December 11, 2012

I Wonder If They Know The Words "Time Is Money"

When we finally got to contact those people who must have been waiting for us, it was already pretty late. As soon as the immigration things were done, I asked an officer if there is a public phone. Actually, I tried calling them using my cell while waiting in the line, but for some reason, it didn't work. He told us they are around the exit 4 then we went out from the exit, but couldn't find them. So, we asked the two guards outside again.

One of them didn't speak English at all so he didn't understand what I said. So I spoke to the other one, and he told us they are inside of the building. Then, were about to come back inside...and were stopped by them.

Why? Because, they had to check our passport and tickets and it took sometime. You know how stupid I felt? And I guess you can also imagine how frustrated we were in the circumstances. I definitely got such an impression that Indian people (probably) don't have sense of feeling sorry for wasting someones time more than needed. Otherwise, they wouldn't have made us fill the form again for nothing nor checked the passports and tickets of innocent tourist girls who came out of the building just now carrying large backpacks and want to return to make a quick call (I'm sure I'll mention about this kind of things again in later posts!) I really wanted to kick their ass but of course didn't (couldn't) because I'm such a polite Japanese girl who doesn't want to cause problems, and actually, they were holding guns.

So, after a while, we finally went inside again and made a call to two people. One to the person who were hosting us that day, and next, the person who must have been at the airport to pick us up. I really felt sorry for those people for the late contact (But, what could we do? :S).

Thus, we finally (I want to say, it was really, finally) got to contact people and met up a friend who was waiting for us at the airport for a few hours!

December 7, 2012

I Finally Came To This Country

Probably, it was the most adventurous trip I've experienced even I was not alone. We got into a trouble...actually, even caused a trouble (Of course not on purpose), had to change plans due to our thoughtless decision...etc. However, I can say that this trip was successful in the end and we were such lucky girls :) I personally do not believe in God, but if he exists, I wish he blesses the people who helped us during the journey and hope their happiness. I found out I'm still inexperienced as a human, and did something shameful which I could avoid if I stopped and thought about what I was doing...haha. I hope that there will be a "Next time" for a revenge and compensation.



* * * * * * * * * *



It was around 30 minutes past 0 AM when we arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. As soon as we got off from the airplane, we followed a lady who was holding our names to the counter for visa on arrival. There were two guys sitting behind the counter and we got to fulfill the form for our visa to be issued. While writing, some tourists came and they all were Japanese. However, it didn't seem it's a common thing to get the visa there. Guess, most people already got it while in Japan. Actually, getting a visa on arrival was troublesome because of the form. We were required to fulfill almost every single things on it such as arrival date, your home address, address in India, phone number, the room number (I wonder how many people already know it before getting to the hotel), if you have an acquaintance in India, his/her contact info, etc.

They charge 60 US dollars per person for the visa and I heard sometimes they require tips for the issue (I believe it must be an unofficial thing at such a official place and it'll go to their pocket :(). Fortunately, we were not asked for tips but more than one hour had been already passed when we finished all the procedures for immigration, and I believe we didn't need that much. The reason is, we were stuck inside of the airport because of a stupid (I'm sorry, I'm not making little of Indian people but please let me complain about it) officer at the immigration counter told us to fill an immigration form again even we told him we already handed it to the guy at the visa counter, and also had the part of the paper. And while we were filling another form there, a flight arrived at the airport and it made a long line up of passengers...Finally, we had to wait in the line, and when we finally reached another counter, the officer told we didn't have to fill the form again. SO STUPID. The stupid officer did nothing but made us waste our time. I was frustrated actually because we had someone waiting for us. So, it was the first thing that pissed us off in India. I do not believe this will happen in Japan, so we thought..."Probably, this is what happens in India".

November 6, 2012

Bye Bye Taiwan

Yes, it was the last day...and I had to go back home. He was already up when I went to the living room after packing everything. He was about to leave for work. We went downstairs. Seeing him off, I wanted to show my appreciation, but didn't know how to do express because those things, that I received from him gave me an extraordinary impression and I didn't know they way to show my feelings. So I put all the gratitude to the words "Thank you for everything" and a hug.

So he left, and I went to the local market again. Most of the stores were closed because it was on a weekday, and I felt it was much more fun the day before when we hung out together. I got bored soon, and came back to the apartment to finally leave the place. Before going to the airport, I stopped by 中山 and went to a big supermarket. I wanted to get some local things as souvenir for friends. I bought many things and my extra bag was filled with stuff (Believe me, it was 10kg!!) Walking back to the station carrying a backpack and the bag, I felt a kind of funny because I remembered I do not need knights who bring me where I want to come and carry my stuff. I was a solo tourist as I usually am.

When I got to Taipei main station, I had "Last supper" at the food court. There were two Japanese and one Taiwanese sitting at the same table and my ears caught some Japanese words they spoke and it sounded like a business talk. I wasn't interested in it as you expect, so I concentrated on eating and talking to myself (In mind).

Well...how was my trip so far?
It was surprisingly amazing due to the unexpected circumstances I had by chance.
I vaguely felt probably I would miss Taiwan...probably not Taiwan but all the experiences I had there, just like as I miss my Singaporean friends.

I think I can't stop opening a box of chocolate because I want to know what it has inside. So that I can't stop traveling :) Next destination will be a country I really wanted to come since before. So...to be continued? :P

Dishes And Heading Back To Taipei

On the way back to Keelung station, we stopped by a Taiwanese 居酒屋. I told him before I wanted to go there and they actually made my dream come true. We had beer (Of course the driver didn't :P), Taiwanese food and I enjoyed them a lot. The ordering system of Taiwanese restaurants is different from what we usually have in Japan. There are small peaces of papers (Actually, menu), you write how many of them you want beside the name of the food, and give it to the waiter. Since I had no idea what there are on the menu list...I let them order everything.

They ordered food more than I expected. We talked about a lot of things over those local dishes, and I felt very happy being there sharing time with them. What a lucky girl I was ;P When we became full, there were still some food remained on plates, and they told the waiter that they want to bring it back home. Soon, the food was brought in small plastic bags. I know it's surprising if you're Japanese because it has to be tappers if it's possible and basically, we can't do that. I heard it's very common in Taiwan though, so I told it's not in Japan. Why? Because, they can't be responsible about the food that become old when they bring back home.

Anyway, having a full stomach, we got to the station, and his friend drove back home. I really really appreciated his kindness he did for just a tourist like me. He didn't even know about me before, but did all the favor. Saying bye to him, we went to the bus stop and took a bus to Taipei. My body was exhausted, but didn't feel awkward nor troublesome after spending most of the day with someone specific, and it was a very rare thing for me. I actually liked the atmosphere, and was relaxed. You can tell it from my status on the bus; Dozing beside a guy that I can't really say "I know him well" in a strange place.

October 10, 2012

Chiufen, The Place With Warm Lanterns

I say, I enjoyed the half day trip to Chiufen quite a bit. His friend came to pick us up to the station, and we approached to Chiufen from backside. The way we took was where mostly only the locals pass. We stopped by a restaurant, had a late lunch, and also stopped by a few more places to take pictures or for a museum. I saw almost no foreigner tourists in those places and it made me so excited. His kind friend explained me a lot of things about the places. It was an unfortunate thing that my English is not good enough to understand everything, but I think I got the entire thing roughly.

When we got to Chiufen, we had traditional sweets, and looked around the town. I found there my favorite thing...Almond powder! We call it 杏仁 and we usually find it used for sweets at Chinese restaurants or at supermarkets in Japan. However, I don't think we have such a tea. I had a cup of almond tea in Taipei city, and loved it. So, I think it was a destiny I found the store selling the powder in Chiufen, lol. When I bought one bag, and receiving the change, my friend told me that the store clerk gave me a discount...so I said 謝謝. Being with them, I didn't have any problem hanging out there. I even didn't have to worry getting late or about transportation. I was definitely in a relax mood which is unusual while traveling alone. It was lie being a little princess protected by two knights :P

August 2, 2012

Alone Time Of 3rd Day

I went to National CKS Memorial Hall in the morning, and walked to an area that I saw in my guidebook. It's a street that has some small stores, and I wanted to check them up. Searching for souvenirs for my friends, I met a nice Chinese dress without an expectation. It was a little expensive, but looked really nice and I was attracted to it for the first sight. There was no wonder that I look in the mirror holding the dress...Mmm, it was not bad. Actually, I was on the fence at that time...Should I buy it or not...? Even it was something I wasn't planning, I was sure to find something I like in some degree was kind of hard. I told myself to try it on and see how it would go. If it doesn't fit, there is no regret. So I spoke to the store clerk. And you know what, it almost fit perfectly...and I was shocked. Being not a skinny girl, I've been through such cases that the clothes I want don't fit me sometimes especially when it comes about such kind of clothes that make you look gorgeous. In the end, there was no reason that I shouldn't buy it because I was sure such a chance wouldn't come again so easily. (Actually, a lot of people gave compliment about the dress when I wore it at my friend's wedding party! So I was glad.) I bought some souvenirs at other stores as well, and headed to a sweets restaurant (Cafe?) to grab a mango ice cream...YUM♥ I enjoyed it ;) Then, I walked back to the station. It was an unfortunate thing that I didn't have enough time for exploring the area. However, at least I was glad that I got to get some nice stuff :)

I went straightly back to the station finishing mango thing. I took a train, and went to the station that we supposed to meet up (Okay, to tell the truth, I got lost once on my way to the station, lol). I wasn't sure which exist should I go, so I texted him and also tried to call him either when I got there. There was nothing I could do except waiting for him, so I just sat down on the bench and was waiting him contact me. After a while, he showed up and we went to the exit to take a bus for Keelung.

June 21, 2012

Local Market And The Ride

Next morning, I woke up and prepared for going out. When I went to the living room, he was there and told me he was going to a local market near by house to get breakfast. LOCAL MARKET...what a beautiful sound! There was no wonder that I came with him and took a look of it. We walked for 5 minutes or so and got to the market. I love markets (Maybe you already know)!! I took a look of almost every store we were passed by, and asked him such questions like, "What is that? I never see it in Japan", or "Is it very common to sell them like this?" etc. And he was such a nice guy who patiently answered those questions.

When we came in front of an everyday dish store, I told him that I wanted to get something. I'd been feeling that I hadn't taken enough vegetables since I got to Taiwan, and really wanted them. I chose two and he told the store clerk which ones. He was about to pay but I told him not to because it was me that wanted to get them. However, he told me to pay just half of it because he was gonna eat them too. Man, I do not know how many times I owed him :( Anyway, we bought them, walked there a little bit more, and went back home. On the way home, he stopped by a soymilk store and bought two of them (One was mine). He also bought something looked like bread (they had some dish inside) and we went back to his apartment.

After breakfast, he told me that he would give me a ride to the station. I hesitated over if I should take the offer or take a bus in my mind for a sec. However, I chose taking his offer. Thus, I was holding his shoulders behind him on his motorcycle after 5 minutes. It had been a while since I did it last time, and it was in Cambodia. You know, I loved it! The weather was nice and the wind I felt was comfortable. I was wondering which station we were going to, because he took the way that is not going toward the nearest station. We drove along the streets, passed in front of his workplace, and finally got to the station. He told me I didn't have to transfer, and I thought it was nice of him that he took me to the farther station which he really didn't have to. And this is what I found out after I came back to Japan; He didn't really have to take me to that station because if he mentions just about the inconvenience of transferring, he could drop me off to the station which we always took taxi for home since it is on the same line! He brought me two more stations closer to my destination and I really appreciated his sweetness! Getting off the motorcycle, I reconfirmed him which station and what time, because we were meeting up later for Chiufen that day :D

June 19, 2012

一番大事なこと -The Most Important Thing-

I had been telling him I wanted to buy an umbrella while staying in Taiwan. I told about the story of my favorite umbrella which I bought in Singapore one year ago. It was an folding umbrella that can be a sunshade as well, and I liked it a lot. The pattern of the outside of the umbrella was as same as the uniform of Singaporean Airline flight attendants wear, and inside was silver. I never saw such an umbrella in Japan (Outside pattern and inside silver) so it was unique and interesting for me. Ever since the umbrella broke, I wanted to get another one, and since the store clerk told me it was an export quality one for Taiwan, I really expected to find one there! So, when we actually started looking around the night market, he said "The most important thing; Buying an umbrella", lol. I felt a little bit shy when he said that because it was such a small thing and sounded like I was exaggerating. I told him he didn't really have to come with me because I didn't want anyone to be annoyed by a picky girl who was searching for an umbrella. However, he came all along with me. We went maybe more than 5 shops that handle umbrellas, opened them, closed, made store clerks close (he told me to let them do and actually he made them do, lol)...I don't know how long we were searching for an umbrella...It might be for an hour because I was concentrating on it so much. Finally I decided which to buy and asked him if he knew the way going back to a specific store. What a boring thing! I was sure he wouldn't have done it if he were a general person. I found he really like helping tourists and maybe he also feel happy in that way. Moreover, he brought all the stuffs I bought (I bought 5 folding umbrellas and a small bag), that he really didn't have to, and I was surprised at myself letting him carry them. I found myself really enjoying spending time with him so that it made me do something irregular, receiving someones favor which they offer because I'm a girl. So, I found myself naturally being a girl who can be moved by small things and I loved it.

And, there was another story. I wanted to eat a dessert which has mango. I'd already told him about it, and when we found a place, we went in, and ordered one and shared. It may be a very little thing, but I can't forget the words he said when we were about to dig in. He said, "Your dream became true". Yes, my small dreams became true one by one and I never forget there was his help sometime :) Remembering about those memories makes my heart warm even now. I do not deny maybe it was because I was a traveler there and was having something unusual. However, I'm sure I enjoyed that Night Market as a "Something date like" hanging out because personally I've never treated in that way (Maybe its normal for other girls), because I always try not to count on anyone and try not be a "Girly-girly girl" especially when I hang out with a guy alone (even if he is my boyfriend). So, I kind of experienced something new beside accomplishing the most important thing, lol. What a fruitful night it was :P

June 4, 2012

Is It A Date? Lol

The museum was huge and there was a lot of exhibitions. My guide book says you can spend half a day if you see each thing seriously. However, I'm not such a serious visitor so I didn't think I would spend so much time there. I like going to museums, but usually I don't try to grasp things, just walk and see things as I feel like. So, actually, it didn't take that long for me to take a look of everything. However, there was line ups for two most popular exhibitions, and I couldn't keep my pace there. But about others, I could see them as I liked. Sometimes, I stopped and listened to a tour guide explaining things for Japanese group tourists. Sometimes, gazed at things that caught my attention. Even being free there, I didn't forget to try calling him as he wanted, lol. He told me to contact him at a specific time when I called him at Confucius Temple, however, he didn't get the phone. After trying a few times, I gave it up and kept seeing things. When I finally finished, I came downstairs and try to contact him again using wi-fi. It didn't matter for me so much if he replies or not, because I was a free bird and didn't actually need a companion (lol). However, finally, I got to know he was coming in 20 minutes. So I waited for him taking a look of the museum shop.

I didn't realize it at that time, but found out probably he didn't have to come all the way there but could just told me to come to a MRT station or somewhere. As soon as we met up, we moved to the bus stop to catch a bus to the station. It was good for me though because I got a chance to ask someone to take a picture of us, and actually, the picture is one of my most favorite ones during the trip :) Getting off the bus, we walked toward the Shilin Night Market. There were some stores on the street and one of them caught my attention. It was a normal clothes store and I asked him if I could take a look. The products were my type and it turned me on to "Shopping mode". The store clerk who spoke to me was a cute woman but she doesn't speak English nor Japanese. Then, he naturally helped us as a translator and I even tried some clothes on! I was wondering if it was not boring for him because I know some guys don't like go shopping with girls even if she is his girlfriend. How kind he is to keep a tourist girl company for absolutely not traveler's shopping but for just a girl...lol. More over, he even gave some comments for each clothes I tried! I finally didn't buy anything but really appreciated what he did. I felt it was like a normal date and I think I enjoyed it quite a bit...:P Since I was concentrating on changing and looking at clothes too much, I didn't even realize he was taking some pictures with cell phone...and he surprised me with sending them later when I came back to Japan.

Anyway, after my normal window shopping, we finally got to the Market. I found a stall selling xiaolongbao, and told him that I wanted to eat. There was a spicy one and normal one and I asked him which he prefers. Since he said both sounded good, I ordered a spicy one (actually he ordered) and quickly gave them money. He tried to stop me but I was the winner!! He looked a little bit confused and told me he would pay. However, I told him I was the one who wanted to eat. I also thought I had already owed him too much (I don't know how many times he spent small money for food that we shared and he didn't really have to). So, he let me win this time but also told me he would pay for the next meal. The xiaolongbao was much better than the one I had for lunch. He said it was tasty but it seemed that it was too spicy for him...and I wondered why he didn't tell me he is not so good at eating spicy food since I actually asked him which was good for him, lol.

June 3, 2012

More Sightseeing By Myself

I liked the historical area, but there was not so much to see. Not every building was available to see inside, and they are not as unique as I expected. However, there were some paintings on the wall and I loved it...Since I really wanted to take a picture having the wall behind me, I asked a Japanese tourist to take my picture. Unfortunately, the picture isn't so good (I'm sorry!!) and I wished if I had a photographer there...I was sure we could "play" with the wall and it would let us take some cool pictures! Too bad that I couldn't make it but I just took some more pictures by myself using the window across the wall like a mirror...Lol. After that, I took MRT again and moved to Yuanshan station to visit two sightseeing spots; Confucius Temple and Martyrs Shrine.

I went to Confucius Temple firstly, and then, Martyrs Shrine. When I got to the Martyrs Shrine, I called my host and told him where I was and where going next. He told me he would come to the Palace Museum and would try to contact me when he get there. When I finished the call, I found the ceremony of changing the guards just started and it was exactly my purpose of visiting there! So I watched it, and then, walked around there, watched it again because the next one started while I was there, and went back to the station. It was such a great day...the weather was amazingly fine...but HOT. I was a little bit tired being under the sunshine, and also hungry. I found a small restaurant beside the station and had lunch. When I went in, a girl showed me the menu but I was not sure what they were. The menu was only in Chinese and the girl also spoke to me in Chinese. I asked her if she speaks English or Japanese. It seemed she doesn't speak both but she called her mom (maybe) and she spoke some English and Japanese! So I finally got to order my lunch (Yay!). It was my first time eating xiaolongbao in Taiwan as well, which had been on my mind. However, they didn't taste that good (It was OK though and I got to eat much better ones later at night market!) When I finished eating, I asked the staff how to get to the museum. She told me I had to take MRT to next station, and take a bus. I was excited going there because the museum and Shilin Night Market were exactly the two of three places that I shouldn't miss in Taipei!

May 28, 2012

At Longshan Temple

video
When I got to the station and took a train, I changed my plan and decided to go to Longshan Temple first. The square inside the gate of the temple was filled with smoke, offerings, and voice of people who were reading a sutra. I got an impression that compared to Japanese temples, Taiwanese temples look gorgeous because of lots of decoration. I walked around the building, and watched people. People's voices actually sounded like as if they were singing, and it calmed down my mind while I was there. After spending time for a while, I left there and walked toward a historical street that locates beside the temple.

On my way, there was a small happening. I still haven't gotten what I did wrongly, but when I was walking, a monk came up to me and was behaving like he was gonna hit me with a nail puller held in his hands. He was shouting something at me, and I had no idea what he was talking about. Then, a local guy said something to him, and told me to ignore him by gesture. The monk left once, but when I was passing in front of him, he came close to me again and raised the nail puller and said something again. It was shocking for me, but I didn't escape (I do not know if it offended him again), just ignored and passed there. Since there were a lot of people, and it was obvious I was a tourist who didn't understand the language, I just felt that it wouldn't be the worst case. I wonder if it was too optimistic, but fortunately, he didn't hit me with the thing and I passed there without getting injured. I still wonder what it was and maybe I could get an idea if I were with my host at that time.

May 24, 2012

I Realized That I Was Welcomed...(T_T)

Next morning, I woke up at 6:00. Rubbing my eyes, I came out of the door and went to the living room...He was there; The guy who shouldn't be there was there!! I was like, "Oh my god, why are you here? Aren't you already late?" He handed me a piece of paper and told me the food on the table was mine and it surprised me. I remember the shocking and warm mixed feeling came into me all of a sudden and I naturally gazed at his face (I didn't care how I looked without even washing my face, lol). I could only say thank you and didn't know how to express my appreciation. After he left, I read the paper piece he left and following things were there;

● An apology for being not able to come to the museum with me
● About the breakfast on the table
● He wants me to contact him at noon because he is worried if I get lost
● Even if I can not contact him, we will meet up at a MRT station in the evening and go to the night market together
● He already caught a friend who will drive us to Chiufen next day so I don't have to worry about how to get there
● Which bus to take to the station from here, his address and phone number

What do you think? If you think it's normal, maybe it's normal for you. For me, it was too much. He even left another tiny piece of paper and it told me there is another choice to get to the station; he already negotiated with his room mate and he would drive me to the station if I knock his door. Plus, he left coins, which is one way fare for the bus in case I don't have enough money in my card for MRT. You never know how much these things moved me. I was about to weep (really) and felt I was welcomed to stay there. Usually, I don't really want to be bothered by anyone on my journey while traveling alone. I do wherever I want to do at the time I feel like, and the plan is not clearly settled in advance. I expected staying there at night and probably will hang out with him for dinner or something if our time matches, but didn't think we would spend such a long time together (Going to Chiufen takes long time). And believe me, I haven't accepted such an offer even I had some chances before. Basically, I there was a line and if I think it's too much, it naturally turns me off (The 3rd, 4th, and 5th thing on the paper have a high possibility to turn me off and even about the 1st one, I may get relieved that I can go alone and don't have to be bothered by anyone) and I always feel it wont't be so comfortable but awkward. I don't know why, but this time was irregular. For some reason, I didn't think it would be awkward. Even I didn't know about him so much (I can't say I know about him well yet), but things I'd seen about him and the atmosphere he has was enough to let me feel I let things happen as they happen. So, I decided I would just ride on the waves that are coming if they were made by him :)

Anyway, I ate the breakfast he left, and prepared for going out. I left a letter for his room mate in the living room that I was taking a bus to the station, but I really appreciated his kindness. Thus, I left there and walked to the bus stop.

May 23, 2012

The First Day Ended

We took a taxi from Jingmei station to his place (When we came back to the station, I noticed all the way we went to that tapioca tea area was because of his sweetness; letting me try the best one). He bought two bottles of water at convenience store, and leaded me to his place. When we got there, he showed me how to open the entrance and gave me the keys!! (I do not think I'd ever do it to a stranger that I met today for the first time!!!) He showed me my room, bath room, living room and gave me another small key for my room. The room was simple, but there were enough things for a short stay and I saw a lot of leaflets for sightseeing on the desk...Naturally, I felt this person has a warm heart and always treats his guests nicely...Leaving the water bottle and a glass on the desk (it was for me! Oh my...), he asked me where I was going next day.

To be frank, it was not settled and everything was "Maybe" for me. The only sure thing was that I was going to the palace museum and it was "Probably" in the morning. So, I told him about it and also where I MAYBE go after museum and he had some suggestions. At this point, I kind of felt he didn't have to do such a thing because I would be alright without such a suggestion. Transportation in Taipei is quite convenient. However, it was nice of him that he took me to the bus stop near house and told me which bus to take :) While we were talking, his room mate came back from work. I told him that I wanted to be introduced to his friend because I thought that it wouldn't be not comfortable staying there without saying hi to someone living there...so I got a chance to say hello to him.

Since my host told me he was going to climb a mountain with his friends and leaving at 5:30 next morning, I said he should take a shower and go to bed soon. It was already sometime passed 0:00 and I didn't want him to be exhausted because of me and also thought that it would be tough and also dangerous if he didn't get to sleep well. So, the first day ended like this.

May 15, 2012

Dinner, Tapioca, Live Music!

So, let me tell you how things went before we went home.

We took MRT to Jingmei station. There is a night market, and we walked around there for a while. He took me to a small restaurant (actually a stall?), that he recommends. We had dinner there, and we enjoyed the conversation. Since I knew he was learning my language, I'd already decided to keep talking to him in Japanese as long as he doesn't feel uncomfortable about it. As I talk with native speakers in English sometimes, I probably know how it feels like to him, especially when he doesn't understand what I speak. However, I think our conversation went well and moreover, it was enjoyable. When he didn't understand words, I just wrote them on my small notebook and showed him. He understood the meaning in most cases because we share the same/similar characters in our languages.

When we finished eating, I suddenly felt like having a tapioca tea! I thought of grabbing one just somewhere, but he took me to a place that is popular about it. We went back to the station and took a train to go there. (Don't you feel it troublesome if you were him? Probably you just take me to somewhere near by? I had no idea when we were going there at that time, but noticed that it was really nice of him that he did it when we actually came back to Jingmei station later). And he even bought me one because I couldn't find my wallet quickly (T_T). Oh my...

So, grabbing the tea, we walked around the area and I found a school. He told me that is the best university in Taipei and I wondered...if I can come in♥, lol. It's always fun to take a look of what local people do :P So, we entered the gate, walked there (didn't go inside of the buildings of course!) and reached to a hall that some people were playing music inside. He told me its a very popular artist group in Taiwan, and we were lucky to get to listen to their music by chance (and it was free!).

We stopped there and sat down. We talked abut random things while listening to music and I found myself NOT FEELING AWKWARD AT ALL being with him (I swear, it's a rare thing) and even enjoyed it. At that time, my sleeping place was settled finally:)

May 14, 2012

To Taipei Main Station And Seeing My Host

"Getting to Taipei Main Station." It was my first mission in Taiwan. I arrived at Taoyuan International Airport on time, passed the immigration counter smoothly and walked to the bus stop which I can take a bus for HSR station. It was a recommended way from my host and I sent him a message quickly while walking there. It won't be such a short story to follow the line why I was hosted by him, but in short, it was the result of my instinct for what happened by chance. I knew that it would be convenient just to stay at a hotel or somewhere around Taipei main station, but I let it be a backup for the case if I don't choose staying at his place. Even I hadn't seen in person nor talked via phone, I had a positive impression from his profile and some information I had, and exchanging messages with him, it made the impression stronger; I probably will get along with this person and maybe we can be good friends.

Walking for a few minutes, I got to the bus counter and bought a ticket. There were people mostly who look locals in the bus, and the floor was filled with luggage. I got a seat there and enjoyed the bus ride to the station. Bus ride and HSR ride...so, after 1~1.5 hours, I finally got to Taipei Main Station which was our first meeting point :)

The station was huge and I was a kind of lost there. I wandered for a while and finally got to the floor he appointed. However, I wanted to go to the tourist information desk firstly to get an account and address for a free wi-fi. After getting those information, I went to the meeting point. There was a funny happening before get there; I was spoken to by a local guy in Japanese and he almost handed me a candy and wanted to take me somewhere, lol. Anyway, soon after reaching there, I found who I was searching for. He looked a little bit surprised because I didn't carry a "luggage" but just a backpack which is not so big. He asked if I was hungry and I said yes. So, we decided to stop by a night market near by house on our way home.

It was actually good for me to find out if I'd feel comfortable staying at his place. As I mentioned before, there was a possibility that I wouldn't stay and choose a back up plan. In the end, it went to a positive direction. For the present, I decided to stay there during my journey...unless something uncomfortable happens later.

May 13, 2012

Why Taipei?

If you say life is like a box of chocolate, I definitely say my short trip to was one of the small ones. I may find out in the end that it was a big one, but can't tell it now because I never know what will happen in the future until it actually happens. Before flying there, I didn't know almost anything about Taiwan (Probably I still don't), just have heard of a great museum in Taipei. So, why I picked up that country was just because I wanted to escape and breathe in fresh air, which is just translated as "I wanna go somewhere far and experience something unusual." as I feel daily, and also because of my schedule availability. Luckily, it worked amazingly in a way which I never expected and I really feel like going there again whenever I get a chance. So...now I start talking about it!


* * * * *


I'm sorry to say this, but I didn't know about the country so much. It was one of those countries that I thought I would probably visit sometime in the future when I have time because they are not so far from Japan. Even after I got tickets for Taipei, I didn't really know where to go nor which season is actually good to visit. (I found out it was one of the perfect seasons to go some days after booking tickets, and felt I was lucky!) For some reason, I got to stay over at a locals place (Probably I'll post about it when I get a chance), but except that, I didn't so much ideas but having a few locations I shouldn't miss in my mind. Even about the place to sleep, there was a possibility that I wouldn't stay there. Actually I copied some information about cheap hostels and carried it on me for the case.

So, it was a trip that
● There was a few place that I probably I visit but not sure when (I thought it would depend on the weather and situation).
● There was a place that I possibly stay, but not sure if I would really stay because of the security reason.
● I wanted to follow my instinct and let things happen as long as I like it.

Packing my stuff and some souvenirs for the person I would meet in my smaller backpack, I left Japan for the short journey. And telling the truth, at that time, I had already started feeling something fun would happen there...So from here, my story in Taiwan starts :)

April 20, 2012

At The Local Restaurant

So, I followed Hari and we went to a...small local restaurant that seemed tourists never come unless they are taken by locals.

Let me describe how local the restaurant was; Inside the restaurant was kind of dimly-lit, and there were two middle aged guys taking the seats by the table and were watching TV at the bottom of the room. Next to them, across the aisle, two school girls were doing assignment. There were a few more people in the kitchen.

I came in with Hari, and took a seat in front of the two guys. Everyone looked at me curiously and I it was enough to let me know that such a thing was something irregular to them; seeing a Japanese girl there. The two guys spoke to me in English and we started chatting. The TV was turned off soon and more people came. I don't remember what exactly we talked about. But, maybe it was something random about Japan and Nepal. We also talked where I was planning to go next day, and Hari told me that his friend would give me a ride if I want. I didn't take the offer in the end, but thought it was very kind of them to be nice to me like that. While chatting, me and Hari kept drinking Nepali whiskey(maybe) with sprite. We also had something like fried chicken skin. Enjoying there, there was a black out. It seemed such a thing happens sometime, so they turned on the back up light and started dancing with the radio sound. You have no idea how good I felt. I just kept drinking and drinking and people were dancing around :)

Anyway, we spent great time there and he took me to the hostel because I said I was not sure how to go back. I was also so drunk at that time...actually I had never got drunk that much before. I think I didn't even walk straightly and Hari actually held my shoulders sometime while walking, lol. However, the time we took to get there was much shorter than when I came there...I think that's because we took a short cut. When I finally got back to my room, I felt sick because of the alcohol. I thought I shouldn't drink like that again, especially when I travel by myself like that; I thought that there might be a chance that I would get into a trouble if he was a bad person. (However, next night, I was drinking with another person again (that time, Nepali Rum)...of course without getting drunk ;-))

March 28, 2012

That Is What She Can Be Like



Everything is done. That's what she feels now. It was way better than she expected, and she is satisfied about everything happened that day. There are lots of small stories she wants to record, but I know she won't release it here because she'd not feel so comfortable showing those treasures to random people. She keeps them in her heart basically, and only her good friends get to share them.


Basically what she wants to tell is, "Just a little thing can make her the happiest girl on the earth".

That was what she didn't expect that she would feel again.
Now she knows she get the feeling again sometime in the future.
So, this article is just for giving herself a clue to remember about that specific day that was very special for her.



She did something she believes it brought small happiness to him.

He did something to her and it warmed her heart.

However, she didn't let something happen even she wanted it badly.

There was a rule and she knew she would get hurt and regret if she came over the line.



I believe, if there is what is called proud woman, that's what she wants to be :)
So, even if she cries sometimes, I believe that she is strong and can grab the happiness by herself.
Because, I know now she knows she doesn't have to try hard standing by her own feet anymore when she has someone to rely on.

When things happen, they just happen. You can't control everything, so it's better to stay calm and let them happen.

March 26, 2012

Encounter in Swayambhunath

Monkey Temple locates on a hill. There is a lot of steps that you have to go up to reach to the temple from the gate in the bottom, and I saw monkeys everywhere around the steps. Walking up, I noticed that a local guy was following me. He said hello to me and seemed that he wanted to talk to me. I didn't really care about him firstly, but when I got close to the ticket counter, there were two tourists having a quarrel with the ticket seller. I could go forward, but for some reason, stepped back and took a rest at a landing. Then, the guy who was following me came up and spoke to me again. When he started talking about some stories, he finally caught my attention.

What he talked about was,

The history of the temple
About the meal Nepali people eat
Education problem in Nepal
etc.

So, at that time, I found out why the restaurant was empty. They have breakfast and dinner but lunch! Late in the daytime, they have some snacks and tea, but it's not during what we call lunch time! That's why there was no one in the restaurant when I had lunch today! (However, I still wonder why there were even no tourists...)

Hari, the local guy, told me about himself as well and it was a kind of shocking thing. He told me he has never been to school (He is around my age), even to an elementary school, because he is the 5th of the 6 children in the family. It's pretty common for general families there, that only one child (Mostly the first child) goes to school but the others because they can't afford it. He told me he learned English by himself by working for tourists from abroad. His oldest brother is the only child who went to school in the family and works for government now...it's a very honor thing. On the other hand, Hari had been working in a factory since he was a kid. Who can imagine such a thing as one of those general people who were educated normally in Japan if you haven't traveled somewhere like Nepal...I found the life of local people in there is much tougher compared to ours.

However, Hari seemed he was enjoying what he did. He likes talking to tourists, and that was exactly why he spoke to me. He asked me if I tried local booze and I told him I had Everest beer last night. He mentioned about local whiskey and asked me if I wanted to try. Why not? So, I decided to follow him to grab some drink...without forgetting swearing to myself that I would escape if I feel any danger, lol.

That's one of the things I enjoy while traveling alone...which I have to be careful about :P

Having Lunch At An Empty Restaurant

Coming back from Boudhanath, I went toward Durbar Square. However, I passed there soon and went to the Jhochhen St. which locates beside there. Why? ---Because, I was hungry. It was pretty good time for having lunch. I went into a restaurant, and ordered a plate. Waiting at the table I felt so weird, because in such a nice daytime, there was just me and a person who was working at the restaurant. Later, in the evening of the day, I got to know why it was like that...

Anyway, the food was good. I became full without finishing it and finally started sightseeing in the square. I took a look of the market, buildings, and started wondering where to go next. Then I looked at the map, and decided to go to Swayambunath Stupa, which locals call Monkey Temple :) I remembered that the person of the taxi told me he would take me there by his motorcycle, but didn't try to contact him because I knew I would feel not so comfortable going somewhere with him alone, and also I don't mind walking...actually I enjoy it as long as I'm not tired.

March 4, 2012

Amazing Woman

When something doesn't go well, it doesn't go well anyways however you struggle. The timing takes a great part for the success as well, but even you wait until the right time comes, and try again when you find it, you can't get the result you want every time.
I've been saying that,

Liking someone is a miracle.
If the person likes you back, and having a relationship, it's a super miracle.

I think I collapsed the super miracle. I thought I should have learned something from my past experiences, and became a better person. However, I realized I haven't gotten better as I wanted and made the same mistakes again. I don't say it was just about my side, but if both people could be flexible and tried a little bit more to get close to the other person's side, there would have been a different way...or probably the same after all?

One thing is, I concentrated on standing with just my own feet too much. This relationship was different from my any other past from the beginning because of it. Trying not to show my weakness and wanted to look independent, maybe I missed something important. Probably, I should have depended on him sometime but I didn't...maybe I was scared as well, and it was also because I know I suck at it.

Probably, I was the one who hurt the person. Even I swore I was telling the very truth, and very honest feelings I had, he didn't believe me. Personally, I don't like telling lies so I actually don't. I'm also very serious about things, which can be my good point, but also can be a bad point. Obviously, it worked as a latter this time...or maybe every time at the similar situation in the past. I didn't want to hurt anyone but maybe my action made him suspicious. Even the person was unique for me in some points, I should have faced them since I'm with the only person but others. I think I measured those things only with my measure, and it was too late when I noticed that he had another one that was way different from mine.

Maybe there was no other results in the end sooner or later. If I take it positively, I say, it was good that I got into such a super miracle situation I thought I would never go through again, touched someones sweetness, and got a chance to face myself again. As I mentioned just now, I admit I'm too serious at the time that he or most people don't think I have to be, and it actually makes things even worse sometimes. However, the words my friend said saved me a bit.

"You were serious because you treated it as a precious thing."

I wonder if she noticed that I was about to weep at that time :) Yes, I was serious all the time because I took it as a special thing.

There is still a long long way to become a matured amazing woman I want to be.

February 4, 2012

Boudhanath

Since I told the bus staff where I was going, he told me when I had to get off. Boudhanath was one of the places that I had a priority to visit in Kathmandu. There is a huge stupa (Actually the biggest one in Nepal) in the center of the square, and the square is surrounded by lots of restaurants and stores. There were many pilgrims and tourists and the place looked like a very solemn and energetic place. For some reason, I really like the flags coming out from the top of the stupa; actually, not just from the stupa, (I saw them anywhere in Thamel). And, there is also another symbolic thing which I found smetimes in that country and I really liked it! it was the Buddha eyes. Because the symbol was very impressive and unique, they became my impression of Nepal. I liked them so much that I got a T-shirt of them as a souvenir for my brother later!

Anyway, what I did at Boudhanath was...
●I walked around the stupa with pilgrims (There are some rules when you do that).
●I took a look of the stores around the square and bought some stuff.
●I went out of the square, and wandered there.
Oh, and for some reason, I got to take some pictures with a few local domestic tourists, lol. I don't know what made them want to take a picture with me but it was a kind of funny experience for me :)

So after a while, when I felt everything was done there, I decided to go back to Thamel. It was not as easy as finding a bus to come here, but after some minutes, I finally found a bus which takes me back to Thamel. I knew that it would be easy to take a taxi, but I just wanted to take the way that was a little tougher, and would also make me more satisfied when I accomplished it ;)


February 1, 2012

Until I Took A Local Bus For The First Time

video
The second day in Kathmandu, became mostly my first adventurous day in Nepal. I woke up, prepared and left the hostel. I was searching for somewhere to eat breakfast. When I was walking, I was spoken by a guy and he wanted to take me his picture. Since he was a tourist, I thought that he wanted the street as his background. So I took a picture in that way; set him in the edge and took lots of space for the background. However, he didn't like the picture. He wanted himself in the middle of the picture...it's what we call hinomaru picture (Japanese flag picture). He looked satisfied when he saw the second picture (but I was wondering if he had to take picture right there, lol). Then, he asked me what I was doing and I told him I was searching for a place to eat breakfast. "Yummy and cheap", that's what I required. He told me he knows a cheap cafe near his hostel, and took me there. It was actually a cafe...maybe cheaper than other similar places...not what exactly I wanted, but anyway, we went in.

His name is Rashid and he is from Dubai. We talked about the places we were planning to visit. Actually, he just visited Nagarkot, the place I was planning to visit in a few days. He showed me some pictures from there, and after while, we exchanged contact information and separated.

After breakfast, I headed to see Durbar Square. However, I met a local guy on my way there and he showed me around there. There was also another guy came with us...actually a beggar coming with us, explained things like a tour guide but and finally asked me for money. I just rejected. I don't know what is right or wrong, but I just don't give them money and it's my rule. After walking around, (I didn't get to see the Durbar Square that time, lol), I asked him to tell me the bus station to go to Boudhanath; the biggest stupa in Nepal. I'm sure that I've mentioned about this before...but I LOVE taking local buses while traveling abroad because I got to see some normal people's life there. My first local bus experience in Nepal was...riding what doesn't really look like a "bus" for us; it was nothing but a dirty white station wagon, but I LIKED IT! Play the video and take a look of how the bus ride was ;)

January 3, 2012

First Day In Kathmandu

When we got to the hostel, there was a Nepali guy who speaks good Japanese. His name is Ram, had lived in Japan for 3 years or so, and was doing business in Nepal. He is not the staff of the hostel, but was helping there sometimes. He gave us a cup of coffee. It was his way to let the customers know they are welcomed, and actually, we do the same way in Japan :) Me and Tomoaki decided to take a look of his tour agency office because we noticed that he was not pushy for business, and wants to do a nice business with people...Aaaand, we had to change money anyways :P Tomoaki also seemed he was interested in going to Chitwan listening to his talk. So, we promised to come back to the ground floor when we finish unpacking, and go to Ram's office together.

So, after a while, we headed to Ram's office. The guy who took us to the hostel (actually Ram's nephew) took us there. Thamel area, the tourist area in Kathmandu, is such a confused place that I get lost so easily even having a map. There are LOTS of hostels, stores and tour agencies and the sign of each place looks similar. Anyway, we got to the office and met Ram. Changed money, and Tomoaki booked a tour for Chitwan and one way ticket from Pokhara to Kathmandu. I was interested in going there as well, but I didn't book such a tour because my days in Nepal were shorter than his, and it seemed impossible to go there if I wanted to do some other things on my list. When everything was done, we went to a restaurant downstairs. We got a free meal from Ram's nephew (he told me he would buy me dinner!) and it was our first time to eat Momo! It looks like gyouza or shuumai (depends on Tibetian style or Newari style) and has buffalo or Chicken inside. I highly recommend you to try Momo when you come to Nepal :)

After dinner, we walked around Thamel. While walking, a guy came up to us and start asking Tomoaki to buy drugs...He rejected and I told him that he was not interested as well...but he was persistent, lol. He even asked him if he needed a girl! How dare he did that seeing me walking with him, lol. When we got outside of the busy area, we went to a cafe to grab a cup of tea. Actually he was the one who wanted to have tea (I think normally, girls say to have a cup of tea first if they are walking together, lol). So, it was the the first time of me having real Masala tea and I LOVED IT!!!

When we finally got back to the hostel, we exchanged our contact information. He lives in Kawasaki city, which is not that far from where I live, so we can meet up for meal sometime :) So, the first day in Kathmandu went over like this. I was happy to have my first buddy and nice meal there!