Monday, December 27, 2010

화려한역사 (華麗的人類史 ; History Revisited )

My sister had a performance at the Raffles Hotel last Tuesday, and hence I got the chance to enter their auditorium, the Jubilee Hall. Like the hotel itself, this hall is built as a Western construction highlighted with Asian details; the cross-cultural sentiment is a good entry in the textbooks for history, art, or architecture class. Meanwhile, the cross cultural motif can also be approached from its Western colonial origin.
上周二去萊佛士酒店觀賞姊姊社團的公演,場地在Jubilee Hall(有夠英國的命名啊),和該旅館整體建築一樣,有著中西合璧的風格,堪做歷史、美術史、甚至建築史教科書的範例。這種中西合璧的主題若從另一個角度來看便不全然光彩,畢竟這種文化融合的場景往往發生在血淋淋的西方殖民活動之下。

Along the Singapore river, I was once taking a walk with my colleague, MH, who majored in hotel management and has done internship in a 5 star hotel in Singapore. Overlooking those luxury hotels, she sighed, "Look at them, splendid outside, but dreadfully dark inside. Besides the management level, every worker is treated undesirably." In this highly modernized, Westernized cosmopolis, at the scene of Indian doormen or Malay security guards or Filipino waitresses or Chinese cleaners (or the smiles on their Caucasian masters' faces), I feel like stepping into few centuries back, when the West and the East met, the East India Companies prospered with slave trade and etc, and then I couldn't help but wonder, had history really evolved?
有次我和同事MH在新加坡河畔漫步,專業是酒店管理、曾在新加坡某五星酒店實習的她,嘆道,"你看,那些酒店是多麼輝煌耀眼,內部其實無比黑暗,除了管理階層的人,大家都不被當人看。"在這個高度現代化、國際化的新加坡,依舊隨處可見印度看門人、馬來警衛、菲律賓女侍、中國清潔工(以及白種人的意氣風發),種種景象讓我仿若置身數世紀之前,彼時歐洲諸國東印度公司正大肆拓展各種商業活動,出現在此歷史場景的還有奴隸貿易、越洋華工等等。於是我不禁質疑:真的有時代演進這種事嗎?
Raffles Hotel - A Taste of Historical Fusion

Thursday, December 23, 2010

那一天 ( 그날 )


We horribly fought on the night of 22nd Dec 2009, and the next day, 23rd Dec, after coming back from tuition, I saw this on our wall. They then became the place where we harbor dreams; it could be a gift that we get for each other which the other party has wanted for long, or a love letter that carries endless affection.  

去年的12月22日晚上,我們有了嚴重的爭吵。12月23日晚上,我幫學生上課回來後,看到房間牆上掛著兩隻襪子,是之前我們在otto看到我就念著一直想買的襪子。從此之後,這襪子變成了儲藏我們夢想的地方,有時是我們準備給彼此的小禮物,有時是一封滿溢著情感的書信。

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't Buy Me Christmas Gift Sets


Crabtree & Evelyn @ Raffles City
Now, Singaporeans are even queuing for shopping. By queuing here I do not mean queuing for paying, but for entering the store, ah-ha. Piles of identical Christmas-ly gift sets scattering around the store, sometimes even grouped according to price range, and I begin to wonder why people buy Christmas gift sets. I mean, why would you ever want to officially make the receiver realize that you are not all that sincere?


Royce @ Ion Orchard (source)
在新加坡不論何時何地你都可以發現你在排隊(當然,你還會被插隊XD),而最近連一般商店都有LV的派頭,可以看到人龍排隊等著進門選購聖誕禮盒。那些包裝得一模一樣的聖誕禮盒從門內堆到門外,有些商家(例如the Body Shop)還依照價格將禮盒分門別類。送禮自然是看心意,不是看價錢,所以我老覺得,如果送禮送到這份兒上,挑現成禮盒、照價錢選購,還不如不要送,反正收的人也知道你沒多大誠意。

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Because They Believe So

So 23:59 and 24:00, as well as 05:59 and 06:00, make difference.

p.s. I have created a tag under "The Lego Mystery", for those inexplicable experiences taking place in this Lego City, Singapore. Some time later I might explain why I call it the Lego City.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

哪來的美麗

就說人不要鐵齒。身為寒帶生物極度厭惡濕熱天氣的我,在寒帶國家流連三兩年後,在這該老不老的年紀跑回新加坡來了,鎮日同瘴癘之氣、汗味體味榴槤味等等等奮鬥。

今天上班時發現車站的遮陽棚被拆了,曝曬在赤裸裸烈日下的我只能不斷洗腦自己,"我有戴太陽眼鏡,烈日對我一點都沒有影響,沒有影響......個頭!" 在這種汗如雨下的份兒上,誰還能保持美麗的妝容儀容? 也難怪我的化妝時間不自覺從1小時縮短到10分鐘,開始這個算了那個也省了,反正等會流了汗一下就掉光光。想想,難怪很多人覺得韓國女人美麗,先天的地理氣候條件似乎就注定他們天生的白嫩肌膚、輕易維持的完美妝容、保障他們穿著高跟鞋短裙在街上優雅往來的權力。

同樣的,添購衣物鞋包的欲望也大大降低。天氣熱,衣著變化自然就少,包包不捨得買真皮的,容易發霉,多雨炎熱的天氣也不適合穿著精緻的鞋子趴趴走。而這恐怕不是我個人意見,依據我觀察長住本地的韓日族群,他們被同化的也不少,平底鞋、寬大簡單的mix match、頂多框個粗粗的眼線、當媽的甚至還會素顏,要知道我在韓國可沒看過幾個素顏上街的女人啊。

話說,瀏海留慣了,現在不留一下子看起來老了5歲,可這種天氣我還怎麼留瀏海? 許先生曾說,"真正的潮人才不會受氣候影響打扮。" 他明天就要從零下幾度的首爾來新加坡了,我看他怎麼實行自己說的東西,啊哈哈(其實他上次來,就已經很堅持在大太陽下還要圍他的羊毛圍巾)。

Dec 2010 in Singapore
VS
Dec. 2009 in Seoul

Friday, December 10, 2010

讓我深感威脅的那些小小的夢想

新加坡有很多外國人,不管是華人印尼人印度人馬來人泰國人越南人,每個人都可以憑著努力昂首闊步;人們不會不厭其煩的問你是何種族、出身何方、混了哪些血統,因為這裡到處都有此地彼地的人,看多了也見怪不怪,到最後只著眼於你在這幹些什麼、在社會上謀得了什麼地位。

要說新加坡跟香港一個不同點,就是香港畢竟是華人主導的社會,上層階級是華人和白人的地盤,而在新加坡,華人人口佔大多數,但卻不代表華人佔高位的相對比例較大,只要你有能力,英文說得溜,爬到高位不是問題;香港的東南亞族裔,不管是本地出身或來自國外,從事的多半是所謂社會底層的工作,而在新加坡,任何人可以出現在任何階層,人們不會以種族去設想一個人的社會地位,也因此,在這種社會氛圍下,族群間的歧視亦相對輕微。

充滿和睦氣氛的新加坡是個很容易使人安逸的地方,人們覺得生活裡沒有威脅,只要肯努力,就能買一套房子、一輛車子、養一個家。也許,因為地理位置的臨近,從周邊國家抵達新加坡的外來人口,當初就是懷著類似這樣的小小夢想,跨越了這樣小小的距離,來到新加坡。再遠的目的地沒有了,因為這個小島能讓你做夢的空間本來就有限。

所以,在這裡遇到的人,和我過去在其他地方遇過的人,有好大的不同。過去我身邊總是那些懷著大大的夢想的人,他們遠渡重洋,跑到好遠的地方去做好大的夢。雖然我們哪知道大大的夢是否不切實際,但它確實曾將你生命的幅度擴張到一個懷著小小的夢想的人無法觸碰的極致。

Where are we from? 5 girls of 5 different places. It doesn't matter.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Laundry Shop's Multi-culturalism


There are a hundred negative things I can say about Singaporeans, somehow one thing I admire them a lot is their multi-culturalism (multi-racialism), which can be seen as easily as from a laundry shop.

我可以舉出上百個我不喜歡新加坡的理由,但他們的多元種族環境是我相當欽仰的一點。從一間洗衣店可以提供的服務就可得知,涵括馬來衣( Naju Kurong / Kebaya )、印度衣( Punjabi )、以及沙厘( Saree )。被如此環境耳濡目染的人們,種族意識自然就不像單一民族社會一樣愛大驚小怪(有嗅出我在暗示誰嗎XD)。

Fika @ FIKA

Fika is one the the very first Swedish words I learned, and it is also deemed as a key word to knowing Swedish culture. You might use the concept of "coffee break" or "tea time" to understand fika, but somehow fika is still slightly different from these 2 words as it usually refers to moments spent with people, not on your own.

So this so called Swedish restaurant is named FIKA, serving a variety of Swedish courses, desserts, and beverages. As I am not a big fan of Swedish dishes (they taste either too raw or too salty for me), I only tried their fika set (tea set), and as fika can go on any time of the day, not necessarily in the afternoon, the fika set is served throughout the day, pricing at SGD 9.9+.

And so here I was, enjoying a wonderful afternoon. I tried the Strawberry Daiquiry Cake and Chocolate Caramel Mousse Cake with 2 Swedish fruit tea and black tea. I did not try their coffee as I realized the brand they are using is not Swedish brands like Gevalia or  Löfbergs Lila but Lavazza (I love Lavazza but it's just not what I am here for!?).
fika cafe : No. 257 Beach Rd (5 min walk from Bugis stn); Tel. 63969096

Friday, December 3, 2010

Korean Egg - Symbol of A Higher Civilization (韓國的雞蛋比較圓)

Not just melo dramas and super Hallyu stars on the screen, from cosmetics stores to accessories shops, to citizens of this mini island, those things of Korean origin represent symbols that you can look up to. And this time, it's Korean Egg!!! Can anyone tell me what's next?

才怪。從韓劇到韓流明星到韓妝品牌到首飾店鋪,現在連韓蛋都可以做文章了。這車廂廣告我還只照了1/4,您說說這至於嗎。

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What You See in Me?

I received my Singapore work visa last week, and this is how they identify my origin.

Whereas my Alien Registration Card in Korea, aka my ID in Korea, presents something a bit confusing.

Situation in Sweden is the same as Korea. As they do not offer anything like ID, this was what I had back then, a statement of my Personal Number. They identify Taiwan ROC as Republiken Kina (Taiwan). Kina is China in Swedish.
I do not have my Hong Kong ID with me now, however, nationality is not stated on the ID anyway(THUMBS UP HONG KONG!).

Soul Sister

video

For a period of time, this was the song that came to my ears when I stepped into MokDong Hyundai Department store. It just gives me the uplifting mood, and also it reminds me of numerous beautiful memories dining, shopping, and hanging out there with Casey.

Play it loud. You'll love it.

有段時間,這是我一踏進木洞現代百貨的Young Plaza會聽到的歌。當時許小臉用他的nexus one裡的一個application查出這首歌,是Train的Hey, Soul Sister。這首歌的歡快氣氛,伴隨著我們在現代百貨裡吃喝玩樂的美好回憶,以至於每回聽到,總會不自覺掛上一抹微笑。

我知道穿著薄內衣的歐吉桑不是太養眼,但放大聲點,你會喜歡的。

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Place that Harbors Dream

(source)
身為一個臭老九,曾經我也是隨雞起舞的說什麼香港沒文化深度,直到2005年香港好友Calvin(從banker變成超帥的A-Sir啦!)帶我上太平山賞維港日景,我才領悟到,維港的川流不息,原來就是香港奔騰的文化血脈。大學畢業後到香港工作,每當心情低落,一定會到尖沙咀,靜靜眺望著維港兩岸;那時我總可感受到,思緒在光速般不停往來行進的匆忙裡,默默的凝止了。晃晃悠悠的天星小輪能讓我想起廣華醫院開院前,九龍的貧民們為了到港島的東華醫院接受免費義診,也是這麼一搖一晃的抵達彼岸(詳情見我們的書);暢通而開闊的維港,讓我堅信自己的夢想可以順著它的河道,最終和世界連結在一起。因為這一切是那麼的深刻,它寫下了我人生中絕無僅有的青春時光的美麗回憶,以至於光是想起維港景致,心跳便會加速、看了維港照片,眼淚甚至要奪眶而出。

會想到這些,是因為前天下班後,跟辦公室的姊妹到新加坡河周邊走走。曾經我也覺得它是多麼美麗的(特別是在Esplanade樓頂看夕陽),現在的我卻覺著哪裡塞住了一樣,好不通暢,悶。它本不是一個開闊的水域景緻,加上周邊越蓋越高的酒店和大樓,足以入目的河岸風光自然越嫌擁擠。實際的地理環境是一回事,可能更多的反映了我現在的心境寫照,也許我開始對於夢想有一點點的害怕、失望、也許我開始假想自己會否在寫字樓裡終老。大概是太過壓抑,極度現實的我今晚竟跟許小臉大發了一番夢話,我說,你進你的華爾街,到時我只要可以到這裡上班,當個小秘書都可以。

Friday, November 19, 2010

Asian Destiny (我們的完美人生)

吃晚飯的時候,電視上剛好播放著今天韓國舉辦大學聯招的新聞。內容大概是說這個一日定終生的考試對韓國人的重要性,連上下午的英文聽力考試時間,為顧及鄰進考場考生的權益,飛機的起降都被禁止。新加坡新聞煞有介事的報導韓國大學聯招,讓我有種荒謬的喜感,連同樣文憑主義掛帥的新加坡人都嘖嘖稱奇,可見韓國聯招確實不同一般。

我想到許小臉也是這麼過來的,當年的他也是把六、七十萬考生踩在腳底下,這麼多年以後來看,不過也就是這麼回事。念了名校著實給他帶來無比的社會資本,但又如何? 他出了韓國,SKY的學歷還有人鳥嗎(科科,我們NTU的國際排名還比較高咧)? 這些東西不過能在韓國自high用而已,當你不想留在韓國自high,你終於驚覺原來這個教育體制浪費了自己那麼多年的青春。我是很恨NTU的,但我知道它浪費我的青春畢竟沒有許小臉的學校浪費他的青春來得嚴重,而且許小臉一學期的學費幾乎可抵我4年學費。
 
Matt Ridley在TED的一場演講"When Ideas Have Sex"裡,提到手斧和滑鼠的差別標示了人類文明的演進。同樣易於人類使用於手掌,手斧可由個人獨立製成,但世界上恐怕沒有人知道如何從無到有的製造出一個滑鼠。滑鼠公司的老闆知道怎麼經營公司,生產線的工人只知道如何組裝,他們都不知道怎麼去開挖製造滑鼠用的石油。他進而說明為什麼自己不太參與IQ的辯論,因為人類文明的演進並不取決於個人的聰明才智,而是取決於社會裡的個體們如何有效的交流意見、相互合作。我想這解答了為什麼亞洲可以孕育出一堆神童,卻不代表社會的進步、國家或產業的發展程度,可以超越歐美國家,而且神童們一般還得到歐美受教育,才能繼續發展。亞洲培養出的神童要到培養不出神童的國家才能有所發揮,這說明了"神童崇拜"其實是個很弔詭的概念
 
亞洲人迷戀神童也不是三兩天的事(以前看過研究中國古代神童的生活之類的文章),在有限的將來亞洲孩子們還是得繼續靠著聯考維繫人生目標;出了社會,就賺錢、買房買車、成家、養孩子。這難道不是生活在亞洲的人們,多麼目標明確的完美人生嗎。

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Haven't I Told You, Norway is Definitely NOT a Fashion Icon"

A Swedish hottie once told me how she thought about Oslo, Norway, after coming back from her business trip, "Pizza's damn expensive. Also, I can't believe they are still wearing crochet!!!"
曾有位瑞典正妹跟我說她出差到挪威奧斯陸的心得 : "Pizza真貴。還有,他們不知道是怎麼穿衣服的,竟然會土到穿針織衫!"

So when I came across this on a Taiwanese fashion magazine (introducing a collection by a Japanese girl brand iimk), a corner of my mouth curved up.
然後我在雜誌上看到這個,左邊的嘴角不禁上揚。

(source)
I know the Scandinavian countries are famous for their design. However, when it comes to fashion, Sweden is the only Nordic country famous for being fashionable nation-wide. Not Norway. And not even anywhere close to the Arctic Circle. Please, sister.
我知道北歐設計很有名,但北歐唯一和時尚扯得上邊的是瑞典,不是挪威,更不是北極圈一帶啊,お願いします!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This November ( 家門風景 )

What I see when I go down the floor right now.
這是我現在下了樓第一眼見到的景像。

This is what I'd see when I open my door in Seoul now.
這是我在韓國一打開門看到的景像。

An island of only one season, time freezes, coz without calendar, there's no hint while time passes you by. Whereas in a place where cherry tree comes in full bloom in spring, pouring rain drenches you in summer, fallen leaves pave your walk in autumn, and winter snow calms your nerves, you've always got to sort out your apparel and moods, with the change of time, alert.

在四季如夏的新加坡,時間是凝止的,如果不看日曆,總是可以過著不知今夕是何夕的日子,年復一年,不為所動。而在那春天有櫻,夏天有雨,秋天有楓,冬天有雪的地方,人總是被迫著變換衣著與心情,深刻的感受著一年四季的遞嬗。

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rightful Voyeurism (合法意淫)

Local guys appreciating
SNSD's dancing
Unanimously, electrical retailers island wide love to repeatedly play Girls' Generation's Oh! and Gee, and once in a while Goto Maki's Some Boys! Touch, on their LCD products. I strongly recommend that you click on the songs' links to view these MVs. I guess the stores understand that nothing can be more eye catching than young hotties in their shorts shortest ever shaking boobs and butts.

Hey you know Singapore is still Asia, nothing wrong about women being eyed by men. But there's still some discretion; at least they don't produce, they just consume. It's Korea that produces and performs. For those gender-sensitive readers, I know you get what I mean.


最近經過這裡的家電部門,一排排電視連續又重複播放的老是Girls' Generation的Oh!Gee,有時是後藤真希的Some Boys! Touch (拜託,這已經是4年多前的老歌了耶)。大概他們也知道,貝齒美目的少女們穿著短得不能再短的褲子扭腰擺臀,還有比這回頭率更高的嗎。新加坡畢竟是亞洲,女人給男人看,沒什麼不對。不過此間還是有點差別,新加坡只算個消費者,製造商可是韓國啊。對性別議題敏感的人,知道我什麼意思吧(眨)。

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Etude House in Singapore - Doomed to Go Back Home?

Etude House store in City Link, Singapore
Obviously, things Korean are considered of good quality and fashionable in Singapore. However, I don't see this fact a justifiable reasoning behind such overpricing of Korean products. A Etude House nail polish worth 3000 won, SGD$3.5, is priced at almost SGD$12. Not just that, products on sale in Singapore are even things already taken off the shelves in Korea. Now you guess where their inventory goes! Same situation applies to other brands like the Face Shop, and other locations, such as Taiwan.

Etude House just opened its first store in Singapore last year, which means consumers are yet to be familiar with this brand. Sooner or later they'll realize, for the similar price as The Body Shop's, Etude House products underperform to a great deal. And the worse thing is that, hey, they are buying Korean people's leftovers! When this day comes, Etude House is doomed to wave good-bye.

韓貨在新加坡是有種時尚且品質優良的形象,但也不代表可以賣比韓國售價高2~5倍、且早就下架的過季品給人家吧! 這樣搞的還有The Face Shop,賣的也是不知道韓國哪年的過季品。我在Etude House裡看到一款指甲油(而且已經油水分離了),和我半年前在首爾買的完全一樣,當時大清倉50% off,所以我以1500 won入手。它的原價是3000 won,大概才3.5新幣,在這裡卻賣到近12新幣,是當O.P.I. 賣嗎! 拜託,那指甲油慢乾、不易塗勻,50% off我都嫌貴。賣到12新幣,我只能說是良心事業啊!

Etude House去年才進入新加坡市場,消費者尚未有足夠時間去熟悉這個品牌,再過些時候,他們將會意識到,自己以和The Body Shop差不多的價錢買Etude House,卻只能享受充滿人工香料且表現遠差一截的產品。到時就算有哪位韓星代言,也無濟於事。話說回來,從頭到尾,我都不理解這些韓國品牌在國外的市場區隔在做什麼!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Feeling like "The Other"

A Picture of Sol Mart (솔마트), a chain Korean grocery
store in Singapore. A bit overpriced.
Every day I see Korean people in here, and whenever they pass me by, I just couldn't help but turn my head and stare at them a few more seconds. Not that I feel any affinity with Korean people, but just there is some empathy down my throat. I know they probably are having the feeling that I used to have when I was in Seoul, that is, being "The Other". This somehow can be depressing, especially when one has an intention to stay in that very place for a longer period of time, or even a whole lifetime. There was a time when I had no where to channel my depression living in Seoul, so I was always acting like crazy; this lasted for several months, until I realized my problems lied not in Seoul or Korea or me or discrimination in general, but my expectation, that I expected to feel dignity, but as an "Other", I was instead entitled to mostly disgrace. Maybe, that is basically why people group, because they wanna create a space entirely of their own, where they are no longer the Other, but the Subject

Who Moved My Crème Brûlée Macchiato !

因為工作的關係,9月中離開韓國,剛好在這段期間,布蕾瑪其朵(Crème Brûlée Macchiato, 크렘 브륄레 마키아또)在韓國上市了! 


等我10月回到韓國後,發現它賣的已經不是布蕾,而是extra shot caramel macchiato
這不是什麼新玩意,就是多加一個shot卻維持原價的caramel macchiato罷了,整個promotion看起來實在是非常山寨! 

發票是用caramel macchiato + add shot - coupon 這樣的算法打出來的:

沒有梗的實品照 ( Tall, 5100 won, 約台幣140):

布蕾到底發生了什麼事? 
為什麼布蕾被悄悄的換成extra shot caramel macchiato呢? 
誰動了我的布蕾! XD

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why Taipei Looks Awfully Messy (髒亂的理由)

Random street in Seoul. No qilou.
Eureka! On the airport bus I realized why I think Seoul looks better than Taipei. It's because of the qilou(騎樓) that makes Taipei look awfully messy. Those of us educated in Taiwan all learned that qilou is an unique architectural style in the Southern part of Asia, which can be found also in HK, Singapore, and Southern China; they are built for the convenience and comfort of the pedestrians, given the often rainy and hot weather in those areas. 

Undoubtedly it's not easy to maintain a neat look for buildings with qilou, but compared to Taipei, Hong Kong and Singapore are doing much better jobs for the appearance of their city. Take a look of Singapore's qilou:
Singapore, I took in 2005.

And Hong Kong's,
Causeway Bay, HK. I took in 2005.

Lately I also come to find some Seoul buildings that have qilou, and they are fairly well-maintained:
A building near Gwanghwamun (광화문)

Friday, October 15, 2010

How We Were, How We Are

This was us 2 years ago. T shirt and jeans.
I am jetting off to Seoul in a few hours. Recently I've been viewing photos that KC and I took in Seoul over these years, and it struck me that... oh we aged, and the feelings that we are having now are also quite different from before. I mean, not that we have been married over a year and are acting like an old couple, but just I don't feel that young anymore. I don't feel much resonance when I recalled my life just 2 or 3 years ago, those backpacking to the remote frontiers in China, partying and clubbing, crying and laughing and shopping. I don't complain not being born prettier or richer, or about my life wasted living in Taipei, because I have lived my life to the fullest while I could, and I have met KC.

Hong Kong 2007. Right before meeting KC.
I am the blondie on the right, if you believe:p
And the interesting thing is, I met KC when I was amid living my life to the fullest, in the extravagant ocean of youth, and later there came a drastic change of direction, leading to how we are today. So he is the terminator of my youth, because he made my youth without regret.

T shirt and jeans, that's how we were. But now, both of us are going to work in suit, only. I'd never imagined this day. Oh well, maybe KC had. He'd always dreamed of becoming a stylish corporate investment banker, haha.
How KC is nowdays. But I'll just skip mine.
Coz I look a total 누나(older sister) in suit! Duhh!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Our Government is a Hopeless Sexist + Racist!

This Taipei County Happy New Inhabitants Quarterly is basically sent out to every foreigner who has marital relationship with a Taipei county resident. So though both KC and I do not reside in Taipei county, as my registered permanent residence is in here, this quarterly is sent to KC on a regular basis. Honestly I found the cover of this quarterly quite bothering. I understand that in a realistic sense the Asian women depicted in here are supposed to be the most vulnerable and unprivileged in this society, but by so doing our government appears just like a horrible sexist and racist - where are the men? where are the non-Asian people? Such emphasis would enhance people's impression and stereotype about these Asian women's negative images, and this is definitely unfair for them. You know, not everyone feels comfortable being ostensibly depicted as vulnerable and unprivileged, and isn't any individual considered innocent before proven guilty? Our government needs to understand that social welfare does not mean the patronizing of others. I am not a hypocrite so I called and told them what I perceive about their cover design, but I have no idea if they will do anything about it. We'll see.


僅管許小臉跟我都不住在台北,因為我的戶籍在台北縣,這份台北縣新住民幸福季刊還是按時寄來。這份季刊旨在傳達政府對於新住民的各項政策及福利措施,以中英越印泰緬日7種語言寫成。我認為這也算是個德政,但老實說這份季刊的設計讓我不敢恭維。我不否認封面上描繪出的那些女孩子確實是新住民裡的大宗,也是這個社會最弱勢的群體之一,但在標榜著給"新住民"的刊物上,卻只描繪出"外籍新娘"這個族群,沒有男性(把我家許小臉放哪裡! 雖然他是不會被我家暴啦XD)、也沒有除了亞裔外的其他民族;這不但顯示出政府對性別多元文化的狹隘認知,而赤裸裸的明示這些亞裔外籍新娘是弱勢族群,將更理所當然的強化人們對於她們的刻板印象,但並非每個人都樂於被描述成弱勢族群、接受人們憐憫的目光啊。這也許不是件大事,但要讓一個社會要能真正以開闊心態去面對"新住民",首先就得從這些小事上著手,才能達到潛移默化的效果。光說不做就是偽君子,所以我當然打電話去反映了,至於他們會不會有所改變,我也猜不到。

Sunday, October 3, 2010

韓國免稅店怎麼買

韓國雖非購物天堂,它的免稅店卻是匹大馬(!)。

在韓國免稅店購買化妝品,我只推薦兩家。市區推東和免稅店(DONGWHA DUTY FREE, 동화면세점),地鐵光化門站6號出口走兩步路就到;仁川機場推新羅免稅店(THE SHILLA DUTY FREE, 신라면세점)。這兩家都可以輕易讓顧客享受到免稅再15% off 的購物優惠(有時是常態85折、有時是一次買兩件85折、有時可在機場巴士或韓國觀光公社等拿到15%折價券)。名氣最大的樂天免稅店(LOTTE DUTY FREE, 롯데면세점)折扣則少得多,每次購物前我都會跑好幾家免稅店,但從來沒在Lotte看到化妝品/香水有打折,所以如果時間有限,手上又沒有某些途徑得來的折價券(例如在機場KEB換錢有時可拿到買20USD折5000圜的折價券),可以直接跳過Lotte(這家最有名顧客最多不是因為好買,而是因為花大錢請頂級韓國明星打廣告)。

這張是我這幾年看過最驚為天人的折價券! 在機場巴士上看到的機場新羅免稅店折價券,分為三個部分,左邊那張是10~5% off,中間和右邊各為消費50USD現折10000圜(約9USD)的優惠券,最威的是兩種折價券可以併用!

我朝思暮想好幾個月的Dior光柔礦物水3D粉餅就是這麼入手的。免稅售價53USD,使用這張折價券可享5% off後再減10000圜,結帳金額為41.39USD(約台幣1295),等於是免稅又20% off !

在化妝品/香水這個領域,很多傳說已久的購物天堂,例如香港或新加坡,價格並不比台灣桃園機場來得有競爭力(不過桃園機場的品牌比別人少好多~);定價本不輸其他國家免稅店的韓國免稅店,由於經常有各種折價活動,好買度是我看過的世界第一! 不過這點連很多韓國人自己都不知道,到了香港就狂買(例如當年的許小臉)。

這張新羅折價券可以流通到10月底,看到時多拿幾張就對了,除了Chanel等特殊品牌,一般品牌都適用。沒遇到它也沒關係,類似折價券終年都有,而且東和跟新羅兩家常是不用折價券就有優惠,只要問店員"Discount?"他就會拿起計算機敲給你看。

後來我一直想,還好那天我時間很趕。

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The 6 Days for Modern Koreans to Get Festive, Which Do Not Include the Independence Day

Click to enlarge the icons of New Year's Day, Lunar New Year's Day,
Valentine's Day, White Day, Mid Autumn Festival, and Christmas (clockwise).

These are probably what modern Korean people think the 6 most important days in a year : Jan. 1st (신정.New Year's Day), the Lunar New Year's Day (설날. Jan. 1st in the lunar calendar), Feb. 14th (발렌타인데이. Valentine's Day), Mar. 14th (stupid..oh no, they call it White Day, 화이트데이), Mid Autumn Festival (추석. August 15th in the lunar calendar), and Dec. 25th (크리스마스, Christmas). Special icons would pop up on these days and jump all over the place on my cell phone screen; for example, on both New Year's Days, a couple in traditional Korean costume would perform deep bow, a practice still observed nowadays, and on mid-autumn festival a jade-rabbit would jump all over the place pounding medicine. These icons are cute, and they also show the festival culture of modern Korean people.

現代韓國人眼中最重要的6個日子大概是新年、農曆新年、情人節、白色情人節、中秋節、以及聖誕節。在這些日子,我的手機螢幕會出現相關圖案,不停跳動、變換;例如新舊曆新年會出現身著傳統服裝的一對男女進行跪拜禮(在新年向長輩行跪拜禮的習俗至今依然存在,我今年就跪過許小臉整家長輩了XD),情人節會出現各種巧克力或糖果,中秋節會出現玉兔搗藥,聖誕節就有聖誕老人送禮物給你。這些圖案不只可愛,還透露了現代韓國人的節慶文化。

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Xiao Long Bao's 8 Faces by Paradise Dynasty (樂天皇朝的八面小籠包)

source : ion on Facebook 
Found Paradise Dynasty in Singapore's ION that dishes up 8 different Xiao Long Baos, including original, foie gras, black truffle, crab roe, Ginseng, cheesy, garlic, and Szechuan(spicy) flavors. What should I say? It's just a must try! (8 pieces for S$13.8, about US$10.5)
在烏節路的ion百貨發現這家樂天皇朝,有8種獨門特製小籠包,包括原味、鵝肝、黑松露、蟹粉、人參、芝士、蒜香、麻辣,口味一流。這家餐廳是我會想經常光臨的好地。八粒小籠包售價13.8新幣,約合台幣330。


They come in 8 tasty colors!
8種顏色看著都可口! (可是花樣一多,我反而覺得比起鼎泰豐,它稍嫌俗艷了點。我這什麼鳥評論啊,唉~)

Restaurant information: #04-12A ION Orchard, tel. 65099117
用餐資訊: 烏節路ION百貨4樓12A,電話: 65099117

Monday, September 13, 2010

What I Talk About When I Talk About Aging

Re-reading something you've read before is an interesting experience. You might find out things that you used to concern about, and things that you are fucked up with right now. Same time last year I was reading Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, and all I was curious about was what running is to Murakami, that is, it suits him. At that time I was finding my place in my new academic as well as career attempt, in a new place, Seoul, and it struck me with some depressing realization about my doomed aspiration (again!). Anyway, one year has passed, my weight dropped a few kilos and I finished my MA thesis and went back to Sweden for thesis presentation and have it passed with B. Other than that, nothing about me has really improved, and I know I still need to find a way out, troubled.

"In other words, let's face it: Life is basically unfair. But even in a situation that's unfair, I think it's possible to seek out a kind of fairness." This time, this quote is what I am impressed with the most in Murakami's book on running. In some ways I am screwed, but in some other ways, I am just so blessed. Because of this, I will end this day, with a smile.

New sticker series from Jetoy, a card, and a
 mini bibimbap(my fav Korean food) strap, kk
直到今天為止,我在這個世界上已經活了26年了。和大部分的人一樣,我的人生有無比順利的一面,也有無比不順的時期。過去幾年我沒有在一個地方好好待過,06年的生日在台北、07在香港、08在華沙、09和10在首爾。想到去年這時候我在讀村上春樹的What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,於是把它重新翻開來看;舊書重讀有一個樂趣,你可以發現自己不同時期的心境和關注。例如去年這時候,我關心的主要是跑步對村上的人生意味著什麼,因為當時我正在苦思論文的題目以及回到亞洲後,如何把我的學業和事業結合在一起。當然,經過一年的琢磨,我還是再度被打擊了(彷彿我人生中所有的夢想都是為了被打擊而存在的,哈哈),這時我所注意到的,便是村上的這段話:"把話說白一點,人生本來就不平等,但在不平等的處境下,我認為還是有可能尋得某種程度的平等。" 這種事我當然不是第一天知道,但重讀此文,心裡畢竟還是會振奮一下。

許小臉今天帶我出去吃好吃玩好玩的一整天,晚上一定要帶著笑容入眠才不枉這年華老去啊。

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

" No Crotch "

This is my fav seat in the A Twosome Place (투썸플레이스, a major Korean coffeehouse chain) in my neighborhood. The note on the table reads,
這是我在住家附近的A Twosome Place (韓國主要連鎖咖啡店之一)最喜歡的二樓窗位,桌上有張字條寫著 -

"for customers wearing skirts/shorts using the window seats, feel free to ask for the knee blanket we prepare for you."
"我們為選坐窗位且身著裙子或短褲的顧客備有膝部毛毯,必要時請向我們索取。"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hang Loose 告訴我一件事

MAC Mineralize Blush - Hang Loose
3.2g, 韓國售價33000 won
In The Groove這系列腮紅出了5色,開賣沒兩天官網就已全部售罄,只剩下我唯一看中的 Hang Loose。去櫃上買的時候,抽屜裡還有一、二十顆,比起那些一下就被搶購一空的色號,它似乎不太討韓妹歡心。
粉紅色和粉紫色的組合,有種冷冽甜美,一看就不合我的形象,更不合我中偏黃的挑剔膚色,但我還是買了,因為喜歡。有時候,當身邊的人都在做著同一件事,自己更能發現內心的聲音;就像化妝這事,很多人說,白膚適合什麼色、黃膚配哪些不適合,這麼多年我也是照著這種思路走,在台灣就聽台灣櫃姊,粉底挑貼近膚色的,在韓國就照櫃姊說的挑比膚色亮一號,結果回台灣被說"粉擦很厚",搞得心裡有點不爽。其實只是審美觀不同。

雖然不是賣最好的,但8月的韓國時尚雜誌,包括Marie Claire, Elle Girl, Allure, CeCi, Sure等,不約而同都只推薦這一塊,也因此本來有點質疑我眼光的許小臉,開始覺得我品味不凡XD開玩笑,這種事開心就好,和品味沒什麼關聯。雜誌推薦它的原因,大概因為它比較特別吧。

先來看看兩張妝容照;第一個出自2010八月號SURE雜誌,第二個出自2010八月號CeCi雜誌。

1. Soft Glowing Cheek
這造型很明顯的是要呈現一種冷冽的妝容,所以顏色要,不能太溫暖,hang loose的兩色皆帶點銀色基底,剛好符合的特質;也因為它畢竟是粉紅色,怎麼,都不會太殺。

 整體妝容:


  • Base: 用海綿將妝前產品拍打上妝後,使用霜狀粉底

  • Eye: 眼窩使用粉紅色眼影,眼影要上得均勻,避免色塊;若想要有個point,可加上銀色眼線

  • Cheek: 由顴骨向內擦上粉紅色腮紅(=hang loose的粉紅色),顴骨上方使用紫色(=hang loose的淺紫色)製造打亮效果

  • Lips: 唇部打底後,使用珊瑚色唇膏 

用看的比較快之腮紅位置示意圖:


 2. Pink + Violet + Deep Rose = 腮紅的秋妝

 
這個女生的臉比較橢圓,所以腮紅上的位置也比較大。

妝容說明 :

  • 以顴骨為中心向外,以亮粉色腮紅(=hang loose的粉紅色)打底;眼睛下方用淺紫色(hang loose的亮紫色)打亮,兩色交疊處要自然

  • 在顴骨上疊擦深一色的玫瑰粉色腮紅,製造立體效果,技巧在能讓三色自然融合。將眼窩打亮,可製造出與深色眉毛對比而成的立體效果;由下往上塗抹紫色眼影

還是看圖比較快:

看完韓雜的介紹,我來總結一下: 本意是放鬆的hang loose,也許不能給你帶來一般定義裡的好氣色,甚至有一種病態的美感(!)。但又怎樣呢? 女孩子化妝這種事,自己喜歡就好嘛。

 "Hang Loose!"