Last one

21 Feb

Hi everybody, i am going to stop this blog for now. I feel like being at home in Taipei and without anything really new, so i don’t see the point anymore in blogging about what happens here. Anyway, it was nice having this blog and i hope that it gave people a new positive view on Taiwan.

See ya

Bye for a month

15 Jan

I’m going on a trip from tomorrow ownward until the 18th of February, so I won’t be able to upload the blog until then. I’m going to South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

I didn’t have time to write about Taichung and Kaohsiung, as i didn’t have much time (that’s why all my last articles are only in English).

Anyway, see you in a month.

Hong Kong

14 Jan

We went to Hong Kong and Macau from the 5th to the 8th : the flight was more than an hour late, and we arrived around 5pm. But fortunately, the hotel was really nice.

Our room is on the 38th floor, and we have a really nice view from there.

We just had time to visit the Ladie market, and then we came back.

The next day, i tried the outside swimming pool at the 42th floor (at the roof). A little bit cold when it’s only 10°C at 7am, but again the view is amazing (you can’t swim everyday on the top of a skyscraper…).
What i also loved about the hotel is that when you’re in the Langham Club, you have a private level in the 36th floor with snack and beverage all day long. In the morning, you can have your breakfast watching Hong Kong waking up, and then you can have diner or a cocktail at the end of the day. Actually it was so nice that we ate there all days and didn’t try any Hong Kong food. A nice guy made a cocktail with mint, berries syrup and gin with lemon, and the staff was nice. I also went to steal cookies in the children areas everyday.

I would have stayed there longer if possible, but nice things must come to an end.And anyway, i like those hotels, but i also like backpacking. I think both are nice but you don’t see the same things at all, so it’s nice to do the two things.

On Saturday, we went to see a garden on a hill that has a nice view on the bay, then we took the ferrie to go to Central. It is always under contruction, and there were even more foreigners. That’s so strange to see foreigners, i’m not used to it anymore. I like Central, it’s crowded and it reminds me New York City. We went to see Saint John’s Cathedral, where there was a wedding, and some other areas.

We didn’t go to the peak as we had already been there in the past. The evening, we went to the Avenue of Stars to see the view.


The last day we went to see the flower market before taking our plane back. There were a lot of beautiful orchids, which was differnt from six years ago. Back then there weren’t many flowers but mainly plants.


Just out

9 Jan

Nothing to do with Taiwan, but well, when you’re away from home, it’s sometimes nice to watch series or movies you used to watched back home, or to just relax. Because between everything you have to visit, studies and all, it’s quite difficult to have time for yourself, while it was granted for me before. I really like this new lifestyle, but still, being able to just stay without doing anything is also nice. 

So i found that Sherlock had started again, season 2! Perfect British humour, nice storyline and action. And here is just a nice MV made. I wish i was able to do videos as awesome as that…

 

Macau

6 Jan

On friday, we went to Macau, as we didn’t want to go there during the week-end but it was already quite crowded. I’m glad i did it, but i won’t go back there again, or at least not in the near futur. The hotels and casino island, Taipa, is a way to flashy and “cheap” and is only a replica of Las Vegas. I visited the Venetian, and i’m glad that my mother didn’t listen to me and didn’t book a room there, because it would have been horrible. Too many tourists, too goldy, too big, too”  bling bling “, in one word: too much. It’s just like the Cesar Palace hotel in Las Vegas, but with Venice instead of Roma.

Then we went to visit the center of Macau, which is better. It really looks like a Portuguese city, with old streets, small ones, but with Chinese symbols. You also have temples near cathedrals, so it’s quite funny. It is also quite crowded, but more like a western city. You can find markets, walk up, well, it’s like a small Porto in a way. That is the nice part of Macau.I just really liked the Mandarin House, the biggest house on the island.

In the end, half a day is fairly enough to see the island, and it’ not worth to stay longer.I really felt unconfortable in Taipa, which made me think about an article i read about Dubaï. I really don’t like those casino cities.

And here is the song that i had all day long in my head:

Shifen – Pingxi of the Pingxi railway line

3 Jan

We went to visit a small touristic line that was one of the oldest railway. You can take it from Ruifan and it has several stops. It’s only 12km long, to it’s really short, and it goes through the mountains. I didn’t see a lot of western tourists, but more Japanese ones. We first stopped to Sandiaoling which is a nice place for hiking if you like, but don’t expect anything else. There wasn’t even a 7-eleven, so that tells everything. But well, since the weather was really bad, we couldn’t do hiking so we wait an hour for the second train to come.

Then we stopped at Shifen. This is a really nice place where the railway go through the city, just in the middle of it. It is also one of the only city where you can light a lantern all year long. There is also the broadest waterfalls of Taiwan, but you have to pay to see them, so we just skipped it. Then we took a cab to Pingxi, the taxi driver was really nice to bring us there because he had other customers for the whole day, and he asked them if he could go help us.

Pingxi is also known for its Japanese wooden houses, but since the weather was bad and there wasn’t anything to see, we came back around 17 pm, and we went to the rotisserie.

International Business Communication in English

26 Dec

One of my course in NCCU, and the most useless class i ever had in my life. We did nothing. The level was not even the one from a high school English class, and I don’t want to even talk about the teacher. She is distressing and always changes her mind. That’s the teacher who even cried in class. Truthfully, sometimes i wonder how NCCU chooses it teachers, because we would study more alone.
Anyway, we had to create our own company and present it as a final exam, with a “show”. We just simply did a video (that’s a good excuse to use my software).

I was with a Japanese girl and a Mexican guy, and we created ChaT (pronounce chat Tea: “A shop where you can chat and have tea”, and you can also pronounce it “cha te” in Chinese which means “Special Tea” or “chat” in French, which is cat, symbol of prosperity and money) a take-away/drink shop specialised in Taiwanese food with our headquarters in Paris.
That’s just to show that i did something this year even though some people might think the opposite. I did the Prezi and draw all the cats and shops and other drawing things.

chaT Prezi

Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, depending the countries…

24 Dec

What is great when you live with people from different countries is that Christmas last 2 days: the 24th and the 25th, because for some people, it is the 24th, and for others it’s the 25th!

So for the 24th, the morning we prepared the decoration, and then the afternoon we went ice-skating. It’s quite different than in France. First you have to get your ticket to wait to pay for 2 hours, give your shoes size, get an helmet (or if you don’t want one you have to signa a paper that says that you chose not to), get gloves. Then you get a card and you pass a gantry with the card you got, and you go to see some guys that prepared the shoes for you.
Every Taiwanese have helmet and full protections. But i understand why: people fal all the time and the ones who are fast and professional don’t care at all about you, sometimes they just pass really close, making other fall done. It was nice however to see some snow. I fell on the knees, like one of my friend, and we’re going to have big bruises tomorrow.

Then we went back around 7pm to prepare diner for the 8 of us (2 Austrians, 2 Germans 1 Swiss and 3 Frenchies): hot wine, pistachios and chips for apetizers,  toasts with salmon, goose liver, pâté, saucisson for starter, salad and tomatoes, roasted chicken, potatoes, cheese as main dish, Swedish cake from Ikea, ginger bread, little chocolates, other ginger bread and some homemade corn-flakes in chocolate, with some sweets. As the German with us didn’t like goose liver, i was able to eat really a lot of it. That’s also nice to have foreigners, as sometimes they don’t like traditional food (so you can have more…that’s the trick!). No, i wished they would have liked it because i’m so proud of goose liver, but well… Anyway, it was really nice. We also bought 2 bottles of sparkling water (i wanted those, and everybody also was happy to have it). Then we talked until midnight, and some left, but then we met some other people so we talked until 3am, and went back. It was a really nice and different Christmas. A lot of people say they were sad to not be with their families (a lot even went back yesterday, earlier than what they had planned without telling their parents to be with them for Christmas), but i actually felt nice being there. I did things i wasn’t used to do for Christmas, like preparing the diner, the decoration, with a lot of candles, talking with friends, eating foreign food…So it was really nice.

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Ce qu’il y a de bien à vivre dans un environnement international, c’est que Noël dure 2 jours puisque dans certains pays, cela se fête le 24, et dans d’autre le 25!

Donc pour le 24, le matin nous avons préparé les décorations de Noël, puis l’après-midi direction la patinoire à Taipei Arena. C’est assez différent de la France: on prend un ticket pour attendre que son numéro soit appelé, puis on donne sa taille de chaussures, on paye le casque (si on le prend sinon on se fait tamponner et on doit signer un papier comme quoi l’entreprise n’est pas responsable en cas d’accident) les gants et une entrée pour 2 heures. On reçoit en échange une carte que l’on fait biper à un portique. Ensuite on va voir un monsieur qui a déjà préparé nos chaussures et hop, on les enfile. Les chaussures sont encore différentes: ici pas de lacets, mais plutôt des chaussures de skis sur patins.

En fait j’ai vite compris pourquoi les Taiwanais portaient tous des casques: le nombre de chutes est impressionnant. Les gens ne regardent pas du tout où ils vont, et sont moins aventureux qu’en France. Quant à ceux qui patinent souvent, ils ne font pas attention aux débutants et les frôlent alors qu’ils font des courses, ce qui les fait tomber. Quoi qu’il en soit, c’était drôle de retrouver de la glace. On est deux à être tombées sur les genoux, et demain on va avoir le droit à de gros bleus (les autres sont tombés sur les fesses, alors je ne sais pas ce qu’il vaut mieux…).

On est ensuite rentrés à 7 heures pour préparer le diner pour nous 8 (2 Autrichiens, 2 Allemandes, 1 Suisse et 3 Françaises): vin chaud, pistaches et chips en apéro, toasts, saumon, foie gras, saucisson, paté en entrée, salade et tomate, poulet rôti, pommes de terre, fromage en plat, et desserts allemands et suédois (Ikea~) avec des biscuits au pain d’épices, et des petits gâteaux faits maison avec des céréales dans du chocolat fondu. Et de l’eau gazeuse attention! (j’en voulais absolument, et tout le monde était content d’en avoir, parce qu’ici, l’eau gazeuse c’est le summum du luxe). Nos amis les Européens n’ont pas aimé le foie gras, donc j’ai pu manger leur parts (c’est aussi l’astuce de manger avec des étrangers en proposant des produits locaux: ils n’aiment pas forcément donc on peut en avoir plus!). Non plus sérieusement j’aurais préféré qu’ils aiment ça vu que j’aime beaucoup ce produit et que j’en suis fière (j’avais même interrompue une élève en cours lors de sa présentation lorsqu’elle disait que le foie gras venait d’Alsace -non mais, c’est un produit sacré du Périgord, alors, pas touche!-). Nous avons donc bavardé jusqu’à minuit, puis certains sont retournés dans leurs chambres. A ce moment nous avons croisé ceux qui étaient sortis, et nous avons continué à bavarder jusqu’à 3 heures. Je me suis bien amusée.

Beaucoup de personnes sont assez tristes d’être loin de leur famille, plusieurs personnes ont même raccourci leur séjour pour rentrer pour Noël sans prévenir leurs parents (surprise du sapin!), mais personnellement, j’ai trouvé ce Noël différent mais aussi très bien. J’ai pu faire des choses que je n’avais pas pas l’habitude de faire, comme préparer la décoration, le repas, manger aux chandelles, bavarder avec des amis, gouter la nourriture allemande…donc c’était une nouvelle expérience amusante.

Hanging out in nightclub with your teacher…

22 Dec

Yesterday we were invited by our teacher to go today to a German restaurant and then go to Luxy, a nightclub. Actually i had already registered for the Cristmas Party in the i-house, but when he proposed to us, this seemed more amazing because he saif the restaurant we were going was supposely one of the 10th best of Taipei, and because i thought he might bring some of his friends along. So what would you do if you were me between having a Christmas party with everyone in a restaurant of your dormitory for free, or spending your time with new people in a nice restaurant for free too and then going to a nightclub with your teacher?

Of course i had to choose the most original one. That’s not everyday that your teacher rent a bus and takes you to his millionaire best friend’s shopping mall Decor House (one of his 25 shopping mall around the country). And then this friend -who have partnership with castorama, US, german companies… and which is supposed to be one of the 10th richest men of Taiwan- makes you a short visit of his shopping mall, with employees giving him quickly all the things he asked them to show us (like walls in peacot feathers, that’s impressive). He said that the brand that made those walls actually also made the one for a 5 stars hotel in shell/boat shape in Dubaï. Nice. (ATT something).

Then his friend, Chairman Ho to be precise, took us to his German Restaurant Paulaner, that he booked for us alone. Well, when he said that he had to spend like $100 million to be able to buy the shares from BenQ to creat this project, i thought it would be slightly interesting to be able to eat with him and talk to him. So when came the time to get our sit in the restaurant, i managed to be at his table with a German guy, and the teacher (mouhahahaha i won the war between more than 30 students to be able to get a seat!).  What is really funny is that our teacher and his friend are both bold, and wear glasses, so they really look quite the same.

Anyway, we talked to him a little while eating German food. Another funny thing is that the German guy next to me was really good at talking about random things with them, and he looked really normal, but when they went out smoking, he just said “realaaax”. I asked him why because i wasn’t sure of what he meant, and he replied that of course you couldn’t act like normal. For example during the meal he was like: “oh, this is really German- like, real German food!” but then he told me that he had never seen some of the food there. He made me laugh a little and also got me more relax, because then i understood that even his it was quite easy for him to have a conversation with the guys, it wasn’t natural. I mean, when you hear someone saying that he sent his 3 daughters in Los Angeles and one of the best Universities to study with their Philipines maid who is fluent in English of course, in one of his house in the US, of course you feel quite strange. Who wouldn’t?

Anyway it was interesting because after we were able to talk with the teacher and some other students joined so we talked. And then we took the bus again to go to Luxy with the teacher.

That’s my first time going to nightclub. Ok, what, only now?! Yeah, i’m not a party girl, i get bored after 1 hour usually, so why should i spend like 5 meals money just for an hour? But tonight, as it’s ladies night on Wednesdays, it was free for girls. So why not try it after all. Some chicks on the stage were dancing according to a choregraphy, but they looked so not motivatted and so not sexy that it was quite a pity. The music was ok, but too loud for me, so i had to leave for the toilets after 1 hour. Yeah, i know i’m not funny. Anyway, the room in itself was really nice, with a lot of lights, an elevator to go down…The only problem is that it was a little too small for the number of people. Luxy is supposed to be the best nightclub in Taipei. I was glad to see it, but still i don’t think that i’ll go there again if i don’t buy something for my hears. I saw my 55/60 years old teacher there, his beer in his hand (but i didn’t see him dance unfortunately). And the at 2 am i came back with some friends.

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Hier notre professeur nous a proposé de sortir ce soir au restaurant et d’aller ensuite dans une boîte de nuit. Bien sûr, il offrait le restaurant (à Taiwan quand on invite, on paye). J’avais déjà réservé pour la Christmas Party de l’i-house, mais ce n’est pas tout les jours qu’un professeur nous propose de sortir avec lui: qu’est-ce que vous auriez fait à ma place, hein? Avoir la chance de peut-être rencontré des amis du professeur (parce que c’est plus ça que j’avais derrière la tête) et manger dans un restaurant allemand, ou bien rester dans le dortoir et essayer le nouveau restaurant et dire au revoir à tout le monde. J’ai vite fait mon choix: le plus original des deux.

Donc, après mon examen final en Emerging Financial Market, je suis allée au lieu fixé du rendez-vous. On a attendu le bus que le professeur avait loué pour nous (et ba oui, on ne fait pas les choses à moitié ici), puis nous avons roulé 1 h 30 à travers les bouchons pour arriver au restaurant. Ce n’est pas tous les jours  qu’un prof loue un immense bus, qu’il demande à son ami millionnaire de nous faire visiter un de ses shopping malls Decor House (parmi les 25 qu’il possède sur l’île), que cet ami, qui a des partenariats avec castorama, des marques américaines, allemandes… et qui est supposé être dans les 10 personnalités les plus riches du pays, nous invite au restaurant. A ajouté qu’on a pu voir des murs en plumes de paon en vente (oui oui, que des plumes de paon à la place du papier peint. Je tiens à préciser ici que le shopping mall pour tout ce qui est de l’aménagement de la maison vise une clientèle moyen/haut-de-gamme). La marque qui vend ces “papier peints” s’est également chargée des murs d’un hotel 5 étoiles (celui en forme de coquillage) à Dubaï. Je crois qu’elle s’appelle ATT.

Enfin, quand il nous a aussi dit qu’il avait du dépenser $100 millions pour acheter les parts détenues par BenQ pour construire cette marque, je me suis dit que ça serait intéressant de manger à sa table (comme beaucoup de monde je suppose). Mr Tony Ho, pour être précise, nous a donc emmener dans son restaurant allemand qu’il avait réservé que pour nous pour la soirée. Quand il est venu le temps de trouver sa place dans le restaurant, j’ai réussi à me faufiler pour être à sa table avec notre professeur et un allemand. (Mouhahaha nous avons été 2 à gagner la bataille entre plus d’une trentaine d’étudiants!). Ce qui était assez drôle, c’est que le professeur et son amis, assis côte-côte, sont tous les deux chauves avec des lunettes, donc c’était assez drôle de les voir comme ça.

Nous avons parlé un peu avec lui pendant le repas. Mon collègue allemand était doué pour entretenir la conversation et semblait tout à fait à l’aise, ce qui m’a impressionnée. Mais je me suis rendue compte que ce n’était qu’une façade quand il a laisser échapper un “relax” une fois qu’ils étaient partis. Bien que devant le “chairman” il ait dit que cela ressemblait à de la nourriture typiquement allemande, en privé il m’a affirmée que c’était assez différent et que la moitié des plats étaient inconnus pour lui. Ça m’a fait rire et m’a mis un peu plus à l’aise parce que lui non plus n’était pas si à l’aise qu’il en avait l’air. Enfin, quand un homme vous dit qu’il envoie ses 3 filles à dans les meilleures universités de Los Angeles dans une des maisons qu’il a là-bas, avec une servante philippines qui connait ses filles depuis leur enfance et qui est bilingue anglais, pour qu’elles ne soient pas trop dépaysées, ce n’est pas la meilleure chose pour rendre à l’aise. Enfin, qui le serait j’ai envie de dire?
J’ai été un peu nulle à un moment: j’adore prendre des photos des plats au restaurant, donc même si je sais que tout le monde le fait à Taiwan, j’ai demandé si je pouvais prendre des photos, et ils ont pensé que je voulais prendre une photo d’eux. Notre professeur était en train de demandé à son ami je si pouvais le faire, quand j’ai répondu: -“non, je parlais de la nourriture”   – “oh….bien sûr.” hum je me suis sentie assez stupide après je dois dire.

C’était agréable parce que nous avons aussi pu parler à Micheal, et pour une fois j’ai pu voir une personne derrière le mot “professeur”. Nous avons ensuite repris le bus pour aller au Luxy, la meilleure boîte de Taipei. Après avoir attendu 20 minutes pour rentrer parce que la police était en train de vérifier les cartes d’identité dans le club, nous avons pu prendre l’ascenseur qui permet d’arriver sur la piste de danse. Lumières partout, musique super forte, danseuses en mini short mais pas motivées et pas très sexy, monde pas possible, sont les principaux mots qui me viennent à l’esprit. Et les Taiwanaises…mon dieu, elles sont peut-être timides et peu bavardes la journée, mais se sont de vraies … niveau habits la nuit: talons hauts de 10 cm, robes plus courtes que mes boxers, maquillage en veux-tu en voilà, et surtout, aux toilettes, il y a un passage obligé de 15mn devant la glace pour se prendre en photo avec son appareil photo ou son téléphone! Heureusement que le narcissisme ne tue pas, sinon il faut croire que la population féminine de Taiwan aurait été décimée. Autre différence: fumer est autorisé. Donc en soit c’était drôle une fois, mais je n’y retournerai pas sans boule-quies et le mercredi, car comme c’est Ladies night les mercredi (donc gratuit pour les filles), il y a beaucoup plus de monde. J’ai croisé mon professeur de 55/60 ans, une bière à la main, en train de déambuler dans la boîte et parler àt tout le monde: on ne voit pas ça en France, et c’est dommage.

MOCA

10 Dec

On Friday, i went for a small 9 hours walk again after swimming. MOCA is a Modern Arts museum. They had an exhibition about how the world is gonna be in 2013, after the supposed “end of the world” in 2012. There were some funny stuff, but i don’t think it’s real Arts. Stuff made by computers and things of these kind are more design to me than arts. I’m quite conventional when it comes to arts. I don’t think that it is supposed to tell a story or report something, broadcast a message. For me it’s more trying to make you feel something out of beauty. So computorized stuff or cartoons don’t really work with me.
And you don’t have student discount, that’s 50TWD for everyone.
I’m glad i’ve been there, but i won’t come back. I prefer Moma (nearly the same spelling, hum…).
Then i walked a little in Nanjing East area.

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