Fifty Year Almond Tea 50年杏仁茶 – 雄好呷 #079 (khh)

An unassuming storefront in an unhappening alley… until the sun starts to set and night owls flock over.

Taiwanese people tend to eat dinner rather early, around 18h30 (which is insanely early by French standards where dinner service starts only around 19h30-20h), which explains that a few hours later, they start feeling peckish and have a late-night snack 宵夜(or ) ㄒ|ㄠ |ㄝˋ. For some, it’s a daily evening ritual, one that I’ve embraced as well. :D Continue reading Fifty Year Almond Tea 50年杏仁茶 – 雄好呷 #079 (khh)

On a Kawaii note: Miniature Space

Over the past week, a few cooking videos shot in a miniature kitchen have been popping up on my fb timeline. This cute project, Miniature Space, has only a YouTube channel to its name, but the videos have been going quite viral.

For the Miyazaki’s fans out there, this gives us a cool glimpse at what it must feel like to cook as a miniature person, like Arriety. ;)

Here’s my favorite video where the author is cooking Japanese curry. Just listen to the sound of the sizzling ingredients and the bubbling pot, isn’t this appetizing?!

Books From Taiwan

Through the twitter grapevine, I got wind of Books From Taiwan, a new initiative funded by the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture to introduce fiction and non-fiction to foreign publishers and readers alike. (h/t: Lettres de Taïwan)

In the same vein as Korea, Taiwan is investing money and efforts on the Culture factor to boost its soft power on the international stage. Through Books From Taiwan, it seems that the Ministry of Culture is hoping to attract foreign publishing houses to translate and market Taiwanese literature. To that end, a grant program has even been put in place.

A short biography of the authors and samples of English translation of their works is available on the minimalist but user-friendly website, and most of all, I’m very much delighted that the name of the authors and titles of the books are indicated in both English and Chinese. Hallelujah! Amen! 阿彌陀佛! It’s a tiny detail, but if you’ve ever tried to find the original Chinese name of a book/author from its English translation, then you’ll understand my grief relief.

<rant>Last frustrating case in point: The Island Against the Wind by Lin Wen-yi. Just try figuring out the original Chinese name of the title and author. 😭 Since Taiwan Today so kindly left an email of contact at the end of the article, I did reach out to them, but in vain…</rant>

<rave>And this is why I give much kudos and 100 kg of brownie points to Lettres de Taïwan, a French website dedicated to introducing translated works of Taiwanese Literature, for now including these oh so crucial pieces of information.</rave>

At any rate, my to-read list is already long enough to keep me busy in this life and the next few ones, but it’s exciting to now have this approachable venue in English to delve into Taiwanese literature.

While we are on the subject, the Taipei International Book Exhibition is starting today, and running until February 16th. Be there or be square (like me :'( ).

[閱讀] Chinese quiproquo

The blackboard menu at Café 自然醒.
Did you know that Taiwan also grows its own coffee beans? Ironically, only a few coffee shops sell a cup of Taiwanese Joe. Due to the cost of labor, its price is significantly higher than imported beans.

Quiproquo is a French word (of Latin origin) for “misunderstanding”, in theatrical plays, it’s a way to create a twist of event, often to obtain a humorous outcome or tragicomedy. Too bad it’s not part of the English lexicon, but that shan’t prevent me from pretending that it does, hehe. :P

Anyway! I’m feeling studious today, so let me share a cute little story in Chinese. It was forwarded by a friend who loves spamming me with all kinds of random stories, pictures and videos (Tibetan sky burial? Not again please.), so I usually ignore most of it, until that time where I actually got quizzed on the “spam of the day”. Continue reading [閱讀] Chinese quiproquo

January 2015 Mashup

A park near the  Museum of Fine Arts 美術館, in Kaohsiung.
A park near the Museum of Fine Arts 美術館, in Kaohsiung.
Is this urban art or a playground (if so, for what kind of game?!)?

I used to carry around a set of colored pencils, advertised as unbreakable, but eventually came to terms with my lack of drawing skills, and gifted them on to a more artistically skilled friend. Thinking about it now revives the wish that I should have held on to them, sigh, I can be so sentimental with objects… maybe I ought to get my hands on and read the much raved The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book to suppress any lingering temptations of hoarding stuff.

This feeling of colorful nostalgia (or that I wanted to claim back my gift?) made me halt to take this snapshot. And amidst the tragical Charlie Hebdo episode, those pencils appeared like a tribute to them and other martyrs victim of exercising their rights of freedom of speech to the fullest. Continue reading January 2015 Mashup