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Summer Vacation Photo Journal - Part 2

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 22, 2010, 2:44 AM

Hello again, and welcome to the second part of my photo journal! Two weeks worth of photos await perusal by your eyes, dear readers. Just to warn you, it’s a fair bit longer than the first one (38 photos vs. 24), so be prepared for lots of reading and clicking. :pc:

:damphyr: Tying Up Loose Ends
This is a photo I forgot to include in the first part, and I really didn’t feel like trying to go back and fix it after working for two-and-a-half hours on a slow computer. :dead: I took this while walking back from the Taipei Public Library, on a street with lots of lovely shops and restaurants. Doesn’t it look like the hidden gateway to another world?…

:damphyr: Taipei Garden Hotel
Last week I went to eat at a buffet inside the Taipei Garden Hotel. (I go out to eat a lot while I’m here. It really doesn’t help my self-esteem when I step on a scale. :disbelief:) Now here’s the work-intensive part. There were lots of things I wanted to photograph for you guys to see, so bear with me please. If you think you’re ready, go forth and click!
The hotel sign alongside the driveway:…
A cool wooden pavilion just past the sign:…
The entrance hall (Sorry the photo’s so dark!):…
A closer look at the wacky chandeliers. They’re rather similar to one in my local library.…
There was this awesomely tall armchair in the entrance hall that reminded me of the Mad Hatter. The upholstery was really soft! :petting:…
And now for the actual restaurant. Here’s what it looked like:…
A shot of the light fixtures:…
There was a ton of delicious food there. Most of these photos were taken by my sister, since I felt like the restaurant managers were giving me the evil eye after a while.………………
As is often the case with buffets, I totally stuffed myself. The desserts were especially sumptuous, as you can probably guess. I had madeleines, macaroons, and crème brûlée for the first time, not to mention cheesecake, tiramisu, and Russian ice cream. (I feel like a complete tub of lard looking at this list. :crying:)
I’d heard of madeleines from reading a manga about cooking called Kitchen Princess, so I was pretty excited to try one. I don’t know what I was expecting, but they weren’t as mind-blowing as I thought they would be. :hmm: Anyway, here’s how they looked.…
My sister didn’t get a shot of the macaroons, but they were basically brightly colored biscuits with filling in them. I felt kinda sick after eating one since they were really sweet. :bleh: Like the madeleines, the crème brûlée wasn’t all that life-altering either. I was curious to try it after learning about it from – DUN DUN DUUUNNN! – High School Musical, but after eating a sugar-laden macaroon, I couldn’t taste a thing. :ohnoes:
Moving on now…Here’s the machine with the Russian ice cream. Become one with Russia, da~ (Props to you if you know where that’s from. :clap:)…
It was raining rather heavily that day (it’s raining heavily right now, for that matter), and a leak in the ceiling broke out right next to my table. :liquisoft: Being the classy place that they are, the managers brought out silver buckets.…
Ah, buffets. The epitome of too much of a good thing.

:damphyr: Going To See Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3 came out on the 16th here in Taiwan, so naturally I wanted to avail myself of this wonderful opportunity to see it before everyone else. ;P My dad agreed to take us, so we went to the shopping center by Taipei 101. Taipei 101 was formerly the tallest building in the world, until that one in Dubai was built. :shakefist: Last year I went up to the observatory on the 89th floor, but not this time. I got an awesome picture of it, though!…
This is the shopping center:…
Unfortunately, we came a bit too late. The next English dialogue showing wasn’t for another hour-and-a-half, and all the good seats were already reserved (they have assigned seating here, darn it). So we left, and at first it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to see it. But then, while we were driving around, lo and behold! Another shopping center with a movie theater! :w00t: We went straight there, and because it wasn’t as crowded as the one at Taipei 101, we were able to snag tickets with decent seats. The downside: a two-hour wait. To pass the time, we went to look for dinner on the food court floor. I’d seen a sign advertising a great place called MOS Burger, but my mom didn’t want to eat there, so we found a place she was okay with first. There’s a special type of restaurant here that serves sushi and other simple dishes on the glorious contraption known as the conveyer belt. I’m not even kidding. You just pick whatever you want when it comes around, and the color of the dish determines how much it costs. They’re a lot of fun to eat at. :sushi:………
You could even get a sea urchin!…
A bit off topic, but the uniforms at that restaurant were cute. They wore matching Japanese-style robe tops and head kerchiefs. Oh, and while I was walking around, I saw these sweet potted plants.…
Once my parents had eaten their fill, they took us over to MOS Burger. It’s kind of like In-N-Out Burger in America, but better. The interior is decorated with natural colors, and there are cute wall paintings of plants and animals and such. (Maybe it’s because MOS stands for Mountain Ocean Sun.) They also play soft classical music, and there’s even a sink set up so you can wash your hands. The overall atmosphere is very soothing, and the food is fantastic! I didn’t get a picture of the food, but I found something on the lid of my drink rather amusing. (You might not get it if you haven’t watched or read Ouran High School Host Club.)…
After getting dinner, it was time to head back to the theater. If you haven’t seen Toy Story 3 yet, I’ll just say that it was a great movie with lots of funny moments. The ending was bittersweet enough to make me tear up. (I don’t usually cry for movies because I have a heart that’s three sizes too small. =D)
The Toy Story 3 display at the theater:…

:damphyr: Raohe Street Night Market
A couple nights ago, my dad took us to a well-known night market on Raohe Street. It’s famous enough to have its own fancy gateway.…
It was ridiculously crowded in there, so it was difficult to get good pictures. In addition to the stores along the road, stalls are set up in the middle of it as well. That leaves two narrow walkways on either side of the street and me with next to no opportunities for photos. :dohtwo: You can find all manner of things there, from clothing and food to bedsheets and pets. I saw quite a bit of stuff (mainly shirts and shoes) featuring the Union Jack. :flaguk:
One of the many clothing stalls:…
One of the many food stalls:…
I even passed a stand where a guy was sitting there working glass!…
We stopped by a shoe store that was having a sale, and I found another great example of Asian typos.…
As we were leaving, I noticed these cool owl statues outside the entrance to the night market. Their eyes change color, so while they were blue when I was messing with the camera, they’d turned pink by the time I actually took the photo.…
A short walk from Raohe Street takes you to Rainbow Bridge, so named because of the giant red arch that stretches across its length. We went for a walk along it and I snapped some photos there. I apologize for their blurriness, but I tried to use nighttime mode to take them. You have to hold the camera still while it gets the shot, and evidently my hands can’t do that. :no:……
It was getting late by then, so we went back to pick up our car from a nearby parking garage. It works a bit like an elevator system: you drive your car into a slot and it’s moved to a certain level until you come for it. When your car is lowered down, it’s backed out on a set of automated runners and then you get in and go. Nifty, huh?…

:damphyr: The Rice Cafe
As promised, I took a photo of my favorite bowl when I went to eat here a few nights back. But first, a look at the neat menu cover.…
And now my favorite bowl! I nearly always order it when I go there ‘cause I don’t like the other ones they have.…

:spotlight-left: Music Spotlight :spotlight-right:
For this journal, I thought I’d include a section on some of the music I’ve heard here. It’s mainly what’s been playing on MTV Taiwan, though I’ve also taken to watching a channel that plays lots of Korean music. I’ve tracked down links to the videos in case you want to give them a listen. :tunes:
:music: “NU ABO” – f(x). This was probably the first video I saw here. f(x) is a South Korean girl band that seems to have some pretty eclectic fashion sense. The one named Amber is rocking a haircut that looks suspiciously like Rihanna’s. :sherlock:…
:music: “10 Out Of 10” – 2PM. One of the many, many South Korean boy bands out there. It used to be part of one big boy band called One Day that ended up splitting into two groups, 2AM and 2PM. Creative names, no?…
:music: “Bonamana” – Super Junior. Apparently Super Junior is one of the largest boy bands in the world, boasting thirteen members. They’re South Korean as well. The title translates to “Beauty”.…
:music: “Love ya” – SS501. Take a wild guess. Yup, another South Korean boy band. The song’s alright, but what I really liked was the aesthetic of the video. I love the chandeliers, the orchestra surrounding them, and their outfits. (I’m a sucker for formalwear. :heart:)…
:music: “Monster” – Arashi. They’re actually a Japanese boy band, in case you didn’t know. My favorite part is near the middle (beginning at 2:47), when they start dancing to sweeping ballroom music. This video has romaji and English subs!…
:music: “LOVE” – C.N.Blue. Yet another South Korean boy band, but far and away my favorite. I really like their music style (maybe because it sounds more Western ;)), and I think all of its members are quite good-looking. :meow: The intro of the video is about a minute long, so be patient.…
After watching copious amounts of them, I’ve come up with a list of criteria that the average South Korean boy band music video seems to fit into. I present it here for your edification and entertainment.
1)The boy band is usually quite large. (By large, I mean upwards of 5.)
2)All the members are introduced at some point in the video because there are so many of them. :XD:
3)There’s always synchronized dancing.
4)While they’re dancing, the screen flashes and they’re suddenly wearing different clothes, even though they’re still doing the same dance.
5)They’re usually dancing against trippy backgrounds.
6)At least one of them has dyed hair. (I saw a guy in one video whose hair looked a lot like Reno’s, down to the ponytail. It was pretty cool.)
It’s also interesting to note how many of them include English words and phrases in their songs. It’s partially because it’s the cool thing to do here, but it also reflects how many of these countries make it a point to learn English. It makes me kind of sad that a lot of young Americans think they don’t need to learn other languages because everyone’s trying to learn theirs. That kind of attitude makes the US seem arrogant and ignorant, and in such a globally interconnected world, it doesn’t make sense to limit yourself linguistically. Yeah, there’s my two cents. :twocents:
Personal opinions aside, I dunno why I didn’t get into all this Asian music earlier. Those South Korean boys are hawt. :love:

:damphyr: Parting Shot
Whew, it’s finally over! If you haven’t keeled over and died by now, I’d like to show you these cute snacks my dad bought while on a business trip in Japan. They’re little peanut and rice cracker packs with the wrappers printed to look like tiny people. Another reason to love Asia: their awesome product packaging.…

  • Mood: Pleased
  • Listening to: "Sen no Yoru wo Koete" - Aqua Timez
  • Reading: The Mysterious Benedict Society
  • Watching: Hetalia: World Series - Episode 13
  • Playing: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
  • Eating: Guava
  • Drinking: Water

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YamatoTaichou Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the :+fav:! *-^
delira Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for fav
Autumnfallen Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem!
aibashi Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2011
thank you so much for the favourite!
Autumnfallen Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! I love how striking the blue is in the photo. It's a beautiful shot!
ShayInWonderland Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
:33 Thanks for the fave and watch!
Autumnfallen Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem~! I'm looking forward to reading more of your lovely Hetalia drabbles!
NightmareGK13 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Student Digital Artist
thanks for the fave ;)
Autumnfallen Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem! Thank you for making such an informative tutorial!
NightmareGK13 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011  Student Digital Artist
my pleasure :D
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