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):

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



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)。