Saturday, March 31, 2007

Happy, happy, happy!

DSC07395

It's 90 degrees outside and Vince insists on wearing a 100% polyester button down white dress shirt and jeans! Why? Why? Why? Can you tell he took the scissors to his hair again? A big chunk is missing from the front. Ack.

And look, a photo of Edda, straight at the camera, no hand in mouth and a big smile. How cute is that!

DSC07410

Friday, March 30, 2007

Happy BIrthday Jason!

We had diner at Chevy's where they served us huge margaritas. He just turned 21! woo hoo! I promptly had to leave to go climbing where Ronnie came to climb! Hooray! Of course, those in the know, know it's not a big deal since Ronnie came climbing with us last week. ;)

Off backpacking!

 
 
Posted by Picasa

Rett Syndrome Forum

I've spent the past few days working on putting together a Rett Syndrome forum. I hope that I can nurture it to grow into the support network that I want it to be! Please come on over and take a look!

**********

Episcia cupreata

Scientific name: Episcia cupreata
Common name: Silver Leaf Flame Violet
Location: Singapore

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sleeping less.

I'm getting excited about moving. So excited that I can't sleep at night. Maybe I should take one of those melatonin I've been giving Edda.

DSC07380

**********

Adenium obesum

Scientific name: Adenium obesum
Common name: Desert Rose
Location: Singapore

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Swing Redux.

It was a good night. I enjoyed myself. I made a pact with myself that I would actaully go out there and ask some random people to dance. It was fine, tho I stayed away from the really good dancers and/or the smokin' hot ones. Ha!

Mike, Betty, Pei-Yean, & Pei-Sun showed up. Pei-Sun got jacked since they wouldn't let her stand around and watch, so she had to pay $15 to take the beginning lesson with Pei-Yean and Mike. The funny thing is that thru the whole beginning class, Mike was like "I know you and you know me" to Pei-Sun, since they had met climbing. But I guess Pei-Sun couldn't quite place Mike until after the class had ended - basically a hour later! Laff.

Pei-Yean did alright. They didn't get to lindy hopping in the beginning class, but I danced with her a little bit east coast style, and it was fun. At least I had fun. :P

While everyone was in the beginning class, I was looking on to the advanced class that did a bunch of footwork styling for the swing out. It was interesting.. I'll have to practice some of that. Choon, I think you would have enjoyed that class.

Feeling much better now, thanks.

One of the aunties at Edda's school who participated in the durian feast surprised me with a gift of mangosteens. The red part is the peel and you eat the white wedges. I like mangosteens, they are sweet and citrus-y.

DSC07375

Durian is referred to as the "king of fruits" and mangosteens are the "queen of fruits". You are suppose to eat them together because durians are heat-y and mangosteens are cooling and thus cancel each other out. Kind of like when you counter the bag of Doritos with a diet Coke. It's like you ate nothing at all!

**********

Lantana

Scientific name: Lantana
Location: Taiwan

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Firecracker plant.

Grrr... we are getting on each others nerves today. I hope tomorrow is better. Good night!

**********

Russelia equisetifolia

Scientific name: Russelia equisetifolia
Common name: Coral Plant, Firecracker Plant
Location: Singapore

Monday, March 26, 2007

Dating gone bad...

Article

No internet, birthday party, and durian!

In honor of World Shutdown Day, Jeremy and I removed our permanently bent fingertips from our laptop keyboards for a full 24 hours and went out and did some "real life" living - so no blog post yesterday. Thankfully, we used the time to relearn how to talk to each other using our mouths instead of IMing each other from across the room.

Edda had her birthday party at her school today. She fell asleep during the first part, but perked up when the cake appeared.

DSC07340

There were 6 birthdays in Edda's and Vince's class this month and thank goodness we are through with all of them. I'm am totally birthday-ed out - no more wrapping of gifts or eating of delicious cake at 10 in the morning.

I also made good on my promise to eat durian before I left Singapore. Durian is a tropical fruit that smells totally disgusting - it's not allowed in public buildings or on the subway, but many people swear it's their favorite thing in the world. I've smelled it many times, but I've never tasted it. Someone said it's like a taste of heaven in the middle of an open sewer. Some of Edda's teachers said that they looooooooovvvvvveee durian, so last night I went to the neighborhood durian stand and asked the uncle for the most expensive one. I spent $15S on a 1.5 kilo durian.

DSC07309

I brought it home and Jeremy wouldn't allow it in the house. It spent the night suspended on a bicycle handlebar on the patio. By morning, our patio (which is open air) did smell like an open sewer.

After Edda's birthday party, Jeremy and the kids high-tailed it to McDonald's and we gathered a bunch of teachers (outside near the playground) - including the principal and the vice principal to gather around and eat a lobe of this fruit.

DSC07359

So what does it taste like? Really, really awful. Terrible. It's creamy and nutty and caramel-ly and also kind of seaweed-y. All this while smelling incredibly awful, but people around me were complementing the wonderful aroma. I could really only eat one bite, and the rest I gave to all the folks around me who were in ecstasy. They kept trying to get me to eat more because they felt like they were being too greedy with their portions. No thank you! Really, you can have the rest!

DSC07361

Then you are suppose to drink saltwater from the rind to get rid of the heaty-ness. Whatever that is. You can't get too heaty around here.

DSC07363

**********

Samanea saman

Scientific name: Samanea saman
Common name: Rain Tree
Location: Singapore

Weekend.

Well. I suppose it's official that I've made my first friend off of match.com. Woo hoo! Excellent. Those of you who rock climb or salsa will possibly meet her in the near future. :)

It was a good weekend. Everyone took me out to Go-Kart racing on Saturday. Thanks Tahera for organizing. It was her first evite ever! Later on in the evening, Mike and Dung and Ray took me out to shoot my first ever 9 hole round of real golf. Gawd damn it's a lot harder than it looks. It was an all par 3 course, and my first few scores were 8,7,7,6 I think. Tho I did make this beautiful tee shot on the 9th hole. Right on the green about 8 ft from the pin. The cool thing was that the green was surrounded by water on 2 sides.

Sunday morning I rode 60 miles. It hurt.

Also dinner tonight hosted by Yi-Ling and her newly remodeled kitchen. It was fun as the topic was of course, dating, guys, eHarmony, match and various stuff. It seemed that the women did all the talking, and the guys listened. :P

Here's a pic of Arif hanging at his place Friday afternoon, post milkshake eating. Pre REI shopping.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Edda!

DSC07221

Keep on scooter-ing!

**********

Callistemon viminalis

Scientific name: Callistemon viminalis
Common name: Weeping bottlebrush
Location: Singapore

Friday, March 23, 2007

I'm not grumpy!

DSC07216

Jeremy is in the midst of giving up coffee. Please forgive him if he seems a bit short tempered.

DSC07213

I'm in the middle of reading a thriller! I used to not like these books because they freaked me out so much with all the shooting and suspense, but now I love them because (unlike real life) the bad guy always pays the price, the good guy gets the girl and all loose ends are tied up neatly - all within 300 pages. But I still can only read it while it's light outside or while someone is in the same room as me.

**********

Brugmansia

Scientific name: Brugmansia
Common name: Angel's Trumpets
Location: Taiwan

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pissed...

I read Frank's blog, cause he actaully posts some interesting material. On this one particular post, Frank links to a pretty interesting article about how a study of suicide bombers found that they were not the poorest of poor, and somewhat more educated than average, which runs a bit counter to my original thinking...

It was all good, until I read the first comment on the post. That royally pissed me off! Considering that the topic was economics and not religion. It still rankles me 4 days after the fact. You can read my response to that post from the link.

Out of respect to Frank, since it's his blog, I've refrained from adding anymore comments, and I hope people will respect that wish as well. I'll leave you with 2 links, and a response from Arif...

The Washington Post asks some panelists why people kill each other? Why do racial groups and ethnicities fight each other?

Response 1 and Response 2

Arif's response (tho I think he uses a bit too strong of wording in the first paragraph)....


I am a Muslim and I agree with and thank my good friend that people need to be more considerate of Islam and Muslims and their relationship to (or lack thereof) to terrorism. Those that do not just show how ignorant they can be. And of course it’s not entirely their fault when the media serves to perpetuate and glorify that ignorance. But it is not sufficient to just blame the media. Those that are ignorant should either educate themselves on the issues or shut up and save some face for themselves and those they embarrassingly represent.

People have made fun of this 72 virgin thing a lot and its motivation to terrorism. You have to get to heaven first before you get that and there nothing in Islamic teachings that says blowing yourself up (suicide) when you take out a bunch of other innocent lives (murder) will land you in heaven. Now the 72 virgins thing, is a contextual thing and likely figurative, but who really knows with religion... there are probably analogues of what rewards heaven brings in Christianity and Judaism, but in the end it the specifics do no matter, as long as those who believe are given some higher motivation to do what believers are supposed to do... be good righteous people according to the contexts of their belief system.

It's true that most of the terrorism incidents we hear about these days involve Muslims, but it’s important to distinguish between politics and religion. Though Islam itself does bring the two together in certain cases, the manipulations certain people will make of their actions and followers to bring a greater cause to their political agendas do not necessarily mean that a religious belief system actually condones the actions under whose banner they fly. You want other examples of terrorism? The Crusades by the terrorist "Christians" against a flourishing Islamic society. The IRA in the 80's in Northern Ireland. The Revolutionaries against the British Rule in the colonies. The Sandinistas. The Christian Right when they attack abortion clinics and murdered doctors performing them. Timothy McVeigh's bombing of an FBI building. You get the picture. I don’t mean to point my finger to Christians per se, but those who wage terrorism under that label, hence the quotes. Obviously Christ preached a message that was the opposite of what those that fight under his name would use as their justification. Terrorists are terrorists, whether they call themselves Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, whatever. The former is a means, an action, while the former is a label used for a belief system. Because a terrorist labels themselves as such does not necessarily mean they are exemplars of the belief system.

Terrorism is a poor man's war (though according to the article not literally poor), ie those that do not have the means or power support base to wage a full scale war on a sovereign but feel strongly about their ideology or political agenda. And it encompasses many different groups and many different motivations. There is no more legitimacy to a national war on the scale the US wages directly or indirectly than there is to terrorism, that a non sovereign group wages.

As to the concept Jihad that terrorist often ascribe their actions to, I think the vast majority of Muslims would and should believe that our true Jihad as Muslims is against those like Osama that threaten to bastardize and hijack our religion into a tool for their agenda. Jihad in a true Islamic sense is 1. the internal struggle within yourself to be the best practicing and believing Muslim you can be, 2. the defense of your personal body and that of all others around you from harm of an attacker, and 3. the defense of the religion and its ideology from those who seek to destroy or harm it. Nothing in there legitimizes killing innocents for your cause religious or not.

IQ

DSC07201

Edda went to a child psychologist today to measure her IQ and her adaptive behavior ability. We are just starting to poke our fingers into the mysterious marshmallow that is the bureaucracy surrounding getting special needs services in the US and one of the first requirements is to have these two standardized tests completed.

Some of the questions asked were ridiculously advanced (Does she know not to bully or taunt her classmates?) and others she used to be able to do, but can no longer do (namely some fine-motor things like turning pages in a book), but I think we were in a cheerful mood and somehow this went OK.

Jeremy has been concerned for a few days because he didn't really want to know exactly how low Edda was going to score on her IQ test. It has taken us a year since her diagnosis to really believe in our hearts that she knows much of what is going on around her and that her mental capacity is not to be underestimated.

The adaptive behavior test was mainly a series of questions for us - social/gross motor/fine motor. The IQ test started with a page with 4 pictures on it - of course, a lot of the questions he asked her were things that we hadn't taught Edda and we usually do 2 pictures at a time and her tapping can be misinterpreted because the pictures were really close together, but she looked at them and listened to the questions and tried her best. So she got the animal question (giraffe) and the shape question (triangle) without a doubt. Woo hoo!

(Jeremy did justifiably accuse me of trying to cheat on the first question, so I stepped away from her after that. I just want her to show what she knows! - Just a bit of enthusiastic encouragement gone a bit astray..)

Edda and I high-fived and laughed a bit after it was all done.

**********

Euphorbia milii

Scientific name: Euphorbia milii
Common name: Crown of Thorns
Location: Taiwan

Thanks Mom and Dad!

And for the check too. I will definitely go out and get a nice meal.

 
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The house is a mess.

With Vince's birthday and the trip to Taiwan, the house is overflowing with stuff! I can hardly move around this house without stepping on newly acquired plastic items or eating a tasty Taiwan treat.

Enough people have asked me, "So have you started packing yet?" to make me think that a little bit of organization around this house might be a good idea since the movers are coming in 3 weeks!

Jeremy might make all the airline/hotel/apartment plans, but I'm in charge of making sure we don't move broken toys, stained clothing, outdated medical records or empty tubes of toothpaste across the Pacific Ocean. Why are these items around the house to begin with? Hmmm, the big question.

I have a dream that one day we will live in a modernist house with glass and stainless steel and absolutely no clutter anywhere! Where do those people put the extra toilet paper they buy at Costco? Forget about the toilet paper, where is the remote control - you never see the remote in any of those glorious magazine spreads. But I know this dream is an unattainable fantasy because one look at my parents' house or Jeremy's parents' house will reveal our genetic destiny to live in a house with piles of old magazines. And by golly we do live in a house with piles of stuff everywhere.

Jeremy and I even had a discussion about piles of magazines. Because frequently, one will be reading a magazine in bed and leaves it on the nightstand when it's time for lights out and then sometime later the next person has to go #2 and grabs it from the nightstand and brings it to the bathroom where it gets left and, later, during the kids' bath, it gets completely soaked and then we have to let it dry and it gets all crinkly and then the cycle repeats itself until the magazine is a pulpy, smeary form of its former self and no one knows if anyone has read the whole magazine. Egads, maybe you missed that expose on Paris Hilton or maybe didn't see the recipe for peach melba or didn't see the 5 simple things to do to redo your living room!

So we've invented some sort of magazine reading system that will be installed at our next house. I think it involves post-it notes and metal shelving. But I am not optimistic, I'm sure it will devolve into a pulpy mess before we know it.

Anyhow, I did manage to throw away some old catalogs today. Hooray for me!

**********

Pachystachys lutea

Scientific name: Pachystachys lutea
Common name: Golden shrimp plant
Location: Singapore

Funnee...

Oh yeah, this is a series of text messages (or SMSes for you Singaporean folks) between me and Arif on Monday night while I was on a date...

Arif: How did the date go/going?
Me: We are having breakfast.
Arif: Huh? Does that mean u got some??? Heh heh, is she official?
Me: No i was just joking but you should have seen the look on your face :-)
Arif: Agh u bastard! Ur rit it prob was funny.

Laff.

Swing Night...

This is blogged by request for Pei-Yean.

Swing night at Swing Central in Redwood City was tonight. Only Mike and Betty showed up. That was a bit sad, but not unexpected. The crappy thing was that the class that we signed up for was more a styling/variations of the basic step kind of class, not necessarily a beginner's class. I'm not sure if it's what Betty had in mind... There was some rambling at the beginning trying to get Mike into a class that he could learn the basic step in. Good thing there was a drop in beginning class starting at 8:15, so Mike really only had to wait an hour or so for it.

Betty and I took the class we signed up for. It was okay. we really didn't do a lot of actual dancing, sadly. And for the longest time I could only remember the basic step. Ha! It's been that long. Betty and I stepped into the drop in class with Mike, just to make sure he was okay. It was fun, but I had already learned all that stuff before.

Now I suppose the meat of it... It's nice to get out on the dance floor. A lot more stuff came to as I started dancing, tho I butchered my Charleston quite a few times. I'm a hella lot more comfortable doing lindy than east coast, but they kept change the tempo of the songs. I couldn't quite figure it out. And the songs were short. I also still stand at the sidelines waaaaaaay too much. I need to be a bit bolder asking random people to dance.

I think I still like salsa better. for some reason I feel like there's a better connection with your partner salsa dancing. Swing, it seems everyone's looking at the floor or their feet or something. Salsa I feel like I can look into someone's eyes a bit more. Maybe it's just that you're always changing distance between your bodies, whereas I feel more intimate salsaing because you move together. Also, sadly, in some way, swing makes me think of Jocelyn and a lot of emotional ruckus I went thru in 2001.. It's quite possible that's coloring my perception of the dance a little bit.

Funny moment of the night. I was sitting by the dance floor. Some girl came up to me an asked me if I wanted to dance. I was sorta taken aback, and was like, "uh .. yeah". "That wasn't very enthusiastic.", she responded, semi cheekishly, semi seriously. :P She still danced with me, tho I doubt she'd dance with me again. hahhhaha.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bum eye.

Last night, Edda cried half the night and we took turns comforting her in the darkness of her room. We had no idea why she was so upset until we got up this morning and took a look at her.

DSC07187

Oh, that swollen eye! Not pink eye, thank goodness, perhaps just an allergy or infection. I still take Edda (for these straightforward diagnosis/medications) to the pediatrician who misdiagnosed her Rett status simply because he's the closest doctor. I figure if it was anything more serious, I'd just take her to the Children's Hospital. I think he hasn't dealt with many special needs kids because he seems a bit hesitant to even touch her.

But Edda did get to miss school (that tricky girl) - by 10:30 am after a dose of Zyrtec and eyedrops, she was as chipper as a beaver in a forest.

Vince did manage to wake up and remember that he was suppose to hand in some homework yesterday so he made Jeremy wait until he rushed through some illegible Chinese.

DSC07186

Hurry up!

During therapy today, Edda had a brief episode which I guess I reluctantly have to label a seizure. Edda has always had brief episodes of being spaced out - most commonly upon being woken up from a nap. Sometimes she will be sleeping soundly, then all of a sudden, her eyes will snap open and she will look around and seemingly not recognize where she is or who I am.

Now these episodes are happening during her awake moments - there was one Monday morning that Jeremy saw - a shivering while watching TV, no loss of balance and then one today during a session with Ranjit, our therapist. Now, these are really, really brief. About 10-15 seconds and then a few minutes to reorient herself to her surroundings as if nothing has ever happened.

Normally, I like to discount Jeremy's and my observations because we don't really know what a seizure looks like, but Ranjit surely does and Edda's teachers, who also are familiar with seizures, also mentioned an episode about two weeks ago. We have an appointment with a neuro next week (which we had already scheduled as a "we are leaving! bye!" kind of appointment) and I suppose we will mention this stuff to her (she's the one who was very gloomy when she realized what Edda had - basically writing her off), I don't want to medicated Edda unless the seizures become more serious since the seizure medications have their own nasty side effects.

I thought we might be lucky and not experience any seizures, but now maybe I can just think that we'll be lucky and the seizures won't get any worse. Oh, my little soybean, keep that noggin of yours as tidy as you can.

**********

Vince - professional ball winder

DSC07191

Then I stuck it into a yarn bra given to me by Amey. It's suppose to keep the ball from tangling up.

DSC07194

**********

Thunbergia grandiflora

Scientific name: Thunbergia grandiflora
Common name: Skyflower vine, Clock Vince
Location: Singapore

Monday, March 19, 2007

Another American Idol Post.

Just something my friend Brian, made up. He's really really bored in Wisconsin. Someone give him a job already! :P

Weekend from Heaven/Hell.

It was a good weekend, tho I'm really beat right now... Here's the summary.

Thursday - Shwe's birthday party. We surprised him at his house and had his favorite food - pizza!

Friday - Climbing with Julie, Wasi, Josh and Pei-Yean - Pei-Sun's sister. Pei-Yean had just flown in from Malaysia on Thursday night, went to Shwe's party, and then came climbing with us. She had been sleeping all afternoon, before climbing. And we all went out to eat after climbing at 10:30. I didn't get to sleep until 2:30am.

Saturday - woke up at 7am to go hiking with Anu and Jonathan and their new husky mix, Chutney. We went off to Montara Mountain in Pacifica. It was good to catch up with them. I hadn't seen them in awhile. 8 miles, and we were done at 2:30. Right from the parking lot, Mike and I changed and took a hard bike ride on the 1 for 1.5 hours. And afterwards we went the Asian Film Festival to watch Shanghai Kiss. I would review it, but some folks I know are going to watch the second showing in SJ this Friday. And of course, we ate afterwards. I didn't get to bed until 2am.

Sunday - woke up at 8am to go on Yet Another Hard Bike Ride - for about 2 hours, with Mike, Ky and Ray. Afterwards, we had an all day affair with the Karims, because Akil is moving to LA next week. We had brunch at Stacks, drove up to Golden Gate Park to check out the De Young Museum. I shopped with Zainab a bit in the Haight, and we went to eat a Burma Superstar. Yummy, but the wait is so long that they make you put your phone number down on the waitlist and they will call you when the table is ready! And then we went to the venerable Ghirardelli Square to have an Earthquake - 9 scoops and a ton of toppings. I didn't sleep until midnight.

and it's not going to end there...

Monday - climbing/date
Tuesday - swing dancing
Wednesday - another asian film in SF and eating afterwards
Thursday - mixers and bowling
Friday - climbing
Saturday - go kart racing, and dinner

sheesh!

Trip down memory lane!

April 22, 2001 - the day we took Ruby home!

DSCN1302

**********

Philodendron selloum

Scientific name: Philodendron selloum
Location: Singapore

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Tandem biking.

I tried a bicycle built for two and I really liked it, especially at the beach where the terrain is flat and the speed is slow.

DSC07178

**********

Pachystachys coccinea

Scientific name: Pachystachys coccinea
Common name: Cardinal's Guard
Location: Singapore

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Strength!

Jeremy might be strong

DSC07104

but I am stronger.

DSC07098

Grrrr...

**********

The last we saw Icarus, she was sitting on a ledge waiting for some free space in the apartment to be blocked.

So during our trip to Taiwan, I used our bed as the blocking surface since it was going to be unoccupied for six days.

Into a lukewarm bath

DSC06728

A quick, hectic pinning - we were leaving for our flight soon!

DSC06735

The shawl turned out even better than I expected, I wore it on the dog walk today.

DSC07088

Look at the "feathers".

DSC07090

Couldn't be more pleased... woo hoo!

**********

Celosia Argentea

Scientific name: Celosia Argentea
Common name: Phoenix Tail
Location: Singapore

Friday, March 16, 2007

We are home.

On Thursday, we went to the Taipei Children’s Museum of Transportation and Communication which was really a mini amusement park with a few displays on trains, planes and automobiles.

DSC07001

The ball room was damp and smelled like a gym.

DSC07013

After a lunch at Din Tai Fung, we went to the Su Ho Paper Museum where we all made a sheet of purple paper.

DSC07022

In the evening, I had the chance to have coffee with two of my three Taiwan cousins which now means that I've met them all!

DSC07043

This is a terrible picture but my cousins are the really tall guy and the girl with the curly hair and jean jacket. The guy in the white shirt my cousin's boyfriend and the woman holding the baby (our 2nd cousin - she's 2 and a cutie, Donald!) is his wife. The cousin who got married over Chinese New Year was the one we met during Christmas of 2002.

My cousins don't know any English so we had an hour or so of very stilted conversation, but I did it! I called and arranged our meeting in Chinese and sat there and tried to make conversation. I love how my Chinese has improved while living in Asia. I have no problem asking for directions and speaking with cab drivers and ordering meals and having fun with friends. It made traveling around Taipei a breeze.

A moment about logistics - we decided to not bring the stroller with us on this trip. Taiwan is not very stroller friendly, lots of narrow steps and uneven sidewalks and we didn't rent a car and we had a bunch of luggage so we didn't want an extra thing to carry around. Jeremy carried her a lot - at 35 pounds Jeremy is still OK with hauling her around for half a mile. It's too tough for me to do. There was a lot of difficult behaviors to deal with, especially at meal time in restaurants, but we managed to be cheerful through all the "oo-oo-ooing" from Edda and the squirming from Vincent to really enjoy this vacation.

**********

OK, Secret Pal - round 10! Here we go...

Hi Secret Pal! I can't wait to get to know each other over the next few months. I love any sort of natural fiber - both plant and animal, I've only worked with linen and wool so far and I just started my first cotton project. I do have a handy-dandy needle holder and I do have a winder - but not a swift. I'm a intermediate knitter, I've knitted a lace shawl and some pairs of socks and a top-down raglan sweater, but I haven't yet really seamed a garment yet. Finishing is definitely intimidating to me. I don't spin, but I do have a spindle and some natural roving that my parents got me for Xmas that I haven't used yet. I'd like to learn entrelac and I'm always looking for patterns for projects! I love IK, but I don't have a subscription yet! I look forward to your knitting surprises!

**********

Stachytarpheta indica

Scientific name: Stachytarpheta indica
Common name: Snakeweed
Location: Singapore

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Made it to Taipei.

Our last morning in Hsinchu, we climbed the local mountain (The Hills of the Eighteen Peaks).

DSC06834

Then we took the new high speed bullet train to Taipei - about 35 minutes traveling time.

DSC06851

We are staying at the Grand Hotel in Taipei and we got upgraded to a suite because they were fully booked. Here's the night time view from our balcony.

DSC06892

Today we went to the National Palace Museum which just reopened with new renovations. It looks very modern with interactive explanations and snazzy new displays, lots of bronzes and I did get to see the famous jade cabbage. As expected, we went through it with lightening speed - mainly Vince always complaining about being tired. We did spend more time in the Museum gardens where we fed the huge fish.

DSC06920

Then off to the Tian Mu neighborhood for lunch where Vince finally ate something! Hooray for mini pork dumplings. That boy has been living off glasses of milk and white rice for days now.

DSC06945

Then we walked to a Children's Art Museum where Vince got an hour-long personal museum tour. Edda liked the hall of mirrors.

DSC06966

Chilled out at the hotel for a few hours. Then we rode a ferris wheel at a nearby mall.

DSC06972