The French Life In Kuala Lumpur

Been adopting the Parisian lifestyle back in Kuala Lumpur:

🔸Walk more e.g using public transport, walk in the park

🔸Dine slowly with family and friends

🔸Appreciate and use beautiful things

🔸Immerse in arts

🔸Embrace bed hair

🔸Wear perfume

🔸Enjoy a glass of wine occasionally

🔸Not take things too seriously

Most of us merely exist and burdened with never-ending chores. I don’t want that.

I want to (re)design my life. I want one that is simple yet meaningful.

So I been spending time with people I love being with, taking the stairs instead of the lift, watercolour painting, writing calligraphy, listening to good music, using my curler less, perfuming myself and my home…

I really do love how the French LIVE life: fully and without abandon ~

Wisdom, Knowledge, Intelligence & Virtue

Facebook reminded me that I was at Ephesus, Turkey, five years ago. I said my favourite part of the ruins was the library. I vaguely remember I was amazed by what each pillar represents.
Thank God for Wikipedia to jog my memory:
 
wisdom (Sophia)
knowledge (Episteme)
intelligence (Ennoia)
virtue (Arete)

***

 
I like how virtue is included. For all the wisdom/knowledge/intelligence in the world means little (and is dangerous) without it.
 
People of the ancient days are so wise.
 
#lifegoals

Progress

Doing the usual in Beijing: drink yoghurt (suan nai/ 酸奶). 7 years ago it was 5 kuai, now its 10 kuai. Today we can pay with WeChat (it’s like our Whatsapp).
There’s even QR code hung at every stall at the wet market. You don’t have to pay cash to your butcher/vegetable seller if you have your phone. 

I’m so impress with China – they’ve progressed so much…and we have not.

Culture also teaches us how to eat

“As wonderful as science is, culture also teaches us how to eat”, Michael Pollan explaining the French Paradox. Perhaps the secret to the the French slim figures -despite eating rich food – is dining slowly.
I miss dining in brasseries by the pavements in Paris, strolling by the Seine river with a Berthillon ice-cream in my hand, and just live without a timetable…
#stopdreaming #lifeisnotmeasuredbyfunalone #foodphilosophy

Bananas over Beijing

Seven years today:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess banana has always been my fruit of choice whenever I hike and that I’ve always been fascinated by food (in an esoteric way). Beijing was fun!


When I visit next, I shall:

1. Eat strawberry bing tang hulu 糖葫芦
2. Visit a local market to buy spices and Chinese cooking stuff
3. Possibly create a ‘Chinese Language’ notebook like I did for Japanese + get a book before that
4. Check out their sthings e.g dollar shop
5. Hangout & dine with locals and learn more about their culture (always wonder how it’s different from Malaysian Chinese descent’s)

Chinese communication

Met a lovely couple while hiking Taipei’s Qixing Mountain. We used all the Mandarin we could muster for few hours long conversation down hill and a bus ride to Shilin Night Market.

The couple took a group photo of us and sent to my email. Never received a friendly email in Chinese before (they speak Japanese too)!

jianguofeng

He said:
靜君兩姐妹您們好!很高興七星山的巧遇,寄上合照相片並預祝台湾之旅順心愉快。

(Oh man so tough!)

My Kindergarten-standard reply (thanks to Google Translate and my new Chinese/Japanese keyboard):
你好!非常感谢你带领我們在七星山到夜市的路上。ありがとうございます!我們很喜欢台北。請保重!

***

So nice to speak more than a few languages and be semi-literate. We can make more friends and able to express our feelings better.

=:D

p/s: The last three words (請保重) made me feel like some Chinese warrior going away for a battle!⚔️

10 Things I Did In Taipei

Taipei offered me the best of Chinese culture; I have never been so enthralled by the Chinese history and language. 

Throughout the trip, my sister and I were speaking Mandarin and learning to read traditional characters.

At a pet conference. This photo was taken by the dog’s very friendly owner. He told me that the dog is sniffing my pineapple tarts so I tries to hide it!

We were so impressed with Taiwanese’s cleanliness, efficiency and politeness. 

People were so helpful and cultured; many go out of the way to help us get around  and spoke so tenderly to us. For example, they explained that we don’t look like Taiwanese because we look ‘healthy’ (read: dark).

Taiwan is a pet-friendly nation too. We saw people carrying dogs everywhere! I really don’t mind living in Taiwan. Here’s 10 things we did:

1. Climbed to the highest peak in Taipei, QiSing Shan (7 Stars Mountain)
My goal is to visit every national park in the world! So we checked out Taiwan National Park. Went to Yang Ming Shan, and hiked for a few hours to the highest peak in Taiwan: Qising Shan. We braved the rain, sulfurous gas and uneven rocks – to be rewarded a mountainous view of the national park and Taipei city.

mountain

2. Eat street food at markets and everywhere else
We went to Shilin Market, Raohe Market and Shida market for street food. We had stinky tofu, mee sua, papaya milk, grilled mushroom with wasabi powder, fried cuttle fish, xiao long bao at the first Ding Tai Fun branch, pork bun at Raohe Market, fried chicken at Shilin Market, beef noodles etc. We heard that there’s plenty of good Japanese restaurant, perhaps next time.

img_5004.jpg

3. Learn about Chiang and Soong May-Ling at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, probably my favourite site in Taipei. Enjoyed learning about his life story immensely, and seeing the everyday things he used eg multipurpose clock, bulletproof car.

Actually my interest in him is solely because of his wife, Soong May-Ling. Read Wild Swans then watched The Soong Sisters as a teen. Thought the sisters were so cool; they got an education and played important roles in society when women were not encouraged/ expected to.

But it was Soong May-Ling’s speech at the US parliament that made me a fan: http://www.history.com/speeches/madame-chiang-kai-shek-addresses-congress

memorialhall

4. Appreciate Chinese artefacts at National Palace Museum
So glad Chiang Kai Sek took a lot of Chinese artefact to Taiwan hence not destroyed by the communists. I think my favourite section is the first floor about nature and the calligraphy section.

My favourite piece says: “Do not cultivate arrogance, do not indulge in desires, do not leave ambitions unchecked, do not let pleasures go to the extreme”


5. Walk around Jiufen
It was like a trip up to Genting Highlands. We had tea and Chinese dessert, and admired the scenery. More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiufen


6. Party at Barcode
Night out with the sister at bar recommended by the hotel. It seems that celebrities are sighted here, but we saw none (maybe because we the only celebrity we can recognise is Jay Chou)

7. Checked out the Grand Hotel
This building is commissioned by Chiang Kai Shek and Soong May Ling to accommodate foreign ambassadors. This place has really good feng shui – its backed by mountains at Yang Ming Shan and facing a river.
img_2204.jpg


8. Visited Eslite

Checked out the biggest bookstore in Taipei. It spans five floors and it opens till 12 midnight! I was browsing at the language/literature section, hoping I can enjoy Chinese poetry one day…

The only one I know:

Quiet Night Thought (靜夜思)
床前明月光
疑是地上霜
舉頭望明月
低頭思故鄉
-Li Bo

Perhaps I shall start with reading common Chinese characters (its kanji too so its inline with my Japanese speaking goal). Or not.

有那么多时间吗?

9. Watched Changing of Guards at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

10. Checked out Beitou Hotspring
The Japanese bought to Taiwan their hot spring culture (My absolute favourite thing to do!). Oh, so much to write. Perhaps I’ll talk about it more the next time. In the meantime, read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beitou


For me, the point of this whole trip is to spend quality time with my sister. What random things we did: take pictures of Jay Chou everywhere, talk nonsense etc. Fun!

=:D

To do in Taiwan next:

  • Visit Taroko National Park
  • Get on Ubike
  • Book a private hot spring pool at Beitou
  • Spend more time browsing through books in Eslite

I asked the Trump, the new US President, if he was happy

I followed the US election with much interest. One of my favourite read so far is this “An American Tragedy”, which well summarised how I feel.

“The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety”

Well, at least now I can say I spoke to the US President once. Seven years ago, I asked Trump, “Are you happy?”. Luckily I kept a blog and found this:
Trump Trump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I asked him this question today, it must be a resounding ‘yes’…