Wednesday, February 18, 2009


The excursion of the winter school was to go to the National Center for Traditional Arts (NCFTA). The first photo was taken of a group of KungFu students performing their 'art'.
This one is a temple for students to pray before their exams
Amongst the many arts they display is this glass art. Since it is the year of the Ox, seems like Ox is everywhere!
Also charcoal figures with gold accents. Very nice! I've never seen this thing before.
And of course it wasn't complete with a shallow dof picture of a row of colorful wooden tops One of the cute moments :) More photos in picasa (just ask me the link)

4th Winter School, Jiaosi

decoration: underline;">So this is how it looks like when a bunch of physicist get together and talk entanglement and superconductivity for 4 days. It was an interesting gathering at Tamkang University, Lanyang campus. The campus is on top of a mountain, serenely isolated from everything else. Quite an architectural work!

Obvious from the photo that it was attended by many local Taiwanese students and a few international speakers. I learned quite a few interesting stuff, including not to get sick during conference!

Friday, February 06, 2009

A few must haves

Yes, a stamp of your name! Everybody has one here in Taiwan and it is one of the first thing that the secretary ask me to do when I got here. So here is my chinese name and seal.. it's "Wu Di An" ... which they took from "Dian W. U" haha. Fair enough.

The second thing that would be nice to have is of course bankcards! The green cute one is from the government bank. This is where my salary is deposited. The right card is a visa debit (number has been disguised.. ahahha) that I just applied for today.

Banks here have funny system. First of all, in the electronic age of today.. they still do paperwork and a lot of it! To apply for an account, I first have to go to the security guard at the door, tell him what I want. He will give me a slip of paper with the queue number. Wait for then number, then the banker. Most bank here have one person in each bank that speaks broken English. Consider yourself lucky if you meet that person! Then he will ask you for your passport, your Alien Residence Card, and your stamp, and normally a 1000NTD for first deposit. He then filled in about 20 different forms, log it in 3 different books, stamp it with 4 types of different stamps of dates, and at least 3 other validation stamps. Why not just computerize everything? And while this process is taking place you can see the two supervisors at the back doing next to nothing while the poor tellers working superfast with the million paperworks. Meanwhile you will be served a hot tea in plastic cup or offered some candies. Some consolation! If everything is settled, you will get your bank card and a bank book with the printout of your transaction.. and sometimes the banker have a tiny ruler to ruled out some entries. The card has magnetic stripe and the chip. It is run with different pin number. The whole applying for an account process took about an hour! It was an experience in itself, surely.

Hong kong Chinese New Year Excursion

My apology for the hiatus, I have just been back from Hong Kong for the Chinese new year. I met my family there, my parents came from Indonesia, me from Taipei.. and we met there. It was a joyful week.

Chinese New Year celebration there is big, with lots of lion dancing, a parade and fireworks. Not to mention the sale!

Of course the downside is that everything was more expensive too. Starting from the flight ticket down to the extra bed in the hotel room.

So here are some pictures from the trip. First, me and the lion .. taken in Langham Hotel Mongkok.. a hotel connected to the big branded shopping centre. It was awfully full of people!

The second picture is of Sogo shopping centre, the stals all in red and pink for the chinese new year, selling all kinds of food; cakes, preserved, cookies and peanuts.

The elegant sculpture is at the venue of stars in Tsim Tsat Shui. It was the tourist centre. We had the chance of staying close to that for 2 nights. It's pretty westernized

This is yours truly and the Hongkong Island skyline. The sky looks that grey for almost the entire trip! We had sunny days only on the last 2 days! It doesn't stop us from taking pictures though.

This is the boat shooting fireworks for the celebration. We saw the fireworks on our comfortable hotel room (and thank goodness for that because down below was jam packed!). But as the results, all my photos are on a blur (because of the window) and also because I don't use the tripod head (forgot to bring it!). Ah well. maybe next time.

And of course, the picture of our special taxi with the many cute things on the dashboard! As you can see the starting price of taxi in Hong Kong is 16 HKD.. and it goes up around 2HKD per kilometre. Not bad hey?