Trolls

Not the cute ones though.

Okay, I’ll let you into a little secret.

I loved tonight. I only wanted to try it but it sucked me further and further when I felt that I had power.

Then it came to me, why didn’t I do it before? Why did I discover the excitement I am getting from it just now?

I wish I knew it sooner because the satisfaction was amazing.

Trolling. On social media. Not the bad one.

 

I was actually going for a sensitive topic on efficiency and airport management. Somehow, others were thinking on a shallow perspective and that was where the disconnect started.

Then it turned ugly for them since they launched personal attacks which I was able to avoid but not without having to control my own feelings. I still got affected but not in the way that I could resort to using ad hominem attacks too.

In the end, I felt like it was a success. I was able to bury 3 people in the mud made out of their own logical fallacies.

Although it was enjoyable. It was also exhausting.

 

Would I do it again? Definitely. But not in the near future.

Weekend in Taiwan (Day 2)

 

Before we went out, I took some photos of our hotel, Queen Hotel II. I am very fascinated by it because it’s on the 4th floor of an old building. If you see the building, all of the expectations of a nice and clean hotel will vanish. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a relatively new facility!

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We actually had different plans for today. But, since we weren’t able to visit this district last time, we decided to go to it today.

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We’re going to Tamsui (淡水) today!

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Upon exiting the station, it isn’t hard to find the riviera and Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街). And, across the river is Mount Guanyin (觀音山).

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Since it was a Sunday, we thought that it may be a little less crowded. Oh, how wrong we were. A lot of people in Taipei may be enjoying the weekend in Tamsui too.

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On the street parallel to the waterfront is the old street itself.

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Nestled on the hills behind the waterfront is the Tamsui Church. It was used, then, to look over the neighborhood.

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And along the streets are tons of art.

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A short walk towards the mouth of the river will bring you to Fort Santo Domingo (紅毛城). For NTD 80, you can enter the fort itself and the old residence of the British consul to Taiwan. Since it is a fort, it’s placed on high ground. The steps aren’t steep but you should be aware.

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And across the fort is the British consul’s residence.

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We had to go back to the streets to find lunch.

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It was a bit hard to find a place to eat because there were a lot of people that day. But, fortunately, we found a place called Dark Palace. It was neither dark nor was it a palace. There’s a little bit of wait until we are seated.

I had noodles with pork chops! Serving size is humongous!

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And, now, it’s time to go back to Taipei.

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We got off at Ximending (西門町) but before everything else, we have to visit Carrefour for food items we will bring back home. I got good deals on tea! For NTD 79, I bought 100 bags of oolong tea!

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And, in Ximending, we only had one thing to do – misua (麵線). There’s one shop in Ximending that locals line up for.

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After a quick bite, we went back to our hotel for an afternoon nap. We also had to pack our things and prepare to leave. I actually wasn’t able to clean up my stuff. It was now time to visit another night market, Ningxia Night Market (宁夏夜市).

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Ningxia is less commercial than Shilin. The food is not catered to tourist but locals seeking comfort in the middle of the night. There were a lot of people because of the weekend! It was hard to choose what to eat.

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I actually had noodles in chili oil for dinner but I forgot to take a photo. So, here’s a photo of my dessert. It’s mango snowflake shaved ice with panna cotta!

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After dessert, we made our way back to the hotel, took our showers, and packed our bags. We rushed to Taipei Main Station and was fortunate enough to take the last ride to Taipei Taoyuan International Airport via the airport MRT.

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I had one crazy weekend. It was crazy but it was also satisfying.

 

 

 

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Weekend in Taiwan (Day 1)

 

 

Weekend in Taiwan (Day 1)

This was just a crazy idea at first. But then, it became a bucket list item. And, now, it was a reality. Surrounded by thousands of low fare promos from airlines, we got tickets to a weekend in Taiwan.

Why Taiwan? We just wanted to eat all the comfort food Taiwan could offer.

After work on Friday, we went straight to the airport to catch our 11:45 PM flight. Unfortunately, it was a little delayed. Good thing, too, since we had problems with instructions on the Taiwan Travel Authority (here). But it was sorted out easily.

Weird, though, we arrived to an awfully quiet airport.

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To be honest, the Taipei Taoyuan International Airport is also quiet in the wee hours of the morning. It was a little eerie too. We wanted to ride the bus to the city because a taxi will be costly. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long for a bus ride.

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Once we arrive in Taipei Main Station, that’s where we took a taxi to our accommodations, Queen Hotel II near Zhongshan station.

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Then, off to sleep since it was almost 4 PM.

It was morning and then we were off to our first stop. Our base station is Zhongshan station (中山站).

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Our first stop is a return to Taipei Main Station. It’s a massive structure. It’s also confusing if your don’t read and understand Chinese.

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I have this idea of taking the express train to Ruifang (瑞芳) but you do not have that liberty if you can’t tell the cashier what you want. As a result, we ended taking the normal train to Ruifang station.

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I didn’t mind because we were able to experience the landscape of New Taipei City.

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From this station, we used our EasyCard (you can also buy tickets) to get to Shifen (十分) through the Pingxi line (平溪線).

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It’s just a short ride until you reach Shifen.

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Now, it’s time to explore Shifen Old Street!

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After one pass through the streets of Shifen, we had to grab lunch. We found it hidden from the view of all the hungry tourists.

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I couldn’t imagine a meal in Taiwan without xiao long baos. And, to be honest, it’s like they have a template for making these delicious dumplings. No matter where you go, the taste is just as awesome as the last one you tasted.

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Shifen is known for it’s paper lanterns. They have a festival for it but you can fly one any time of the year. It’s a bit of an adventure, too, since you will do it on the train tracks. You don’t have to worry where you since the old street is filled with shops.

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After Shifen, it was trip back to Ruifang to go to the next stop on the itinerary, Jiufen (九份).

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From Ruifang station, we took the bus to Jiufen. It wouldn’t take you long until you reach the Jiufen Old Street.

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Jiufen is a sensory experience. You have all of your senses working for you. It’s just sad that it was drizzling while we were there. However, unlike the last time, it didn’t progress into harsher weather.

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Jiufen also provides a beautiful view of the northern coast of Taiwan.

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We didn’t do much. Going through the maze of alleyways is an experience in itself.

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We had a quick snack of a local dessert – shaved ice, soybean curd, mochi balls, red beans, and syrup.

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After Jiufen, it’s now time to go back to Taipei. Instead of passing through Ruifang again, we rode the bus that took us directly to the Zhongxiao Fuxing station. From there, we took the metro to Jiantian station. It’s time for Shilin Night Market (士林夜市)!

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Shilin Night Market is probably the most famous and the biggest of all night markets in Taiwan. And so, the following items are the things that I tried during that night.

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Suckling pig sandwich – a little small in serving but the flavor is really packed! One of the best pigs I have ever tasted!

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Deep fried cuttlefish – thoroughly enjoyed this snack and I couldn’t help but crave for more.

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Mango and strawberry snowflake shaved ice – definitely one of the best desserts I have ever tasted. I actually love bingsu from Sulbing and this one here is competition.

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Shengjianbao (生煎包) – the best pork buns ever! It was just actually a coincidence. We found a line waiting to buy these babies. We got intrigued because you know what they say, “where locals go, you go.” No regrets!

There were so many things I really wanted to try, like stinky tofu that has been calling my olfactory nerves all night. But, I was just too full!

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After a little more strolling around, it was time to head home and retire for the night.

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It has been a long day.

 

 

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Others in this series:

Weekend in Taiwan (Day 2)

Defendant (피고인)

Synopsis

Park Jung Woo (Ji Sung) is a prosecutor at Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. One day, he wakes up and finds himself locked up inside Woljeong Penitentiary. He is suffering from temporary amnesia. Park Jung-Woo is falsely accused and is sentenced to death. Now, he must struggle to prove his innocence.

Thoughts

I am a fan of Ji Sung’s acting ever since I saw him in Kill Me, Heal Me. In this series, he picked it up a notch. He is a supremely gifted actor and some of the younger actors today couldn’t even compare. He gives a lot of emotion and dimension to the role he is portraying.

As for the other cast, I couldn’t find fault. Although, I must confess that the female lead isn’t much of a factor in progressing the story. Honestly, she could be removed from the series and there wouldn’t be a lot of difference.

And one thing I like about detective dramas is the retribution in the end. It’s just so satisfying to watch. Although, I couldn’t recommend to watch it in one sitting because the series is just so heavy.

Spring in Seoul v.3 (Day 3)

Spring in Seoul v.3 (Day 4)We made our way to Anguk station. We rented hanboks today through One Day Hanbok (here). You can reserve a slot via email and you have to be there within 10 minutes of your reserved slot. You have four (4) hours to walk around in your rented hanbok. You may extend that if you pay a little more Korean won. They also have accessories for rent like hats, headbands, and bags.

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After a few minutes of going through all of their available hanboks, we were ready to conquer the city in our traditional attire.

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I intially wanted to be a prince but all the blue hanboks are gone. There must have been a lot of princes that day. But, hello! We’re all noblemen and we decided to coordinate the colors of our hanboks.

The hanbok rental is in Samcheongdong which isn’t a long way from Gyeongbokgung. Since we were in traditional attire, the entrance fee for the palace is waived. Thank you, Korea, for promoting your beautiful culture.

Then, there was this very beautiful cherry blossom tree.

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And we proceeded to the same thing in almost every corner of the palace.

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What I like about this architecture is that it looks simple but the design is very intricate. You’d have to look at it up close to see how complex the design is.

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Our favorite spot was the pillars. We also had a lot of requests to take photos with tourists.

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It was fun seeing people of different nationalities wearing the hanbok. Whenever there’s a person wearing the king’s and queen’s robe, we immediately bow down to them.

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8

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See, the pillars are our favorite. We look like we’re promoting a Korean drama!

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It was a little gloomy that day and the rain started to pour down on us.

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We hurriedly made our way back to the hanbok store because the rain was really heavy. Since it was already lunch time, we decided to take shelter in a nearby ramen store named Lamen’s.

I ordered the ttok ttok cheese maze which has gorgonzola and mozarella cheese sauce, pollock roe, hash browns, and arugula. Delicious! Although, it may be too creamy for some.

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We proceeded to Insadong for some souvenir shopping.

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Then, proceeded to DDP to see the LED Roses. But, unfortunately, they were removed last March 21, 2017.

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In the end, we decided to go back to Myeongdong and look for food. It was Good Friday. With so many Korean barbecue places around, it was very hard to find food without meat.

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We settled for a seafood pancake and authentic japchae! What a find. It’s my fourth time in Korea and it’s the first time that I have tried japchae.

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It was a little melancholic that we have reached the last night in this beautiful city. We dropped by a grocery store to buy local food and souvenir. I almost had to buy another luggage!

Good night, Myeongdong.

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Others in this series:

Spring in Seoul v.3 Day 1

Spring in Seoul v.3 Day 2

Spring in Seoul v.3 Day 4