M. C. Escher

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Over the weekend I visited the National Palace Museum to look at the M. C. Escher exhibit that’s currently being held there. Before I thought it was pointless to look at artwork if they were only replicas and not the real thing, but after the Escher exhibit, I totally take that back! M. C. Escher is one of my favourite artists, which is why I agreed to go in the first place. I was first introduced to him in elementary school, when a teacher taught us the principles of tessellation in art class. That was when I first learned about Escher, then again in university psychology class when the professor showed us some of his famous optical (or in psychology terms, cognitive) illusion works.

After seeing some of Escher’s other works, I feel like I learned even more about the artist, including the fact that he didn’t draw his works, but instead printed them using lithographs and wood carvings. I think that’s even harder to do than drawing! And to make up optical illusions the way he did was just amazing; he was creative and had a wonderful sense of space, and his beautiful imagination never ceases to amaze me.

Unfortunately I couldn’t take any photos inside, but some of my favourite works of his include “Day and Night” and “Convex and Concave”.

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The level of detail and the skills that it must have taken for him to create the brilliant works of art are out of this world! After the exhibit, I learned that he not only worked on optical illusions, but also on religion, people, and landscapes (with Italy being his favourite). I loved them all!

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Skating in Taiwan

It’s finally Friday today, and I spent my favourite evening of the week skating for the first time in Taiwan and having beef noodles with MM, her coworkers, a coworker’s husband, and his friend from work. I was so disappointed by the size of Taiwan’s rink! However, since it was an indoor rink located on the 8th floor of Eslite 116 in Ximending, I shouldn’t have expected so much in the first place. I’m sure the rink in the Taipei Sports Arena is probably much better. We didn’t skate for long as the rink was tiny (maybe half the size I’m used to seeing in Canada), and the skates really hurt my feet (they kept squishing my ankles).

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Afterwards, we had delicious beef noodles from a hole in the wall called 建宏 at the outskirts of Ximending. It’s open 24 hours and have unlimited refills for noodles and soup. MM and I shared a medium bowl (only NTD90) and it was plenty. We didn’t even have to get refills! Next time we’ll just go for a small.

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Last night QB was such a sleepyhead. He fell asleep on my bed and I just couldn’t bear to wake him up. Zzz…

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Matcha parfait

It’s starting to feel like summer in Taiwan now (Nooo!!!). Today was such a busy day. First I took a bank entrance exam (which didn’t go too well), met up with JT’s mom and swapped some stuff (I got JT some pens and she got me almond butter and nail polish! <3), and now I'm going out for dinner with V. Ever since I started to really think about leaving my current workplace and finding a new job, it's been getting harder and harder for me to go into the office everyday. I still do my work of course, but I feel more anxious to leave, and every little thing that happens at work just affirms my decision even more. For example, just the other day, my boss actually asked my coworker who's been working there for 14 years if she wanted to quit, and he'll pay her severance pay. He also asked two other people that question. Those coworkers are the ones who are working for his wife, and he's trying to show his wife that without those workers, she can't accomplish anything. At the same time, his wife is trying to get rid of his favourite worker. So it's all a big mess with office politics and drama. It's seriously a circus show.

Let the job search begin.

MM went with me to meet up with JT's mom today, and we had matcha parfait from Tsujiki after. Yum~

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Crazy housing prices in Taipei

There’s something seriously wrong with the real estate market in Taiwan. MM informed me today that it is the most difficult city to buy a house. In the world. Yes, Taipei, Taiwan topped the list comparing average salary to housing price. New Taipei City also made the list at number 3. Vancouver’s number 4. Those are honestly some grim looking numbers, so there is something wrong with the system. Prices for everything in Taiwan (food, living…) just keep going up, yet the only thing that has not increased is wage. So basically the rich just keep getting richer, and the poor poorer. I wonder what Taiwan needs to get its economy back up?! Wage in Taiwan is 3x lower than wage in North America, yet many things cost the same. It’s not like brand name products for clothing and food will cost less in Taiwan just because we make less here, and many food items (especially imported products) cost so much more than in Canada. So imagine buying Starbucks in Taiwan: one grande vanilla latte for NTD120 (equiv to CAD4). That’s the same as in Canada, right? Wrong. CAD4*3 = CAD12. This takes into account how the wage in Taiwan is 3x less than in Canada. You just bought a CAD12 cup of coffee. This is why Starbucks doesn’t do too well in Taiwan.

I really hope that the trade agreement with China will help Taiwan’s economy flourish like they keep saying it will. But you know what they say: the Devil’s in the details.

Happy Friday! QB got a haircut because his fur was too tangled. He looks like an oversized rat now. Poor darling:

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Panos

Today I went to Panos near Dongmen station for lunch with CF and MM. Panos is a coffee chain store in Belgium (according to MM, there are over 400 stores in Belgium!), and they have brunch items, sandwiches, pasta, salad, and smoothies. It’s interesting to point out that the smoothie flavours at this particular restaurant were created by the lady who opened up the famous mango ice on Yong Kang St. She’s also a major shareholder of Panos Taipei! Another fact pointed out by MM during our visit. She sure knows a lot of random but interesting facts. :)

Overall I found the food and place to be alright, but the service was horrible. It took them 40 minutes to make MM and my Paninis. Even the group that came after us got their order first! I won’t be back.

CF’s tuna brunch:

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My cheese panini:

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MM’s smoked chicken panini:

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It was nice to see CF after not seeing him for over a month! Even though the meal was disappointing, the conversations we had were certainly far from that.

The end of another relaxing and fun weekend; I’m now ready to face another week of work!

I love brunch!

Brunch = Breakfast + Lunch. It’s probably my favourite meal because you can get both sweet and savory combined into one meal! Otherwise, I usually do sweet for breakfast and savory for lunch; therefore brunch offers the best of both worlds.

V recently introduced me to “What Cafe”, this cheap brunch place near MRT Ximen station. I had brunch with Grandma and mom today so Grandma didn’t have to cook. She deserves a break.

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:) There’s grandma with her new iPhone and the case that I got her from online!

I really should get some sleep now.. It’s 2:22am, and I just watched the ending for the movie “Children of Men” on HBO. The movie makes me appreciate living in a peaceful and war-free place so much more! Sometimes, it’s nice to be satisfied and grateful with the simple things in life. Like being able to enjoy brunch time with the family. :)

G’night.

Curry: easy to make, takes a long time to prepare

I made curry today because there’s a pack of expired curry cubes in the fridge (expired 3 months ago so it’s probably still edible). Curry is super easy to make, but the prep work takes awhile. Lots of washing and peeling and cutting… The result is worth it though! :) I made a huge gigantic pot!

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Off for cheap brunch with grandma now. There’s a cheap and yummy brunch place at Ximen MRT station. I’ll post pictures later!