Sunday, July 27, 2008

2008-07-13 Wantan Hiking & River-Tracing

Before I could complete my stories about a day trip in Taipei City and a river tracing in Wantan, I departed for a 5-day trip in Southern Taiwan. I found out that Robert and Chris had posted articles about our river tracing in Wantan, so I don't have to report it in details; I would like to spend more time completing my stories about the day trip in Taipei City and vacation in southern Taiwan.

Visitors who have interest in the river tracning can visit their blogs: Pashan and Chris in Asia.

Here are the pictures I took during in that afternoon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

2008-7-3 Sheena's Birthday Party

The day was Sheena's birthday party and Mike's farewell party as well. Sophie, Bob, Mike, Sheena and I had dinner together at Grazie in Shilin. The food there was okay, nothing special. After our dinner, we went to sheena's place to watch Wimbledon tennis games and to play some card games.

Our birthday gal, Sheena.

Mike has gone to St. Andrews in Scotland for his MA study.

Sophie and Bob. Sophie is a freelance translator, and Bob is a graduate student who studies something about two-timers in NTNU now.

I always thought Mike could be a great Taiwanese film director if he got involved in Taiwanese film industry. However he chose different career path. Anywan, I hope he would do great marketing job for Taiwanese films after he finishes his marketing study.

The tennis game we watched at that night was Zheng Jie vs. Serena Williams. Even though Zheng Jie was defeated, we all thought Zheng's performance was great. We concentrated on the game that we almost forgot playing card games.

Monday, July 7, 2008

2008-07-07 Erge Shan (二格山)

I was upset because (a) Roger Federer, my all-time favorite professional tennis player, didn't garner his sixth Wimbledon championship yesterday; (b) I am not satisified with my original proposal of cognitive training project which I will have to summit within a week, but I still have no good idea about how to adjust my proposal; (c) I wrote the third part of Day Trip in Taipei City with Dr. Gauthier and Dr. Hayward last night, but it was gone because of's malfunction; (d) Dr. Fung from Chinese Hong Kong university published a new research report which is similar to my current work. I will have to adjust my subject and have dicussion with my advisor on Friday; however, I still have no new idea.

I wan't in right mood for doing things, and I wanted to cheer myself up so I decided get up to Erge Shan this morning. Hiking in natural and beautiful hiking trails always help to refresh myself.

There is a Twin Peaks elementary school on the Road No. 9 (北宜公路). Two peaks that resemble David Lynch's Twin Peaks are right next to the school. Every time I take Road No. 9 to Pinglin or Erge Shan, I always take pictures of them.

Twin Peaks
Wutu (烏塗)
On my way up to Erge Shan's peak, I saw a spider having its lunch. The spider spun silk to wrap up its prey. The nature is amazing.

A lizard had cool posture for me.

It's butterfly season, I saw a lot of different kinds of butterflies along hiking trails.

The withered leaf in the picture actually is a moth in disguise.

Nice view from the peak of Erge Shan. The ridges like continous green waves, splendid!

Feicui Reservoir

Taipei Basin

It's a little bit hazy, but I could see the estuary of Danshui River. (You can click the picture to see it in bigger size.)

I spent a morning on Erge Shan, having lunch there, then I got home to clean myself up. I felt relax and left home to my school.
I took pictures of great clouds on the way to my school. The clouds were amazing!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

2008-06-28 Day Trip In Taipei City PART II

After browsing splendid collection of Chinese artwork in National Palace Museum, we had our lunch in Silk Palace—a restaurant next to the first exhibition building newly open this month. The food in Silk Palace is a mixture of Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine. We had pretty good Cantonese and Taiwanese food there. (I didn't take pictures of dishes.)

During our lunch, Dr. Gauthier and Dr. Hayward learned what research interest of my advisor, Denny, and I have, and they kindly shared their thoughts with us. They explained to us their universities' various admission approaches, which is very useful to me because I have plan to study overseas after I complete my Master degree. Dr. Hayward introduced Dr. Fung's research to me because my interest is in Positivity Effect. (I learned that Dr. Fung published her new research finding in newest issue of Psychology and Aging few days after the trip; however, the subject in her research report is similar to what I am doing now, which means I will have to adjust the contents that I have been working on.)

When we were having our lunch, we had some Taiwanese dishes that I couldn't explain them in English very well. I found and learned some things about them after the trip so that I could introduce them well next time I encounter similar questions.

絲瓜 (Si-Gua) is the first thing that I couldn't explain well. We had a dish called 炒絲瓜 (Chao Si-Gua, means stir-fry Veggie Sponge) which is a common but delicious Taiwanese cuisine in every household. Veggie Sponge sounds really funny, but it is Si-Gua's English name for real. I looked into several websites and dictionaries, all of them indicate Si-Gua is Veggie Sponge. Veggie Sponge's scientific name is Luffa cylindrical, and the link to its picture is here:

The second thing that I couldn't explain well is the Wulong tea making process. Here is a brief introduction of the Wulong tea making process in Chinese:
Here are web pages that introduce the Wulong tea making process in English.

Friday, July 4, 2008

2008-06-27 Playing Card Games

Being graduate students in Taiwan can be stressful, different students have their various coping strategies to deal with stress. Some would occasionally rely on alcohol or cigarrete. The coping strategies of my classmates' and mine are playing some fun games, playing sports, and traveling.

It was in the evening, everyone had worked whole day for their thesis. It was time to relax. Joanne and Erin had almost completed their thesis so they thought it was okay to have a short break. We played some card games with the rules that winners could draw patterns on losers' arms or back or put doct tape on losers' faces.

Erin had a handful of good cards, she was excited and showed me her cards.

As what she expected, she won a game.

Valongtine lost a game and got duct tape on her face.

Joanne lost games and got a cute cow on her back.

Eventually, Erin lost games and got doct tape.

It was funny that I didn't lost games in the evening so I didn't get painted or doct tape on my face.

Joanne lost game again, and Erin was the winner. She was busy drawing animals on Joanne's back.

Joanne's colourful back. She got an elephant and a cow.

It was a funny evening, we kept laughing at each other. It was a very good way to lighten up.

After a short break from study, we all had to continue our current work. Joanne was done with her work so she turn to help Angus to work out his chaotic data.

We will travel in Kending at the end of July, I can foreseen that we probably will spend most of time playing games and making fun of each other.