full! We had another satisfying experience because we all liked our orders and we were very full.

Over the weekend, T and I went to Mint (one of our favorite Italian restaurants) for lunch. We were supposed to go to Troublemaker Waffles for dessert and to hang out in the afternoon but when we got there, we found out that they were closed for the day because they were going to take their wedding photos. We ended up going to Bosun coffee instead which wasn’t bad either. I liked their latte, and it was my first time ordering latte without sugar. Hihi whoops.

At night, we went to Shida to walk around while waiting for my friends. Met up again with Ene and the rest of my Fil-Chi friends for dinner at this Italian restaurant called 雙魚坊. We had one whole separate room to ourselves where the table was lower and there were low couches for seats. We basically spent the rest of the night eating, talking, and laughing. Nice way to end the weekend!

The following week, T and I went to Ningxia night market because we’ve both never been there, and because we saw some blogs saying there were really yummy food there. We were pretty disappointed because the “bestsellers” (or so the blogs say) were not anything special. They were so-so.

We went back to Troublemaker and we were finally able to try it out. I liked their waffles because I felt like they weren’t expensive and yet they were delicious. We also liked their cheese waffle because it was really cheesy! Their coffee was more on the expensive side though.

Feb. 27-29 (228 Long Weekend)


We had a long weekend due to the 228 Peace Park holiday, and coincidentally, my mom came to Taiwan during that weekend. I was supposed to meet up with them at the airport to go with them to Sun Moon Lake on their first day in Taiwan but due to unforeseen circumstances, I wasn’t able to join them anymore.

Luckily, my friends had planned a potluck gathering at kuya’s house and so I went there to eat away my frustrations. We also watched this Filipino film while we were there titled Sana Dati (If Only). I found the film’s pace to be super slow and I got bored. Aside from lunch, we also had dinner there because there was still leftover food and because we were still there when it was dinnertime. We watched Bakit Hindi Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo but I didn’t finish the movie because it was getting late and T wanted to go home.

The next day, I did my laundry in the morning. In the afternoon, T and I went to Sheraton to meet up with mom. 7ku and my cousins Jonah and Joshua were also there because they were around the area earlier that day and they knew that mom was also billeted in a nearby hotel. Since most of us wanted to drink coffee and have some snacks, we went to Cafe Nola because it was just a couple of streets away from mom’s hotel. My friend had told me that the food was delicious, but maybe she was referring to main courses because we ordered coffee and dessert and wasn’t all that satisfied.

After that, 7ku dropped us off Huashan Creative and Cultural Park where we passed time. Mom had never been there, and it was also near the hotel so I thought to bring her there. We looked at some outdoor exhibits, a street yoyo performance, and we checked out some stores. Polina and her boyfriend came to meet us and we went to this boutique coffee shop for coffee. It’s been more than a year since we last saw each other so we just talked about what they’ve been doing with their lives and all that.

After about an hour or so, it was time to leave for dinner. We went to The Kitchen Table located inside W Hotel. I ate a lot of meat and sashimi, and also drank different juices. Hahahaha. After dinner, all of us went back to the hotel and then I decided to stay there for the night because they had an early call time the following day and it would be easier for me if I spent the night there. I was able to take a “bubble” bath without a lot of bubbles because the room didn’t have bath salts.

The following morning, mom was able to get me a breakfast coupon from a doctor who wasn’t going to be using it and so I was able to have breakfast at the hotel. I wasn’t able to take photos though, but I remember having breads, yogurt, muesli, meat, and veggies. I also had orange juice. After breakfast, we left for McKay Memorial for a hospital tour. The hospital is really advanced in that its technological capabilities are better than all the other hospitals I’ve been to. They’ve also automatized a lot of their processes/operations which makes it more convenient not only for doctors but also for patients. I wonder though, how hard would it be for them if the system suddenly fails or if something happens to the online/e-data.

When the tour ended, we went to this restaurant somewhere in Neihu for lunch. I didn’t like it because the waiters were rude. After lunch, we went to Shifen to release sky lanterns. I don’t know if it was mom’s first time there (Shifen and Pingxi) but I still want to bring my whole family there next time because I feel like it’s a good day trip away from Taipei city. I was supposed to take them there the last time they were here, but it kept on raining so it was more dangerous to go to a mountainous area and we didn’t end up going.

We didn’t stay there for long. You know how tour groups are. After releasing sky lanterns and taking some pictures, we left for Nanya rock formations. I had just been there a couple of weeks ago with kuya and his friends, so I was able to tell mom more about the place and we were also able to take lots of pictures. It was SUPER windy though, so most of our pics had our hairs flying all over the place, or me with my hands to my face trying to keep my hair from blocking my face. Haha. After about less than half an hour or so, we left for Taipei 101.

After more than 4 years in Taiwan, I’ve finally made it up the Taipei 101 observatory! I’m glad that T and I were able to go up together – of course mom being there was also fun. Mom was so funny though, because she also took still shots of the video presentations. We walked all around the observatory and took lots of pictures. We also tried taking pictures with us in it but there were only a couple that turned out successful. After spending some time in the observatory and in the dapper area, we went downstairs for dinner at Ding Tai Fung. We still had to wait for quite some time because there were a loooot of people but eventually, we got seated.

Dinner was funny though, because it felt like the servers were rushing us out. The food was served fast and the baskets/plates were also cleared fast. If there was still a dumpling or something left on the basket/plate, the server would tell someone to get the remaining pieces for them to be able to clear the table. We were probably in and out in under an hour – maybe even less.

We returned to the hotel after dinner and we were left to do whatever we wanted to do. Mom wanted to go to Carrefour and Gokim also called us up when we were back in the room, so we went to Carrefour to meet up with Gokim. After buying some stuff, we went to Gokim’s house to rest and for mom to see Goku and my cousins. We played this chicken and egg game that Richelle had recently bought. Then, we left because we still had work the next day. Gokim was the one who brought mom back to her hotel. Heehee.

That’s it, the end of my 228 long weekend!

February 20-26, 2016


These are some of the things that happened:

– Watched The Good Dinosaur, Bridge of Spies, and S01E01 of BBC’s Sherlock Holmes over the weekend because it was that time of the month and I was too lazy to move or to leave the house. I also finished reading Love, Rosie which I didn’t like because I felt Rosie was so annoying, and the whole dynamics of their relationship was irritating as well. Maybe that’s just me.

– When I felt much better, I finally started to unpack and I also organized my closet and dresser at the same time. It’s good to finally be able to see my bedroom floor, and not have stuff on my bed, but after a couple of days I know that it’s gonna go back to how it was. Hahaha I’ll have to throw stuff away and really declutter. Once the season changes, I’ll do that.

– We had hotpot at home and it was yummyyy!

– One of our Sri Lankan agents came to visit and I picked him up from his hotel and brought him to our office. I always get worried about making small talk most especially because I’m nervous that they’ll ask me about the business side of our companies and whatnot, and I wouldn’t know the answer which would make me seem unprofessional. Maybe I’m just overthinking. We talked about tight competition in Sri Lanka, how he’s been with this company for over 14 years (this is his first and hopefully his last), and how education is expensive there (he has two little girls) especially if you want your children to go to good schools (of course).

– I finally booked my ticket back home for June. One of my good friends from college is getting married and I told her that I would attend. Coincidentally, we also have a long weekend the week after so I’ll be able to stay about 10 days in the Philippines. Yay!

– It was that time of the year when people would eat glutinous rice balls (tang yuan) and my colleague bought one for me because their team was buying. Aww, so thoughtful.

– The foodie group (yes, we’ve decided to give ourselves a name) met up for dinner and dessert. First, we went to this HK restaurant and shared food because we didn’t want to be super full. That was a good decision since the food wasn’t expensive and it was delicious too! For dessert, we went to this restaurant that apparently came from Japan (Hokkaido) called White Cosy. We wanted to try more things so we shared food again, and since we kept on talking, we stayed there until they were about to close.

– I got locked out of my online banking account again (ugh), and I had to go to the bank to have my password reset. I tried doing it via the ATM machine and then logging onto a computer to reset it, but that didn’t work so I decided to just go to a counter. It was faster that way.

Week 8, 2016 (Feb. 15-19, 2016)


Feb. 15 (Monday)

First day back to work after the CNY holiday. It was drizzling a bit that morning and maybe it’s because everyone was going back to work, I dunno, but there was heavy traffic and I was late. Ugh. Oh well.

It was a pretty busy day catching up with emails and work that I had left behind. The day passed by pretty quickly because I was busy. Whew! Since I hadn’t worked out in more than a week, I told myself that I had to attend the harder yoga class and so I did. I almost died. Hahahahaha it was really challenging and I found myself not being able to do or hold some poses that I could previously do. That’s really one of the things I don’t like about yoga – you miss a couple of days and it’s like you’re (almost) back to square one.

Feb. 16 (Tuesday)

In the afternoon, a co-loader from the Philippines came to visit our office. I was able to briefly talk with the Fil-Chi person and found out that his wife and I graduated from the same high school. The Fil-Chi community is really small.

During hot yoga class, the teacher went, “A lot of students have told me that they ate a lot during the CNY holiday and want to lose the holiday weight gain. Therefore, today we are going to do a lot of core exercises…”Nooooooo! I hate core exercises because my core is really weak so I feel like they’re a waste on me because I’m not able to do all the moves and all the repetitions. Huhuhu.

Feb. 18 (Thursday)

Wednesday was yet another normal and routine day. I went to work during the daytime and then attended hatha vinyasa class at night.

This day was pretty good because I was busy. I had a pretty decent amount of emails in the morning, had a lunch meeting and conference call (wow I never imagined myself saying that – although I basically just said a bunch of yes’s and a couple of basic sentences because it was the other person who did most of the talking) and then in the afternoon I had to leave the office to fetch our Turkey agent. I participated in the meeting with him when we got back in the office, and then I accompanied him to wait for a cab back to his hotel. I need to learn more about our business and the industry in general so that I can have stuff to talk about with our agents (aside from small talk, which I feel like I’m not good at). Afterwards, a co-loader based in the Philippines also came to our office for a while and we were asked to join in the meeting with them, so that was another meeting.

We were supposed to have dinner with our Turkey agent but he had other plans so the dinner didn’t push through. I didn’t bring my workout clothes because I thought we were going out for dinner so I decided to just go home and have dinner with T. We watched A Walk in the Woods, which is this movie based on the book published by writer Bill Bryson about the time he tried hiking up the Appalachian Trail.

Feb. 19 (Friday)

It was another typical work day but it was a pretty slow day because there weren’t a lot of activities lined up for the day and I didn’t really have a heavy workload on this day. At night, as per usual, I attended hot yoga class and then went home to welcome the weekend.

CNY Holiday 2016 in the Philippines (Days 8-10: Feb 11-13) + February 14


I went to UP to meet up with some course mates Jad and Martha. One of my course mates, and my thesis partner in fact, is teaching in our department. The other one was just going to UP to get some documents.


Coincidentally, CAL (our college) was celebrating CAL week and on this day, they were selling paella in front of the library. Jad bought paellas for us and we went to her office to eat them. They were made by Liza, another professor there and the wife of Fernando, one of our professors when we were undergrads. It was reallyy good! When we were almost done eating, Martha showed up and the 3 of us just talked and caught up with one another because it’s been so long since the 3 of us were together.

Jad had class and Martha had to go to the OUR, so I sat in Jad’s class where she gave her students a quiz. Then, she told them that they would have to present something by group for the next session, so she gave them the remaining time for them to talk and plan for the presentation. We sat in a while in Camilo’s (?) basic French class because Isis asked us if we had time to attend. When Martha was done at the OUR, Jad and I left and the 3 of us went to Cafe Shibuya in UP Town Center.

I had an afternoon coffee date so I ordered dessert (this molten lava cake) instead. We basically spent the rest of the time chatting. When we parted ways, I went to Robinson’s Magnolia to meet up with Aileen. We had coffee at CBTL and spent the next couple of hours talking. At night, I met up with Pao and Bianca at Yutaka Izakaya, this Japanese restaurant that was apparently near my house. Yummy food! I can say that they’re my childhood friends (especially Bianca) but it has also been some time since I last saw them, so we just caught up with what has happened in each others’ lives.

The next day, mom and I went to this newly-opened spa near our house supposedly to get a body massage, but they were still closed so we went somewhere else. That was also still closed (We were too early. Who knew spas opened past 2PM?) so we ended up in Starbucks while waiting for Sa-I and Achi Sarah to finish running their errands.

We were supposed to go to this other Japanese restaurant (I can’t remember the name) but they were only open until 2PM and we wouldn’t make it or we wouldn’t have enough time to eat our food. We ended up going to Nihonbashitei and ordering a lot of delicious food! I was so full! Then, we went to Cash n Carry because I had to meet someone that my manager asked me to contact while I was in Manila and the guy wanted to meet up in person. We had coffee at Starbucks andchateed for a bit. I don’t know if we will really get any business with him but I sure hope so. When that was done, we went back to Sa-I’s house to hang out. Mom and Sa-I went out to dinner because both Achi Sarah and I had dinner plans with our friends.

I went to Don Andres for dinner, which is this Peruvian restaurant located in Tomas Morato. Kats suggested it because she’d been there before and she felt like it was a nice restaurant. We ordered 3 dishes to share, and the food was pretty good. And that’s it!

Early the following day (13th), I took my flight back to Taipei and basically spent the day sleeping because I was tired. My cab ride home was also annoying because the driver took the long route and so my cab fare became expensive. Ugh. T also came back from Kaohsiung that night so we were able to hang out. Finally finished writing about this time’s trip to the Philippines!

We don’t really celebrate events/occasions such as Valentine’s and I think that in the years that we’ve been together, this was the first time we were together on this day. T suggested we go to this apparently popular hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant. They don’t accept reservations, and we got there at 11AM (they open at 11:20AM) but we were already 48th in line! Woahhh. We had to wait almost 2hrs and we ate for about 1.5hrs. Felt as if we had spent our entire day eating.

Because we were full from that meal, we went to Ximending to walk around. We found ourselves in Eslite and we spent quite some time there just looking at books and at the cute stuff that were on display. After some time, we headed home.