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Taipei Trip Part 3 – Taipei 101, Mao Kong, & Beitou

Saturday October 24th, 2015 at 4:11 am

Taipei 101

Taipei 101, named so for its 101 floors, is probably one of the most iconic things about Taipei. Built in 2004, this building was the tallest until it was surpassed by the Burj Kalifa in Dubai in 2010. The tower is specially designed to withstand both typhoons and earthquakes. Inside, visitors can find a wide assortment of restaurants, shops, and clubs. Taipei 101 also has the world’s fastest elevator. On New Years Eve, fireworks are launched from the tower, making it one of the best places to be for New Year’s Eve.

Inside Taipei 101, you can find one of the world’s best dim sum restaurants, Din Tai Fung. 2 restaurants in Hong Kong have also been awarded one Michelin Star. Sadly, I was too hungry and impatient to eat to remember to take any photos.

You can watch the cooks as they prepare food such as the famous xiao long bao. Each cook works with crazy precision and speed…cutting just the exact amount of dough, scooping the exact amount of meat, and making the same exact folds in each one…all without measuring.

Found my first one in Shinjuku when I visited Japan a few years back, it was nice seeing one in Taipei as well!

There are many pieces inside the tower made from various precious gem stone, coral, and other materials costing up to millions of NT dollars.

Hazy day but the view from up top is amazing.

National Palace Museum

Next up was the National Palace Museum. Unfortunately, they don’t allow any pictures inside. This museum has one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks covering over 10,000 years of Chinese history.

The original museum in Beijing, which was set up in 1925 after Emperor Puyi’s expulsion, was split into 2 as a result of the Chinese Civil War (1927-1950). In 1935, Chiang Kai-Shek ordered the museum to move its most valuable pieces out of the city to prevent it from falling in to the hands of the Japanese. The items were moved around China a few times as Japan advanced further and further into China. After the war, Chiang Kai-Shek decided to move the artifacts to Taiwan as fighting between the Communists and the Nationalists worsened. Before all of the crates were moved, the Communists seized control of the National Museum so the remaining items could not be moved. Throughout the years, the People’s Republic of China has accused Taiwan of stealing the artifacts. Taiwan in return, defends its act as a necessary action to protect the price pieces from destruction…especially that of during the Cultural Revolution. Nowadays, there isn’t as much tension and Beijing has also agreed to lend artifacts to Taiwan for exhibitions.

I’ve always been interested in Chinese history so walking through this museum was an amazing experience for me. We went on a weekend so it was rather packed. The museum has 4 floors, however, not all of the exhibition halls are open at a given time to prevent wear. It was also freezing cold inside and I didn’t bring a thick enough jacket. Inside temperature is set low to help preserve the antiques and artifacts. I do have to say though, the museum has so many artifacts that after a while it does get a bit repetitive and tiring. However, I highly recommend this museum for anyone that’s interested in Chinese history, or even just history.

Mao Kong

One of my favorite places in Taipei was Mao Kong (meaning “cat sky”). Besides the fact that I love cats, this place is great for sightseeing, walking, and getting out of the city a little bit. The area used to be the biggest tea growing area of Taipei. Nowadays, its just a popular place for tea houses and enjoying a nice view of the city.

To get to the top of the mountain, visitors can ride a gondola. It’s only a few stops to the top and very affordable. There are two types of gondola’s you can take, the regular one and one with a clear floor called the “Eyes of Maokong Gondola”. The price to ride in one the special gondolas is the same price as the regular. The only catch is that there is a separate line and the waiting time is longer than that of the regular gondolas.

View from the Gondola

Looking through the clear glass. The color of the glass really makes the trees and bushes pop. Of course the higher you go, the better the view.

Of course, you can’t have a place called Cat Sky and not have cats everywhere.

Delicious parfait and fruit tea

I just love the name of this tea shop. It’s set up like a food truck and customers can sit, drink tea, and enjoy an amazing view.

View of a temple, Taipei 101, and the city from the top…it’s even more beautiful at night.

Beitou

So, this is the reason why planning out trips ahead of time is important. I originally planned to visit Beitou on Monday since the weather forecasted rain without realizing (or remembering…) that pretty much everything in Beitou is closed on Monday. I still went to go check out the city but there wasn’t much to do. I was pretty disappointed since there were a few things here I really wanted to see. Next time for sure….

Beitou is located in north Taipei and is famous for its hot springs. During Japanese occupation, many hot spring facilities and baths were set up around the city.

The Beitou Hot Spring museum was one place I really wanted to visit. Built in 1913 by the Japanese, this bath house was at one time the largest bath house in East Asia. After 1945, the bath house was used for several different purposes until eventually re-opening as a museum. Visitors can take a tour of the large bath house, still retaining the look and feel from the early 1900s.

Entrance to the Hot Spring museum

Beitou also has rivers running through it, making it a great place for a walk. Because the area is so rich in sulfur, you can smell it everywhere.

I really enjoyed the short trip to Taipei. It’s a beautiful country with lots to see and do and not to mention the food is amazing. I will definitely be back to visit in the future :)

Posted Under: travel
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Taipei Trip Part 2 – Jiufen (Real Life Spirited Away Town)

Sunday October 11th, 2015 at 7:00 am

This was one place that I HAD to visit. Jiufen is the town that inspired the main setting of Spirited Away, my favorite Miyazaki film. Walking through the streets, it’s easy to see where he got inspiration from, but first…let’s start with a little bit of history.

The name Jiufen is kind of peculiar and interesting. It means “nine portions”. During the Qing Dynasty, the isolated village housed nine families. Every time shipments arrived, the village would need to request nine portions, hence the name. Before Miyazaki’s film, the town gained popularity after the discovery of gold. The gold rush sped up the development of the small town. Soon, there were houses and businesses everywhere. The gold rush reached its peak during the Japanese colonization but declined after WWII and eventually shut down in 1971. For a while, the city was forgotten until a movie released in 1989 brought attention to town and in 2001, with the release of Spirited Away. Many buildings in Jiufen remain unchanged and still reflect the Japanese influence on architecture and culture.

Nowadays, the streets Jiufen are lined with shops, tea houses, cafes, food vendors, and amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. The town attracts both locals and tourists daily and can get really packed on the weekends. If you plan on visiting, I strongly suggest going on a weekday.

GETTING THERE

Getting to Jiufen is pretty easy. You can get there a few ways, but I took the MRT to Zhongxiao Fuxing Station (Exit 1) and boarded bus #1062. The bus takes about 1 hour and costs around NT$90 (less than $3 USD). Along the way, you can get some pretty nice views of the city as well as the countryside. Be careful of the taxi drivers around the area. Since the town is a huge tourist attraction, there are many drivers hanging around Zhongxiao Fuxing Station. They’ll try to charge around NT$400-500 (about $12-$15 USD) and tell you that the bus won’t take you to the entrance but they will. Unless you want a private ride, there’s no need. The bus drops you right at the entrance to Jiufen for a fraction of the price. I also recommend getting there early. When we got back to Taipei around 4 PM, there was a HUGE line waiting for the bus.

Let’s take a look at some of the similarities.

GOLD/MINING

Gold plays a pretty big part in the movie. Remember how much havoc the river God and No Face caused with the “gold rush”? Jiufen’s gold rush is long over but signs that it was once a popular mining town still run throughout the place.

DRAGONS

You won’t find dragons everywhere in Jiufen but there’s a temple right outside the bus area with dragons all over the roof. With a little bit of imagination, you can see the resemblance to Haku from the movie.

FOOD

You can’t think about Spirited Away and not think about food. Food had a major role in the movie. Chihiro’s parents were turned into pigs from eating the spirit’s food. Every night the bath house was bustling with cooks and workers bringing dishes and dishes of food to guests. No Face enjoyed quite a feast himself. One great thing about Jiufen is that there is food everywhere! From sausages, to chicken, to pork, to candy, to drinks, to soup, to noodles, to pork buns, to sweets, and more.

THE OCEAN

Jiufen has some really amazing and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. There are no train tracks underneath the waters here but you can still definitely appreciate and enjoy the view from the top. For people that love hiking, there’s a mountain nearby where you can hike to the top for even more breathtaking views.

TUNNELS, STAIRS, AND RED LANTERNS

One really cool thing about Jiufen is the narrow alleyways with stairs and small tunnels that run through the town. The tunnels won’t take you to a bathhouse (or anywhere really) but they’re really neat to check out.

AND MORE

As you walk through the streets of Jiufen, it’s easy to see where Miyazaki drew his inspiration from for his movie for both setting and characters. There’s definitely more than enough share of quirky, interesting art and items. In addition, Jiufen is a great way to get a feel for a more traditional Taiwan that you might not find in the city.

Jiufen has a lot to offer and there’s definitely more than enough to do there for a day trip. I would love to go back one day and check out more of the town. Since, we wanted to head back to Taipei for some more sightseeing and the fact that it was just too crowded when we went, we headed back after a few hours. However, it was definitely a dream come true to visit Jiufen!

Posted Under: travel
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Taiwan Trip Part 1 – Shilin Night Market & Raohe St. Night Market

Friday October 9th, 2015 at 3:32 am

There’s so much cleanup/updates I need to do to the blog that I don’t even know where to start. For some reason, Tumblr changed the URL on all of my images so now I’m slowly having to move everything over to Google Photos and fix the images, not the biggest deal in the world but some of the posts (for example: Japan trip) are loaded with photos. Slow and steady wins the race I suppose.

I’m so backlogged on everything as well. This has kind of been a rocky year for me, but even so, it has just flown by. At the same time, I’ve done a lot yet not as much as I would have liked to. I suppose I need to start somewhere so I’ll just backtrack the year starting with my trip to Taiwan during Silver Week :)

The main reason why I went to Taiwan was for the food. Japanese food is great and all but I get a bit tired of eating the same things. Tokyo has a great mix of (expensive) international foods but I really miss authentic Chinese food :(

I’ll start with the night markets as they are a big part of Taiwanese culture. I went to Shilin night market almost every night! It’s a little bit touristy but it’s easy to see why. Shilin is Taipei’s largest and most well known night market. Simply hop on the MRT to Jiantan Station and it’s only a short walk away. Either follow the crowd or follow your nose as you can easily smell the food from the station! Not only is Shilin Night market filled with some of the most popular Taiwanese foods such as stinky tofu, deep fried chicken breasts, spring onion pancakes with pork, grilled Taiwanese sausage, lamb skewers, etc…it’s also filled with tons of clothing, shoes, and accessories shops. Some of the food vendors start setting up as early as 4 PM, but the majority open around 5-7 PM. It’s a good idea to get there early to avoid the crowd but you’ll have to hang around a bit to sample a little bit of everything.

4-5 PM is when most of the food vendors start setting up and getting ready for business. If you want to avoid big crowds or long lines, I recommend checking out the night market around 5-6 PM.

This was one of my favorites! It’s a deep fried potato with smoked chicken and smothered in cheddar cheese. You can choose from many other toppings as well. I can’t describe how delicious this was. Someone please bring good cheese to Japan :(

One of the most popular street foods in Taiwan, the deep fried chicken breast.

I love temples and much like Japan, you can find temples in various places all around Taipei, including inside the night market.

Shops line the streets of the night market.

Giant fried squid

Just a few more things you can find around the street market: fried seafood, giant sausages, spring onion rolls with pork, and some kind of stir fried chicken.

You can also fish for your own shrimp and the shop owner will grill it right there. It looked quite fun and difficult but I don’t think I have the heart to catch my own food and eat it x_x

Games also line the streets. For a small fee, try your luck and win one of the many cute prizes. Most of the games involve throwing darts at balloons, get a certain number and you can snag a prize. My favorite was the mahjong bingo, but I had no luck :(

This was the absolute cutest! This dad was driving his daughter around in this remote controlled car.

Next up is Raohe St. night market. Located in the Songshan district, Raohe Street night market is one of the oldest night markets in this area. It’s not super popular with tourists as it is a bit out of the way compared to other night markets. It’s much smaller than Shilin night market but definitely worth checking out as there are quite a few street vendors and shops here and you can also find a few dishes that aren’t available in Shilin.

Spring onion pancakes

My favorite at Raohe Street, lemon grilled pork? Not sure what it’s called but it was so delicious.

One of my favorite things about Taiwan is that there are dogs everywhere. People just bring them to work!

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Akihabara Final Fantasy XIV Cafe Eorzea

Tuesday January 20th, 2015 at 1:30 pm

This is a long overdue post, so long that I’ve visted the cafe twice since moving to Japan. All I have to say is, this cafe is absolutely amazing and totally worth going to over and over again!

Official Website (JP)

The Final Fantasy Cafe in Akihabara opened on July 31, 2014 on the second floor of the Pasela Resorts building. It’s only a few minutes away from Akihabara station, but can be a little tricky to find. The cafe is modeled after the Carline Canopy from FFXIV, set in Eorzea. It’s open only 4 times a day, 2-3 hours at a time. Time slots are as follows:

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Reservations are recommended but not required. The first time I went, the cafe was almost empty..granted it was Tuesday afternoon. The second time, my friends and I planned on going on a public holiday but the cafe was fully booked days in advance. We made reservations for a different day that week for 7 PM and the cafe was full this time around. If you go on weekdays during the morning or early afternoon, chances are you will be able to walk in and sit down but making a reservation is worth the extra time and fee. Reservations will run you ¥1000 but it includes a free drink. Since drinks cost around ¥600 – ¥700, you’re only paying a few extra dollars to guarantee a seat. You also get to choose one class coaster of your choice. Reservations can be made online and you can pick up the tickets from your local convenience store.

Much like any themed cafe in Japan, food and drinks aren’t cheap. However, what I really like about this cafe (minus the fact that it’s Final Fantasy) is that the food/drinks are actually good! Generally, cafes aren’t known for the menu. You’re more or less paying for the theme and look of the food/place. Sorry Gundam Cafe, you just can’t compete as cool as you are.

The decor features weapons, armor, moogles, various FFXIV themed pictures, and FFXIV music. I don’t have a picture of it (for some reason) but on the other side of the moogles are computers set up so you can play FFXIV in the cafe! I have yet to see someone do it though.

Since I went twice, I have 2 class coasters…monk (my character class) and dragoon.

The menu is based off of various Final Fantasy themed characters, classes, items, attacks, etc. If you cannot read Japanese, you can ask the staff for an English menu. Prices are, of course, in gil. With each order (minus the free drink), you get a random Final Fantasy themed coaster to collect.

The toast with orange spread is probably my favorite item on the menu! It’s simple but so delicious.

I ended up getting my burger without the sauce (which, if I remember correctly, is a Tabasco and ketchup mixture).

And the cutest item of all, the moogle dessert…which was kind of small.

You also get a point/stamp card when you leave featuring one of the three Grand Companies, you can pick the GC. I chose the Immortal Flames since that’s my GC. With each menu item you purchase, you can get one stamp. Collect 17 stamps and you can choose a pin (I believe), collect 50 stamps and you can choose one of the larger class coaster display…thing.

For any Final Fantasy or gaming fan, this cafe is a must visit!

Posted Under: Gaming: Video Games, Japan
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Pokémon Cafe Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire

Tuesday January 13th, 2015 at 2:05 pm

I finally got a chance to visit the new Pokemon Cafe on Monday! This cafe, named the Pokémon Cafe Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, opened in Shibuya on January 9 in the PARCO Part 1 building in Shibuya. The cafe is only open until the end of February and offers a variety of Pokemon (mostly Pikachu) themed foods, desserts, and drinks.

Getting into the cafe was a little insane. After arriving around noon, we got a ticket number, and was told to come back 7-8 hours later @_@ The cafe is quite small, a lot smaller than the Pokemon Cafe in Roppongi last summer. Everyone is limited to only 1 hour in the cafe. We ended up doing a little browsing downstairs in the same buildling, headed to Akihabara for a while, came back around 7:30, and were finally seated at 9 PM. Part of the reason is it was a holiday, so there were more people than usual.


Banner advertisement outside PARCO.

Menu cover.




Food and dessert menu.

Drink menu.

Having fun with Pikachu :3

Cute Pokemon placemats.




Mixed fruit drink with coaster.

Pikachu mango ice, the drink is ginger ale with pop rocks.




Pikachu parfait with cotton candy.

Pikachu pancakes with maple butter (I believe)



Pikachu curry rice.

The food wasn’t bad, but it’s the cuteness and theme that you’re essentially paying for. It’s unfortunate the Pokemon cafes are only open for a short time but I hope there’s many more to come in the future!

Posted Under: Japan, Pokemon
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No luck at all

Thursday January 8th, 2015 at 2:44 pm

I really can’t believe the string of bad luck I’m having today. At this point I don’t know whether I should be more irritated or just laugh. 2015 doesn’t seem to be my year.

On top of still having to deal with my crazy neighbor (he is still sending a letter everyday with the same exact sentence), my heater doesn’t work anymore. The remote seems to work fine, but the unit itself won’t turn on. It’s FREEZING in my room right now. I’m currently hiding in my bed, under a blanket with a not so effective heating blanket. The lower half of my body is getting warmer, but I can’t really feel my hands anymore. It doesn’t help with my irritation.

Dinner tonight was also an epic fail. I wanted to have salad, now that I finally have ranch dressing. However, while prepping the salad, I found a slug in the lettuce. WTF Japan? It’s not like vegetables here are cheap to begin with. That’s ¥350 out the door. My next go to was a nutella sandwich now that I finally have nutella as well. Stupid me put the nutella in the refrigerator the other day along with the random dressing as I was leaving for work…so now I have a jar of a bar of chocolate basically. The jar even says on the back “Do not refrigerate or microwave”. With my room as cold as it is, I doubt it’ll go back to a spreadable consistency anytime soon.

The rest is mostly little things, but when you’re irritated, they don’t feel so little. One of my eggs randomly decided it wanted to crack for no reason. Good thing I was boiling it so I was able to still use it. The first time I wrote this entry, it decided to delete itself so this is round 2.

At this point, if I can just get the heater issue resolved tomorrow, I will be content. I don’t know what I’m going to do about the guy downstairs. It’s getting creepy. I’m really irritated at how Leopalace is handling the situation, or rather…not handling it. Regardless of whether or not they do something in the end, I’m moving in July for sure. I suppose the apartments are nice and it was more or less fairly easy to move in, but I’m paying too much rent for the area I’m living in and I’ve dealt with more problems with them in the past 6 months than any apartment complex I’ve lived in.

Still, I’m trying to look on the bright side and appreciate everything good that happens as well. Shit happens, you just have to tell it to F off.

Posted Under: Daily Life
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Holy Shit 2015

Tuesday January 6th, 2015 at 11:26 am

One of these days, I’ll keep up the habit of blogging regularly ^^;

So much has happened in the past 7 months, I don’t even know where to start but I’ll leave backtracking for another day. I’ve had plenty of ups and downs since moving to Japan in July but overall it’s been an amazing adventure and learning experience.

However…as of Saturday, I really think my downstairs neighbor is CRAZY!! I came back from my Kyoto trip on Saturday and received a letter in my door. I thought maybe it was a noise complaint (the letter didn’t specify) and disregarded it. My friend was over for a couple of weeks so I thought maybe we were too loud at times, although we never stayed up too late. He left on Dec. 30th and noise shouldn’t be a problem anymore.

On Sunday, I was gone from 8:00 am to 11:30 pm. When I came back, I had two letters with the exact same thing. It says something along the lines of that I’m being annoying. Even if it was a noise complaint, the only noise I would have made was a short Skype call Saturday night but I wasn’t loud. I called the Leopalace office on Monday because I was getting a bit worried and they told me they would contact the person downstairs and get back to me but they haven’t yet. My guess is maybe they haven’t been able to get in touch with the person.

Yesterday (Monday), I was also gone all day and spent the night at a friend’s house. When I came home today around 6 PM, I had another TWO letters WITH THE EXACT SAME MESSAGE. I firmly believe the person below is crazy. It’s one thing to write 5 notes, but another to write 5 notes with the same sentence repeatedly. I have not been home enough for the past week to be an annoyance to anyone. I won’t get a chance to call the office again until tomorrow.

Not exactly the way I wanted to start 2015…

But new year, new beginnings…although I’m as bad as they come when it comes to keeping resolutions. However, I think making them is better than not making them so here are my 2015 resolutions and goals.

2015 Resolutions/Goals

  • Blog regularly. It’s not that hard and every inch of me wants to, I just get distracted easily.
  • Study Japanese everyday, even if it’s a little. Again, not hard…I’m just lazy D; I even have the textbook on my phone so there’s no excuse.
  • Exercise!
  • Travel! I want to make 2015 the year of travelling, at least as much as my wallet and job will allow. So far I already have Korea and Australia planned but I want to travel around Japan a bit more too and maybe Taiwan or somewhere else at the end of the year.
  • Buy a new laptop that’s actually decent. I probably could have already done this if I stop wasting so much money playing UFO catchers every month :/
  • Cook more at home. I need to fund my UFO addiction somehow.
  • Buy a new 3DS.
  • Stretching it on this one but maybe start vlogging? Although I have no idea what I would vlog about and I’m not that good in front of a camera but I think it would be fun.
  • And lastly…just enjoy life more, I don’t think I do it enough.
  • .

    It’s going to be a busy year I think but I’m looking forward to it :)

    Posted Under: Daily Life
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    Commemorating Tiananmen Square Massacre 25th Anniversary

    Wednesday June 4th, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    This is late I know but I didn’t get home until 3 am last night :(

    I’m not one to get into politics and I still won’t but this one hits a little bit closer to home…

    Yesterday (by China’s date) marked the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

    My family and I were still living in Beijing at the time. My dad was a student then so I’m not surprised he was there at one point or another. As far as I know, I was not actually in the square but outside with my mom. I don’t have much more information than that as my parents don’t talk about their history much but I doubt my dad was there for too long. I’m sure he had made plans already to come to the US by then but I wouldn’t be surprised if this even furthered pushed him to do so. While I wish this never happened, the part of me that takes pride in being Chinese is glad to say I was apart of its history. I think I had a little flag to waive too.


    (source)

    This iconic image is of an unknown man standing in front of tanks trying to block their exit on the morning of June 5.

    More photos taken by journalists and photographers back in 1989 can be found here.

    In 1989, back when China was still going through much political struggle, students assembled in Tiananmen Square on April 15 in Beijing China to mourn the death of former Chinese Communist Party leader and liberal reformer Hu Yaobang. This quickly led to a wave of pro-democracy demonstrations with thousands of students occupying the square. The peaceful protests eventually led to a hunger strike among the students in mid-May. Students were hoping to use the hunger strike as a bargaining chip, knowing that the welcome ceremony of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev would be held in the square. As a result, the hunger strike gained sympathy for the students among the people of China and also inspired events at other universities across the country. At the height of the protests, as many as one million people occupied the square.

    Political leaders at the time were rushed to find a way to stop the students, fearing civil war and another cultural revolution. Their attempts in making the students leave the square so far had no results. On May 20, Prime Minister Li Peng declared martial law and hundreds of thousands of troops were moved into the capital. Tens of thousands of protesters surrounded military vehicles, preventing them from either entering or leaving the city. Protesters even tried talking with the soldiers in hopes they would join their cause. At a standstill, the military was forced to withdraw.

    On June 2, leaders met again to decide what to do. They agreed that the square must be cleared as peacefully as possible but if the students did not cooperate, force would be used. Warnings were given to the protestors but as the situation did not change and thousands of people still attempting to block the military from entering, violence soon started. The government later tried to justify the violence of the military by saying it was in defense.

    The night of June 3 to the morning of June 4 was a tragedy. Troops started to open fire on protestors with machine guns and assault rifles. Tanks were also moved in to clear the square. Residents responded by attacking soldiers with sticks, rocks, molotov cocktails, and setting fire to military vehicles. Unfortunately, due to lack of information, the exact number of casualties is unknown but it’s estimated it could be as high a thousand with thousands more injured. Over a thousand protesters were also arrested following the incident.

    The saddest part of this tragedy is that the event has been wiped off of history in China. The government denies it ever happened and even today, many people aren’t aware of what happened on June 4, 1989. Any talks or activities related to June 4 is banned in China. The event is also one reason why so many social media outlets are blocked in China. The government will do anything to hide the truth from its people, even going as far as searching the internet for blog/internet articles related to the event and either removing or blocking them.


    (source)

    Hong Kong is the only place in China where the tragedy is commemorated. Thousands gather at Victoria Park every year to participate in a candlelight vigil. This year marked a record of over 180,000 attendees.

    China has come a long way since 1989 but it still has a much longer way to go. Those in power will do anything to keep it and knowledge is a form of power. I have no idea where China will be in the next 25 years but I hope the message that people sent through their actions and the sacrifice they made on June 4 live through the hearts of the people today.

    Posted Under: China
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    June Goals & May Happiness

    Sunday June 1st, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    The month of May flew by so fast! I can only imagine how fast June is going to go by especially since I have a one week vacation coming up. I was thinking earlier this week about how time really goes by faster when you’re older. I used to really like watching the trees transition through seasons but as I was driving to my parent’s house one day, I realized I hardly noticed spring this year. It’s almost as if winter flew right into summer. I think as we get older, we get so consumed in our every day lives that we don’t pay attention to anything else around us anymore. It’s kind of sad to think about.

    May Happiness

  • Saw The Amazing Spider Man 2, Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Maleficent in theaters.
  • Got back to playing FFX-2 and realized how much I missed the game.
  • Obtained my work visa for Japan!
  • Put down a deposit for a guesthouse in Japan so now I’m not homeless.
  • Booked my one way plane ticket for Japan!
  • Booked a one week Alaskan cruise vacation.
  • Signed up for Japanese classes (although I can only go for the month of June).
  • Sold quite a bit of stuff on eBay and Craigslist.
  • June Goals

  • Keep selling! This is the last month I will have to do this. Anything unsold will have to be thrown away or donated. I don’t want to store too much at my parent’s house. It’ll just mean more crap they have to deal with later. I’ve been doing good but there’s still so much! I started early (in my opinion) but I didn’t account for exactly how much stuff I really had that I either don’t need or can’t bring with me. It sucks having to sell things at greatly reduced prices but I’m glad things are selling.
  • Make time to hang out with friends as much as possible. I’ll be gone for a week and with work, Japanese lessons, and everything else I have to do…I’m still hoping to spend time with my friends cause God knows when I’ll see them again.
  • Eat at all the restaurants I’ll miss. This kind of makes the whole eating out less to save money thing hard but I know I’m going to miss eating so many things when I move. You can’t have everything in life :(
  • Practice Japanese. This didn’t happen to well last month, unfortunately. I’ll be taking a formal Japanese class once a week and working with a friend once a week as well.
  • Complete a 30 day ab workout routine! I saw one of these on the internet a few weeks ago so I’ll have to go back and find it but someone made a 30 day ab workout routine similar to how the squat challenge works. I’m a little bit bad about starting something but not the same about completing once I start so I’ll have to figure out some way to condition myself to do this. I have no idea why it’s so hard for me to get into a workout routine!
  • Clean my apartment. This way my roommate has less to worry about later if I take care of everything that’s mine.

  • Pack! Pack! Pack! Cause this is really happening.
  • Posted Under: Goals
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    Maleficent Review

    Sunday June 1st, 2014 at 12:08 am

    WARNING: Spoilers under the cut.

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    Posted Under: Movies, Reviews
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