Archive for the ‘What’s up?’ Category

Off to Bali

Tomorrow.. or should I say this morning, at 8:30am I will be on a China Airlines flight to Bali which is almost back to Aussieland. I will need to be at Uni at 5:30am to meet up with my classmates to take the coach that will take us to the airport. It should be a good trip as I may get to see the other side of what are normally very conservative and tame people. I’ll see you all in five days.

I’ll leave you with photos from Venessa’s pot-luck party a few weeks ago. It was quite a success with some majorly good food, and almost all the Kojen people past and present showed up which is definitely a rarity.

Random photo of the crowd

View from roof.


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Fulong Beach

Monday was Valentines Day according to the Chinese Calendar. I think the guys in Taiwan get the wrong end of the bargain as they have the Western, Japanese and Chinese Valentines Day’s. With the trend for girls here to be materialistic, it means three bracelet/ring/necklaces each year that she can brag to her sisters.

Let me take this opportunity to mention that I’m not a festive person. I don’t make any effort to celebrate any special day. Those that have been to my last minute, CBF birthday parties have witnessed this. So if I actually do something on a special day, even if it seems insignificant to you, it means I have probably climbed a mountain, worn the skin off my hands and put my blood and sweat into it. So I guess it was a good thing I didn’t have a Valentine.

Anyways, I went with some Chinese-Indonesians from Chinese school to Fulong Beach and put a shrimp on the barbie. The shrimp being me as I came back with a bright red upper body. The skin should be peeling off any day now.



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Kaemi Shmaemi

Typhoon Kaemi came and left at warp speed with the eye of the storm spending only 5 hours on land. Its effects on Taipei was a bit weird as it seemed like just your normal sunny day with people going out for a swim in the outdoor pool while at the same time gale force winds still wrecked havoc on those living on the east coast of Taiwan. Though in the early morning a nice howl was chanted by the wind, and with it also came some torrential downpour. This was enough to satisfy me, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy the Taipei City Government with businesses and classes being conducted as normal.

Clouds from Kaemi rolling into Taipei as the night approaches

Destructive weather on the east coast,
but no effect to the citizens of Taipei

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Summer Holidays

I’m back at the Chinese Cultural University Mandarin Language Centre where I first took Chinese classes early last year. This time I’ve decided to challenge myself and jump a few levels ahead as I found it pretty easy going last time. The classes are two hours each morning, Monday to Friday. This gives me the afternoon and night to do other things, namely the need to read some Finance research papers to prepare for my thesis. I would also like to visit some other places in Taiwan, especially the beaches and the southern cities which I hear are worthy places to see. So that’s my plan for the holidays.

Taipei has over 6 million scooters… there’s no avoiding them

Cafe Bastille, my current favourite place to study and check out chicks.
Gimme the window seats please!

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What an amazing win the Socceroos had over Japan. I was so fired up over that first Japanese goal where Schwarzer was clearly fouled, that I demanded some sort of vindication. Made the win just that much sweeter. Unfortunately I couldn't go out and run amok after the win since I have two reports and a presentation tomorrow. Thankfully this should be the final week of reports for me and I might be able to watch the match against Brazil at a sports bar.

Computex was on last week. It's the largest computer expo in the world after Germany's CeBit and attracts the majority of the big players such as Intel, AMD, Microsoft etc. Upon arriving at the trade show area which is located around Taipei 101, I realised they weren't joking when they said it was big. Computex covers all four exhibition halls with 58,730 square metres of space.

The buzz this year was obviously Intel's Core 2 Duo and their P965 chipset which should be released near the end of July. Intel cleverly plastered the entire area with their advertisement, picked all of the good locations and went BIG BIG BIG. Everywhere you went you would see an Intel balloon, some sort of signage or a showgirl. Even in other company's stands!

As per the norm of trade shows in Taiwan, the showgirls are let loose in droves. Though I wasn't very impressed by them. Maybe I have high standards, but they are meant to me models of some sort after all. Anyways, I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Spot the Intel signage

How big is this notebook!?!

The wall of motherboards

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CFA Exam Day

Last Sunday started at 6:30am and did not end until 1am. But it was not all unpleasant. I arrived at the city-campus of Soochow University at 8am to be confronted by a sea of people all engrossed in their notes, trying to get that last bit of revision in before the 9am start.

Our little entourage from NTU Finance was gathered already. These people do so much studying that they should have no problem. Wish I had the same mental discipline as them, but unfortunately I need my party-fix every couple of days.

8:30am arrived and it was time to enter the exam venue. This was one of the most tight-ass exams I've ever experienced. In order to gain entry, a pre-printed exam ticket as well as a passport needs to be presented to ushers. No phones, bags, pencil cases or water bottles are allowed.

The exam consisted of two, three hour sessions with one hour for lunch in between. Quite taxing on the body considering that there's no way to actually get a proper meal and drink enough fluids to stay hydrated. I must warn future exam candidates not to drink coffee as the need to visit the bathroom will be inescapable. Visits to the bathroom is supervised, an examinator follows you to the entrance and waits. Once you've done your thing, they will ask you to remove the contents of your pockets and give them a pat (your pockets that is).

Needless to say that once the whole ordeal was over I needed to do something fun. Then as if an act of God I received an SMS from my ex-Kojen co-workers who are party animals, saying that they are going karaoking. I don't think there's a need to mention that I went straight from the exam venue into a karaoke room full of people going wild, the Taiwanese way (I might explain this next time). The day ended quite late… and I slept very well for the first time in months.

Something that I hope I won't need to see again.

Thought I'd try and do something artistic with them.

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Dragon Boat Festival

The buffed up men I've seen training down at Bitan near my place got to put their training to use today. Taiwan takes its Dragon Boat racing very seriously, even dedicating a rare public holiday to the event and attracting some international competitors.

Unfortunately I did not have the time to take part in this culturally invigorating occasion since my CFA exams will be held this Sunday. Everyone please pray to God and get him to give me a photographic memory.

I snuck down to Bitan on the way home after studying and captured some of the Dragon Boats waiting for the battle to commence the following day.

Dragon Boats
I expected them to be a bit more decorative.

Little paddle boats.

A view across the Bitan bridge.

Oh, and if you haven't noticed. I've got my Flickr up and running now. Past photos will slowly be uploaded.

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