Smoggy smoggy day

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Yesterday, the smog in Beijing was supposedly the worst it has been in a year – yup lucky me because there had been 2 weeks of clear skies before I arrived.

Today….. IT WAS WORSE.
Sigh>.<
Now as I look out of the window, I can hardly see the apartment block opposite.
Yes, it's that bad..
And well, no one seems to know where all this pollution is coming from…

But anyway, I'll be heading home tomorrow to warm weather, clear skies and you.
It's funny how someone can worm their way into your heart even though it's only been a short amount of time.
It's funny how whatever anger or frustration I feel at that time or towards you just melts away when you appear.
It's funny how you make me smile… A smile that comes from my heart.

Thank you Beijing for welcoming me here,
For allowing me to have no queues to clear customs when I first came,
For me to experience you in a real different way, kinda like a local.
Thank you for having such early nights that I've had the most relaxed holiday yet!
Thank you for pandas, yes, pandas!

I don't know if I'll be back again but thank you all the same:)

And tomorrow, home is where I'll be,

Love,
Jane

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In Beijing

Ok, the first post had no words cause I was testing to see if WordPress was blocked by the Chinese web censor.

But anyway, it’s my third day here and I’m enjoying myself and the cold!

but of course, I wish I could be by your side

Beijing is wonderful and I’ve experienced so much more than what I’ve experienced 5 years back.

The subway is complicated but very extensive with security bag checks when you enter every station.
At the beginning, it seems odd but after two days, I hardly think of it as weird as I zip up my bag and put it through the X-ray machine.

Went to nan Luo gu xiang yesterday and there were many nice souvenirs and knick knacks to buy and loads of food to try!
If you look though the pictures you’ll see there’s one of the stall selling those Chinese stir fried pancakes, 煎餅

It’s really good! I had 雞排 too just because I missed Taiwan.
It was good too! Though too big for me to finish.

We bought quite a few knick knacks here and there and I got some nice stuff!:) not too expensive!

Headed to 後海 after and saw so many people skating and doing other water activities on the lake!
We’re gonna go back on Friday to do it cause we had too many bags with us yesterday!
Starbucks is seriously awesome when you’re so cold that you don’t know what to do!

Had a nice dinner of Peking duck and other assorted things and almost froze on the way back to my cousin’s apartment>.< lol.
But all in good fun!
Had lots of laughs yesterday! Hahah
And a nice long chat with you:)
I'm contented hahaha

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Love,
Jane

Sentosa with loves:)

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everyone, say hello to my new lens, the olympus 17mm f2.8.
I got it free!:D:D:D

It all happened to be a blessing from God and luck of timing cause the day I decided to get my Olympus pen ep3 was the day that Olympus pushed out its Christmas promotion!
I think if you buy an Olympus Pen Ep3 from registered dealers in Singapore (the set comes with the standard 14-42mm kit lens) you will get a free additional battery and the 17mm f2.8.
It is really good for portrait shots!
For an amateur like me that is!
I read many reviews online detailing how the edges of the pictures were not sharp but I tried it today and I think the bokeh is good enough to make me weak in the knees! Haha.
Love the speed and the picture quality.
The best thing is: IT IS FREE!
I still want to  invest in the Olympus 45mm f1.8. That will be a really good portrait lens for an amateur level..
and honestly speaking, you can use these prime lenses for scenery shots too!
I love the fact that it is so small and compact and the fact that I do not have to unlock the lens!
Think this means that I’d not get the Panasonic 20mm f.17 since im satisfied with the 17mm.
The cost of the Pan 20mm f1.7 is in the range of SGD500+++ It is really quite expensive for a micro 4/3rds lens!!!!

So if anyone is interested, I’ll attach the facebook link of MS colour the shop I bought from. They are based in Ang Mo Kio but their prices are really good!
You can private message them to get a quote!
https://www.facebook.com/mscolorservice

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taken with the kit lens

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first picture I took with the 17mm f2.8.! See Rx prod cast! I do bring your present every where I go!:D

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trying out the lens…
I am so sorry if I invaded your privacy>.<

So anyway, after I collected my free lens and battery, I headed down to Vivo to meet the two girls!:D
Sheryl and Lisa:D
We headed to Sentosa, Siloso beach after that!
(We had planned and failed to go so many times! It always rained….)
The sun was nice and bright today!:D
We managed to get about an hour of nice weather before it rained!

prepare for an extremely picture heavy post!

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the three of us:D
Me, lisa and sheryl:)

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hahaha Lisa and I started to play with this playmobil thing while Sheryl was off getting her Slurpee from 7-11!

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this picture is just to make Nic Wong happy that I take pictures of scenery and things other than myself.LOL.

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we found a fountain and decided to take pictures with it:D
the water was nice and cooling!

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love the quality of the photos!

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island life! Love it!

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we found a cool shady spot to lay our mats and we sat there to have our lunch from subway! The turkey bacon melt.. I felt it was ok! HAHA.

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“the sun in my eyes and the world at my feet”

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all playing with their phones hahaha.

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Lisa said that I looked very natural and model-like. Hahaha. I guess that means that I naturally lean on trees!:D or lean on poles and stuff lol.
LEAN ON MEEEEEEE!

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one of my personal fave shots!
Doesnt she look good here?:)

I must apologise for the slightly over-exposed shots cause SILLY ME was wearing shades and i forgot that that would affect my visual judgement>.<

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washing away our troubles…

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another fave of mine! LISA IS SO PRETTY!:D

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i thought I looked funny here.. like awkward lol. with the rubbish at my feet…
it started to rain so we headed to the large pavilion on Siloso beach!
Sat there for probably half an hour to HTHT but it was difficult with primary school kids running around and workers dragging lockers in place for Zouk Out which is happening tomorrow!

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me, lisa and sheryl<3<3<3

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🙂

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later we headed back to Vivo and went looking for earrings for Lisa’s mum and after she left,
Sheryl and I headed to the petshop at Vivo (suddenly cant remember the name of the place>.< )
WHERE I GOT TREATS FOR FLUFFY WHOM I AM MEETING NEXT WEEK.

and then we went to coo over all the puppies!!!
I really want a dog in future…
I know it’s sad and heartbreaking when they die but to have a friend so loyal is really something that is so hard to come by…
But we’ll see… maybe I’ll just end up keeping Chinchillas:)

Headed home after that and had dinner at the same ole place at JE.
Met my primary school friend Darrell and had a nice 5 min talk hahaha.

Mummy called me when I was at Sentosa and I think I may be heading to Beijing if it is okay with my cousin…. we’ll see!:D

love,
jane

Taiwan Day 5 27 May 2012

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Alright…. now day 5!:D it was a sunday!
So I woke up early and took a cab to go to New Life Church!
This is the school auditorium that New Life Church holds its services on Sunday.

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the offering envelope.

 

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Left the service halfway to go meet Jiayi and Zac and we headed to Wulai!

A short description of Wulai taken from wikitravel

Wulai (烏來) is a small town in Taipei CountyTaiwan, famous for its hot springs and aboriginal culture. The name of the town derives from the Atayal phrasekirofu ulai meaning “hot and poisonous”. Don’t let this scare you away from this lovely town! Consider going during the week if you can as it is quite crowded on the weekend. Also, in the summer, it might be a few degrees cooler than Taipei, but the elevation is not sufficient to provide real cooling.

Yup! So we headed to Xindian mrt and went to wait for the bus. This option is way cheaper than taking a taxi.

 

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We stopped for lunch at this little place that Jiayi and I had been to once before.
They have really good 濡肉飯! I had that and stir fried cabbage.  It was really good!

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the prices are really reasonable too!

 

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It really is such a picturesque town with a river running through its heart.
We were feeling a tad warm so we went to get mango ice!!!!

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Such a huge bowllllll… i think it was NT100?
The mango chunks were nice and juicy as well:)

 

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headed across the river to go soak in a hot spring!!!
Zac had to wait for us for about an hour cause it wasnt worth it for him to have his own room, HAHA.

But after we were done, we went to take the little trains that cost you NT50 for one way to WuLai waterfall.
If I am not wrong, these little trains used to be mining carts that were converted.

 

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I was really lucky to have the chance to sit next to the driver!
Hahaha.
Some other uncle said that the driver will drive better today cause a pretty girl is sitting next to him..
Yes, I can remember that even 5 months later.:p

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there, the WuLai falls,
it’s pretty isnt it??

 

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such a sweet photo…:)

 

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ahhh… here is the catch about this place…
When we went, it was late spring going into summer so you know in spring, animals mate and have babies…
Well so did the butterflies.
And my dearest choobs, is scared of them…

 

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here’s a firey red and hairy one.

 

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really like this photo.

 

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vroom vroommmm

 

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and another one…

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We walked back through the lovers walk, skip over many caterpillars and arrived safely back at Wulai old street.
We went to buy some souvenirs and mochi and then headed over to XiMenDing

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hot spring eggsss.

 

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I think we were changing trains here…

 

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thought it was interesting how he sat on his instrument case!

 

Then we reached XiMenDing!
The place for all young people in Taipei!
Went to see the Xi Men red house first.
It used to be  a theater in the past but is now converted if my facts are correct.

 

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then off we headed in the other direction to find food!!!

 

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We had this, a sort of hotpot thingy in one of the upper restaurants haahha.

 

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then we walked around and shopped!:D

and headed back to rest for the early wake up time we had set… cause we were going to the WATER PARK!!!!!

😀

love,
jane

 

 

 

 

 

Taiwan Day 4 26 May 2012

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Alright, I have decided that since I’ll be heading to Taiwan in another 23 more days, I’d better hurry up and finish posting about my summer holiday to Taiwan.
Life was busy LOL.

We slept in quite happily and once again, missed the sunset.:p
We just dont seem to have a good relationship with the sun.
I had previously booked the tickets to the taroko express two weeks before we would take the train… mind you, I woke up at 6am just to buy train tickets.
You probably would have to be as kiasu as me cause the tickets get snapped up really fast!

If you are unsure of how to purchase the tickets, just refer to this website
http://taiwan2009.wordpress.com/2009/05/04/how-to-book-train-tickets-to-hualien/

This is for the taiwan railway administration and not the high speed rail.

The minsu owner provided free transport for us to the train station and we got there with a lot of time to spare.
I think that the next time I come back to hualien I’ll definitely stay with them again!
They are really such nice people, the toilet is really big and the view is to die for.

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Bye hualien… I’ll miss you.
I’ll miss your beautiful coastline and rugged mountains.
But I’ll definitely be back… probably next year…

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the passing scenery.

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The ride was really comfortable and took about 2 hours to get us from hua lien back to songshan train station.
We had bought some refreshments from the shop at the train station!
My favourite 麥香紅茶 malt fragrance black tea haha.
Took the time to prewrite all the postcards:)
Do you spot your postcard in here?

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Read Songshan train station and proceeded to walk to our hotel which was a 10min walk away.
Everytime I stay in Taipei, I stay at the Wonstar Hotel Songshan.
It is a small nondescript hotel at the side of wufenpu garment wholesale center but it is good enough for me.
Haha. It’s location is really quite convenient!
Wufenpu is just downstairs!
Since we could only check in at 3, we deposited our luggage and went in search of lunch!
Jiayi and I brought Zac to eat at the dumpling king, the place that when I fell off the chair due to exhaustion when I was 18, a handsome waiter helped me up><
Their noodles are really good!

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ordering…

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what I like about taiwanese restaurants are the side dishes that you can order for a nominal sum like NT30 ~ SGD1.10

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my prawn noodle!
So after lunch, we went to check in and take a short nap.

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we booked a triple room with two beds (one supposedly queen sized and the other single but Jiayi and Zac were complaining that the beds were about the same size and I had it all to myself:p)
There was a nice large bathroom with a Jacuzzi bathtub!!! woohoo!

After our short nap, we went to go hike 象山 elephant mountain cause it was something that I had wanted to do all this while!
If you want to do how to get there, go look at this blog!
http://taiwan-photography-blog.com/2009/05/15/hiking-four-beasts-elephant-mountain/

we took the train to taipei city hall station which is also where you get down if you wanna see Taipei 101 and walked along side a main road and came to a residential area.

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i love how taiwan has diagonal crossings at stipulated times of the day!:D
Happy happy.
I actually took this photo cause of the rhino sculpture in the distance lol.

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yay the entrance!

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steps… more and more steps…
It was actually a short hike but being as unfit as I am, those stairs really killed me! Probably also cause of the weather. Haha.

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the residential district surrounding the area

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after about 15mins of huffing and puffing and sweating, we made it to the lookout point!
and there, Taipei 101.

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The view of the city.
I think that if I went there alone, I would probably just sit there the whole day and look out at the scenery…

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I climbed up a rock!

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There were many photogs staging themselves there to! Waiting for the sun to set:)

 

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the couple…. and me in the background lol.

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bad choice of outfit that day… looked like I wasnt wearing shorts

So after the hiking, we headed down the mountain / hill and headed stright to the nearest 7-11 we could find to get some refreshments and fuel cause we were so tired!!!
I love Taiwanese 7-11s! They have all sorts of cooked food and everything tastes absolutely wonderful. The bigger 7-11s especially in the residential areas all have seats for you to sit and take your food. They even have a nice clean TOILET.

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After the brief (kinda) snack, i separated from the couple cause I wanted to go shopping and choobs wanted to bring Zac to see Taipei 101.
I decided against going cause I have gone so many times!

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I went to Xin Kong Mitsukosi at XinYi New Life Square and I love this place…. cause it was featured in so many dramas and is pretty whether in the day or at night!

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Taipei 101:)

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Like a beacon of light in the darkness:)

While waiting for the two of them, I headed to the pharmacy at Eslite Xinyi bookstore..
Really interesting to see what they sell here…
I got some cream for insect bites.. (it would turn out that I had gotten bit by fleas) and for aching calves and thighs haha.

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I waited and waited and waited… and waited and waited..
I was quite dismayed to find that the Starbucks that was at the bookstore was replaced by the Agnes B cafe..
but, it was still nice to have a cuppa hot cocoa there while waiting for them.
They took about 1.5 hours to come back cause the queue for the elevator was about half an hour and they got lost coming to find me.

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After we met up, we headed to Rouhe night market near where our hotel was!
This is like one of my first few pictures with this sign cause I always just go straight in without pictures hahaha.

There were too many people around so I couldnt get many photos…
Oh wells. maybe I’ll get some this time round!

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This was the.best.thing.ever!!!!!
They deboned a chicken drumstick and barbecued the whole thing then stuck it on a skewer!
So tender, juicy and flavourful!
We had to wait half an hour for ours!

We took the food to go and headed back to our hotel to eat.
After a short rest, we headed downstairs to WufenPu to shop!!!
It was awesomeeeeeee. (although Zac kept asking to go buy slurpee)

Alright. That’s it for Day 4. I’ll try to blog about day 5 by today or tomorrow!:D

love,
jane

 

ps: all the best to the brave warriors who are fighting the war against the exams. You can do it!!!!

 

Dan the rabbit who is afraid of the cold: Japanese Village Restaurant 日本村

 

where are we going???

Yes, I know that there is a test on thursday.
Yes, I know that exams are coming really quickly,
Yes, I know that I need to study harder given my below average grades for CAs (which I am really depressed and disappointed at too.)
Yet, we all need to relax sometimes:)

Mummy left for JB this morning for a 2D1N trip with her friends so daddy decided to take us out for dinner at the Japanese Village Restaurant at Jurong West Sports Complex:)
It’s the Deepavali Holiday today so all non-indians are enjoying and thankful for the day off:)
For me,  it was studying and spending time with my family:)

 

 

Dan the rabbit who is afraid of the cold was being a little naughty and refusing to put on the seatbelt. (actually, the sit belt could hold him hahaha)
But he promised to sit nice and still!

 

 

The ordering style at this restaurant is really cool!
If you choose to order their ala carte items (the other choice being the buffet), you’d have to go around to look at the different sections where pictures , prices and descriptions of the food were put up and wooden sticks indicating that order were placed in a small bucket for customers to take.
Each table has it’s own little bin to hold order wooden sticks so you’d just have to take the wooden stick representative of the item you want and place it in your table bin then place the bin at the order point!
It’s really quite interesting!
Needless to say,
SASHIMI was on the itinerary for the night:p
and we ordered a whole lot of food!

 

 

the interior of the restaurant.

 

View that I had overlooking the swimming complex!

 

couldnt resist a selca:p

been wearing glasses real often recently… (havent put on contacts in a week) cause there’s just so much studying to be done and it’s so much more convenient.

 

 

Dan the rabbit who is afraid of the cold and me! ❤

 

 

rotating conveyor belt of sushi!

 

 

kor’s beef teppanyaki!
It smelt really good, so much so that when we got home we all really needed a bath:)

 

my ribeye beef shabu shabu<3<3<3<3
The beef was really awesome!!!!
and it really wasnt that expensive!
around $13 after GST.

 

 

 

Daddy’s always on his phone:p

 

Three of us:)
picture is a little blurry though since it was taken by an auntie who was one of the staff.

I’m really glad for moments like this when we can spend time together as a family ( though it would have been even better if mummy was around:p
And now,
I’ve got to go back to mugging.
Pray hard for me!

love,
Jane

Dan the rabbit who is afraid of the cold : love

Dan the rabbit who is afraid of the cold saw how hard his mom was studying that he told her not to worry!
That he is there to give her comfort while she studies through the night:)

So mom decided to thank him by giving him a hug and telling him that he will never be alone either. As long as mom is around

love,
Jane