Shop-'til-you-drop
selected photos from the tour of the sin city Taipei

Helen have just finished her senior high school entrance exam, and she's got in the best class at the best high school in Chiayi. Well, although all that seems too improbable for a hopeless student like me to comprehend, I too, celebrate her academic success and think it would be a good opportunity to go up north to the big city and relax for a few days -- with her mum's encouragement. After this, there would be another three years of hard-out studying to get in the best university in Taiwan.

She calls me "aunty-hui" (she's actually my cousin 2nd removed), even though i'm only 9 years older (and most people think we are classmates which really irritates me). All those little cousins have to respect me greatly and call me aunty all the time, but i'm really not like a aunty at all. Their parents, my cousins, have always treated me like a kid -- they buy me things, pay for meals, take me to places (because I don't ride a scooter), and give me money!?!? Too kind, way too kind! Because I don't have a job now; because I'm not a doctor like my brother, I should not have any excess saving from my salary; because I'm still on the move, never sure what's next... Well, I'd rather think that they love me, as simple as that.

Hmm, Taiwan is a place where everything is based on the residences' convenience, the downside of which is that being a foreigner here basically means you are totally screwed! There're hardly any tourist leafouts on where to go or how to get there, the "survivor's kit" on "how to get out of the airport" is pretty lame too. People keep cutting into line buying tickets, no one helps you with over sized luggage... Hmmm... because I look taiwanese, I AM taiwanese, so they don't care. My vodafone sim card gets no signal here, and it's impossible to get a pre-paid taiwanese sim card -- you want a number, you sign a one-year contract!! 凸>"<凸 Bus drivers in Taipei are the worst of all! No one explains anything, and they don't have all information at the bus stop. One can never be sure whether you pay while you are getting on, or getting off, and how much you should pay. And when you ask the driver, he says nothing and hurries you to move to the back of the bus.

There are lots of hot girls in Taipei, because this time we only really go to hip & young places -- no cultural stuff, just shops, and endless department stores. After 7pm, you see more and more young foxy girls walking beside aged businessmen who are willing to pay for pleasure. They are so young, so perverted, so lost.. but they seem happy. My heels get higher and higher, the paddings in my bra get thicker and thicker, and the shops I go to get more and more expensive -- basically the same sort of shops I see in France without the vareities and good service. Almost all shop assistants call me a little girl, which I think is quite offensive, also when I take out my credit card and hearing their whispering "Is your daddy paying for this?" They always try to get personal and ask you all sorts of fucked up questions "Are you still at school? Which school do you go to?" "Do you have a job? what sort of job do you do? How much do you earn?" Like, can I not just pay and go?

People either eat out or buy take-away's, no one cares to cook at home anymore. When someone asks you "Can you make fried rice?" it simply means heating up pre-cooked frozen fried rice from the supermarket. And it's not easy to find fresh ingredients, all you see are processed products. I'm currently having the worst constipation of my life! 2 typhoones in one week, vegetables are hard to find.

反正我這個人抱怨就是很多, 怎麼樣啊!? 去年回來應該是因為之前有太長時間沒返台, 加上在鳥西蘭待這麼久, 相較之下台灣真是太讚了, 而現在從歐洲的角度來看, 我覺得台灣的一切虛偽得令我做噁, 半調子... 台灣人很有人情味, 很友善是一回是, 但整個社會和民俗風情的排外異己也可見一斑. 不想寫ㄌ....