2/28/2014

First day of the 228 long weekend:

– Started off with the plan of visiting the cat village at Houtong train station
– Left my home too late, so had to wait for the 10:40am train
– Waited at Zhongshan train station instead of the usual Taipei Main Station, thinking that Zhongshan Station was before Taipei Main
– Turned out to be horribly wrong, and the 4 carriage train was more packed than 4 cans of sardines
– Gave up the idea of going to Houtong (Cat village will have to wait until next time!) and ended up going to Yangming Mountain to view the cherry blossoms instead

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It was a beautiful day up at Yangming Park today. It must have been… 10 years since the last time I visited Yangming Park. I saw many beautiful mansions on my way up too; they were actual houses instead of apartment buildings like the majority of Taipei housing. I had heard that Yangming mountain real estate costs a fortune, and now I finally see why: beautiful view of the mountains and the city, cool weather in the summertime, houses instead of apartments. Even though it’s slightly inconvenient because it’s a 20 minute drive out for groceries, it’s still a lovely place. The houses there remind me of the mansions back in Canada (North Vancouver!).

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Discrimination

I just overheard a coworker telling another coworker, that the lady who came in for an interview this morning will not get hired because of her looks. After the interview, the manager went back to her office and ripped the interview test material. It’s so sad, because even though the applicant had the credentials (she applied for the position of accountant, and she used to work an accounting firm), she did not have the looks or figures.

Geez, seriously, when did your ability to work well as an accountant have anything to do with your looks? Accountants don’t leave the office, they’re not running for some kind of beauty pageant, and it involves skills that have nothing to do with physical appearance. Would they rather have a human Barbie who can’t even add and subtract properly, or someone who has great accounting skills but not so well endowed in the looks department?

I remember from a psychology course back in university that beautiful people have an easier time in life than not-so-beautiful people. It’s so sad, but true. :(

One more day until the 228 long weekend…

One more day of work tomorrow before we get a 3-day long weekend for the 228 holiday! 228 is a holiday in Taiwan, and it’s a day to celebrate peace. It has something to do with Taiwan history and something to do with the government and censorship. It’s good to live in a peaceful country. It’s so sad that many countries around the world such as Syria are torn apart by war. Ukraine’s last president was a piece of work as well. However, even though Taiwan doesn’t have the worries of war, and corruption isn’t too horrible in the government, we have our problems with soaring housing price, low wage, high cost of living, and a government that is unable to improve the economy.

Anyway, enough of the sad talk. I’m excited for the long weekend! I really want to find a new job, because I don’t want to stay at my current place for too long. I’ll probably stay for a year (until September), which would already be long enough. It’d be really nice to find a job that’s:
a) close to home
b) higher wage
c) preferably a foreign company, because they have great benefits

It doesn’t feel nice as an employee to work for a stingy family-operated business. I feel both impressed and sad for the people who have been working there for more than 10 years. I wouldn’t want to spend my youth slaving away for them. I know I can do better.

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Happy birthday, Kevin!

Today is Saturday and as per usual, I visited grandma for lunch. Kevin’s family dropped by for a visit in the afternoon to celebrate Kevin’s 18th birthday, and to celebrate his achievements in the university entrance exams (he got into NTU)!

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Kevin showed me a crazy video of these 2 guys who climbed the Shanghai tower during its construction (I think it’s still being constructed?). They sneaked into the building and first, climbed the stairs until the stairs ended, then they scaled the steel construction until they have reached the very top. They climbed without having any safety gear whatsoever, and at the very end, even stood up to look at the view below. It’s so scary just watching them! However, to be perfectly honest, I personally feel like the climb up is always easier than the climb back down… I feel like a snake (because snakes are not afraid of uphills, but also dislike downhills).

It’s another lazy Saturday afternoon. :) Not too hot, not too cold; just right.

I really wish that they played the winter Olympic games in Taiwan! I really wanted to watch figure skating and hockey… I’m so happy that Canada won so many medals this year though. :) It’s a proud moment to be Canadian!

Wei Ya/Chun Jiu

In many Asian companies, there is a tradition called “Wei ya”, a dinner right before Chinese New Year to celebrate the end of another year and to congratulate workers on all their hard work. There is usually a draw, and some offices sing karaoke.

There’s also another event called “Chun Jiu”, and this dinner happens right after Chinese New Year, and happens when the company is doing extra well that year and with extra funding to spare.

This year, there was no Wei Ya at my company because: a) the company didn’t do well and b) the bosses were too busy to arrange one until Chinese New Year had already passed. So we only had a Chun Jiu this year.

It was held on the 17th floor of the Sheraton hotel, and I was quite excited because it would be the first Chun Jiu that I’ll be attending in Taiwan, and there was also a draw. For the draw, there was a prize for everyone (some are obviously better than others), and the draw is fair in that you draw twice: the first time you draw your drawing order. The second time you draw for the actual prize. I was number 39, and there were 44 people and prizes in total. Our company buys home electronics for prizes every year. This year, there were soy milk machines, hot water bottles (the worst prize), small oven, and many others, with the grand prize being an ipad mini. In the end I drew a Panasonic DVD speakers set, which was quite disappointing as I already had speakers that worked fine at home. However, the good news was that V drew a bread machine, so we switched prizes. :D <3

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I brought it home yesterday, and MM and I are already putting it to good use! Dough is rising silently inside right now as I’m typing this. We decided that we’re only going to use the machine to make our dough for us, and shape and bake the bread in our small oven, because we can get more creative that way. How exciting! I’m going to add brown sugar mochi into this bread. :) Hope it turns out!