found this pic flicking thru my baby photo albums in taiwan... i would've been around 18 months or so but man, 20+ years later, i can still relate to my mood back then. it pretty much captures how things have been the last few months of 2004.

things are getting back to normal and i can't believe school starts in less than 2 weeks! GEEZ, where'd the days go? *pouts*

on a diff note, here's a recap of my taiwan trip ~

spent the first week with my cousins and went on all these outings. interesting would be apt.. went to a date farm to go "date picking" but what did we do instead? go there and eat the already-picked fresh dates from the buckets. aiyaiyai! the "grown-ups" missed the whole point!! grr.

^ buckets of dates being loaded up on the truck (top).

«dates bumping along a conveyer belt on their way to be sorted by weight (left).

we also went lotus flower hunting, saw a fire-water natural phenomenon where a pocket of natural gas busted up thru the ground right at the edge of a small pond...cool eh? twas like sittin in front of a furnace!

also went to a zoo, a cultural village and ate lotsa scrumptious food, both healthy and junk. a group of cousins left the last day of 2004 and the other group of cousins left the first day of 2005. a few days of recuperation later, i was off to taipei to see what the hospitals there were like.

the psych ward at McKay's Hospital was surprisingly pretty similar to acute care wards here.. or those that i've seen. the physical ward layout and inner workings were different but the doctor-patient interplay was exactly the same and i was picking up on counselling skills from last year! too bad i couldn't really take a psych history fluently in chinese or have good enough grammar to attempt a counselling session. throughout the whole thing, i kept thinking... argh! if this was only in english, i'd be happily gabbing away by now! or .. nono, don't ask that question! eesh! you should've asked it like this... *sigh* the ER at Wanfang Hospital was amazing! a lot better than the ERs i've seen here in terms of structural organization. learnt quite a bit off the 2 geges (older bros) who saw me grow up while we were all in cali eons ago. both just became specialists recently :)

learnt a bit of qi gong that week in taipei, went to jio hua san to "tsao-san"...which is um.. well you take 3 steps and kowtow, get up, take another 3 steps and kowtow and you keep doing this until you get to where you wanna go instead of just walking there as one would normally would. it's an act of penance or something along those likes.. sorta a pilgrimage thing i guess that nobody does anymore 'cept for the heck of it sometimes lol. also managed to meet L and her E and walked around Shilin Night Market. ran into a melbournian there and he was such a gabberbox! he was very friendly but it got to the the point where we were ready to tape his mouth shut if there was tape on hand... also managed a bit of shopping, gawked and gaped at the Taipei 101. i see-sawed between calling it pretty some nites and saying that it looked like a buncha chinese takeaway boxes stuck on top of each other other nites. mostly days cuz it looks fuglier in the daytime without the help of the multicolored time light choreography at certain floors. i ate my fill of handmade egg rolls, the sweet kind, and dou-hua! and introed L and E to ba-wan... i have no clue how to translate it in english, let alone come up with a description for it. you just gotta eat it to find out for urself how yummy it is *slurp* too bad im vego or else that would've been one of the first things i usually scarf when i arrive :D

spent less than a week packing up and doing some last minute stocking up of things to take back with me to aussieland after taipei. brought over a whole duffle bag full of vego food that customs was nice enough to let thru without even opening my bag! the lady was more impressed with my handwriting apparently. she kept saying HOLY! .... HOLY! and i thought she was shocked at the vegetarian food (soybean, mushroom). no animal/meat fats or oils. i had scribbled on the card thing i had to hand her... so i told her it was just vegetarian food to clarify it and she was like nono, HOLY! that handwriting is so damn small and neat... HOLY! thank you. umm.. would you like to look in the bag? i asked. wha..no dear, you're fine. you can go. O.O whoa.. talk about ez! not that i'm complaining tho lol :)

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