Konayuki – Taipei

When I visited Hokkaido this summer, I passed by the cake store LeTao, and mentioned that there’s a place selling their famous double fromage cheesecake right here in Taipei. (For the post, see here: Day 4 afternoon: Otaru Canal)

The cafe in Taipei is called “Konayuki”, and it’s located close to MRT Zhongshan station, in one of the little alleys that’s packed full of cute cafes and restaurants, including Coffee Alley and Melange Cafe.

That day, CF had invited Meimei and me to listen to the Danjiang University alumni orchestra’s performance (their theme this year was “Love, present tense”, and in the middle of the performance, love letters were read and flowers were given; it was very sweet. <3). The plan was to go for double fromage cheesecake after, but when the performance ended, it was already dinner time. I think Konayuki is better to go for dessert than for dinner because of their minimum order rule. The rule there is that everyone must order either a drink or a parfait, so if you’re hungry and expecting to get full from eating Konayuki’s sandwiches, it can be a bit pricey.

Meimei’s cappuccino:

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We ordered a sandwich to share, and decided on the cheese croquette/smoked salmon combo (2 cheese croquette sandwiches, and 2 smoked salmon sandwiches):

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The cheese croquette sandwich is Konayuki’s most well-known sandwich. I thought the sandwiches were very simple and quite tasty, but to be honest, the price was a bit steep since they were tiny and we finished them in about 2 minutes. You’ll find a much better deal for sandwiches at “Shark Bites Toast”.

Lastly, CF and I each ordered a parfait (fresh fruit parfait, with a piece of double fromage cheesecake on top):

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Their cheesecake was amazing, as expected. It’s actually flown in from Hokkaido, and Konayuki is the only place that you can get the double fromage cheesecake in Taiwan.

There are so many options for good eats in Taipei, and because I have a budget, Konayuki is unfortunately not a place I can visit often. However, with that being said, I’m glad that the option exists in Taipei for those who love LeTao’s double fromage cheesecake; if you’re craving it, it’s conveniently just a few MRT stations (instead of a plane ride) away!

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That awkward moment when someone thinks something was done for them when it actually wasn’t.

I think I’ll leave it at that.

P.S. Pictures say a thousand words.

Wolves and Sheep

There are many types of people in this world, and the ones to watch out for are the “wolves” and “sheep”, because they’re the ones who can be deceiving at first sight.

What do I mean by wolves and sheep? I am referring to wolves in sheep’s clothing and sheep in wolves’ clothing.

I am fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough) to become acquainted with both types. The wolf in sheep’s clothing is pretty self-explanatory; they’re the ones who appear to be genuinely sincere and will have you and the whole world fooled until they show their true colours. However, we cannot wear rose-coloured glasses forever, and in those cases, we must accept the truth and move on. We cannot expect others to change just because we want them to; for a change to happen, it must come from oneself.

As for the sheep in wolf’s clothing, I would say my dad is one of those, as well as a couple of my friends. Outside they appear to be cold and mean, not the type of people you’ll want to become friends with unless you’re also cold and mean, but on the inside, they are actually warm and extremely friendly. I think for these sheep, how they appear is a result of their environment; they might not have grown up coddled and protected from the harsh realities of the real world, thus leading to their strong and cold exterior. This is in contrast to the wolf where the opposite might be true; they might grow up educated on how to act like a sociable being, but that still doesn’t change who they truly are inside. I think those people who knowingly hurt others for their own selfish needs are despicable.

So, what does this all mean?

1. Don’t forget those who have hurt you before. You can forgive, but never forget.

2. Don’t judge a book by its cover; try to give everyone a chance, and don’t disregard them through stereotyping.

3. We cannot change the past, but we can choose to change the future. If you have done things in the past that you’re not proud of, make it a goal to change for the better. You’ll be happy, and those around you will be even happier!

4. Not everything in life can go the way we want them to. Nothing is perfect, and the same goes for relationships (whether it’s friendship, romantic relationships… a relationship goes both ways). So, after trying our best and things still feel wrong, let go and move on. It’s for the best.

5. Lastly, as mentioned above: We cannot expect others to change just because we want them to; for a change to happen, it must come from oneself. So don’t try to force change. You can mention it, and let them decide if they want to change. Respect their decision, but it doesn’t mean that you need to stick around.

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Even if it’s already winter, that doesn’t mean I can’t have ice cream when I’m feeling a bit blue. Something sweet for my bitter mood.

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7-11 milk soft serve, made from Hokkaido’s Tokachi Province milk. It’s a new product and currently only available at a handful of 7-11’s around Taiwan. It’s delicious, and tastes just like the soft serves that I had when I was in Japan! Now, if only they can come out with lavender flavour…

Happy, just because.

V shared a quote with me today that was exactly what I needed to hear:

Don’t let what one person says take away your happiness today.

So I will be happy. :) Because there’s no reason for me to dwell on something I cannot change, as long as I have put in the effort and tried my best. Some things cannot work out the way we want them to just because we want to solve the problem to make ourselves feel better.

Tonight’s dinner: Shark Bites Toast. The french toast with meat loaf and a sunny side up egg is the perfect comfort food on a rainy day.

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Weekends always fly by.

Settling Down

For my whole life, I have been on the move. From Taiwan to Canada, back to Taiwan, then back to Canada again. And during that time I have gone to 5 elementary schools, 2 high schools, and thankfully, only 1 university. Needless to say, I’ve also lived at many different addresses; so many that I cannot remember all of them. I didn’t enjoy moving around so much at such a young age; as a child, I didn’t have the sense of security that I needed, and it didn’t help that my mother was 9500km away half the time.

However, all that changed this summer when I made the move back to Taiwan. It might not be the last move, since things tend to change in ways you least expect them to, but as of right now, it feels pretty permanent.

Do I miss my life back in Canada? Of course I do. I did live there for 15 years after all. I miss the weather, I miss my friends, and I miss the familiarity. Moving back to Taiwan must have been one of the toughest decisions I had to make in all my 23 years, but so far, it’s been good.

I started the summer in Taiwan by participating in an internship program at NMMBA (down in Pingtung), and that was a life-changing experience for me. It was one of my happiest summers, and it transformed me in ways I can’t explain. After the internship ended, I moved back to Taipei to be with my family, and I am joyous to be spending a lot of quality time now with two of my favourite people in the whole world: my mom and my grandma. I really admire their positive outlook on life. My grandma isn’t the typical grandma either: she uses an iPad, plays Candy Crush, Skypes, and chats with me through the IM App “Line”! My grandma always knows what to say; she is my lighthouse when I am lost at sea on a dark night.

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Now that the worst season of Taiwan has passed (summer), it is officially winter here. There isn’t really an autumn here in Taiwan; autumn sort of blends in with summer, then the weather changes dramatically and it’s suddenly 12C, with no central heating. Needless to say, even though temperature-wise it doesn’t sound too cold, it sure feels cold. Thankfully I am already quite adapted from living in Canada for all these years. Plus, I enjoy the cold and cannot stand the heat!

I am starting to settle down to life in Taiwan. Things are falling into place, and I am adapting to life here in this bustling city that is so different from Vancouver, yet it’s also a city I call home.

The best skill to have in life is the ability to adapt. Without adapting, we can never keep up with sudden changes that life throws at us. Then we’ll just be left behind in this ever-changing world.

I have two homes: Vancouver and Taipei. Right now I am living in Taipei, but who knows where I’ll end up 10 years from now? I will go where the wind blows.

For those who are wondering how I’m doing in Taiwan, please don’t worry. I am fine and doing well. Feel free to visit me though! I am always happy to see a friend again. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit some of you soon as well.

Love Cats? Then you’ll want to visit “Cat Heaven Island”…

There is an island off of Fukuoka, Japan, where many call it “Cat Heaven Island”. Why? Because it’s full of semi-feral cats.

A Japanese photographer named Fubirai spent 5 years on the island photographing the cats, and turned up with some adorable, and at times, heartwarming shots.

For more photos, see here: Cat Heaven Island Photos

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Wouldn’t this be the perfect place for cat lovers to retire to? You can spend the whole day fishing alongside the cats, surrounded by cats, cats, and more cats. The island looks absolutely beautiful.

Speaking of cats, if I ever choose to have a pet cat (I’m more of  a dog lover though), I’d want to have either a Bengal cat or a Savannah. Both of them are domestic mixed with feral, so they have the temperament of house cat, yet the regal beauty of a wild cat. Meow~

 

How Doctors Die: NY Times

I came across this article while browsing the NY Times today, and I wanted to share it with everyone:

How Doctors Die: NY Times

The article follows the story of Dr. McKinley, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and ended up refusing treatment when the cancer spread to her brain.

Death is a relatively morbid subject, and most of us don’t want to die, yet it’s something that we all have to face eventually. Some get there sooner, whereas others don’t get there as quickly, but eventually we all die.

If you were suddenly told by the doctor that you only have a year to live, how would you spend that time, and how would you like to die?

Would you accept treatment if it meant prolonging your life, but that life will cause physical and psychological suffering?

I would personally rather live my last remaining days with my loved ones, without spending that time in the ICU, and doing everything on my bucket list (which includes hot air balloon and seeing the aurora!). I would likely receive treatment to a certain point, but beyond that, I would refuse.

This is why I’m not against assisted suicide, if it’s the patient’s choice to go through with it rather than living a life of suffering. Sometimes a person stays alive because his/her family cannot let them go, but oftentimes it’s the more humane thing to let them go and move on.