Friday, September 25, 2015

One hectic week in Taipei, Manila and Jakarta! When Work Meets Play - Part 2!!!

Life has been quite hectic for me recently, so sorry for the less frequent posts. In fact, I'm a bit astounded at how I've been managing to survive especially when my pre-planned (one year ahead) vacation trips collide with the trips I need to do for my current work.

A few things I've realized is:
1. Yes, you can, or I can, get away with a minimum of sleep. Adrenalin will help you! Hahaha.
2. I can sleep anywhere! A 15 minute power nap in the car from one mtg to another does wonders! Put me on any flight and I can sleep from take off to touch down. I can sleep on a bus as well. Bed? What's that? 
3. The one thing I've lost, together with sleep and time, is patience, and I've never had a lot of it to start with. Seriously. So if you're annoying, just stay away from me, or I will put you on the "I'm not talking to you" list, and I swear, that list is getting longer and longer.

So here's my epic week (oh my, I am using epic in my blog! must be the influence of all the millenials I work with!) from weekending with the family in Taipei, catching meetings in Manila, and flying to Indonesia for work.  
Sof and I caught the Friday night flight to Taipei after school/work.
Thank you Sky Lounge for the yummy dinner.
I didn't even mind the flight delay... much.
The flight was so delayed, we arrived in Taipei at the same time Ady did, who caught the later flight. Bright side, we got to share a cab, and cabs to the city are pretty expensive at 1,100NT.
We stayed at our favorite City Inn Plus Xi Men Ding Hotel.
They have so much company tie-ups you get so many free samples.
You can read my post on that hotel here.

Taipei has become one of the favorite destinations of our family because it's quite near (only a 2 hour flight), and food is yummy and very affordable. Since we've been several times before, we don't even bother doing any touristy stuff anymore. We just come to eat.

Personally, I go to Taipei for my Isaw Misua fix
Best Rice Flour Noodles with Pork Intestines Ever!

Ironically, despite several past visits, we never took a photo at the LOVE Taipei structure. So this time we did. The first two were our attempt at using a makeshift tripod, ie the cone on the road.

Then a gay couple took pity on us and offered to take our photo.
I think they wanted to take a photo too and we were just taking too long.

The LOVE structure is just right outside Taipei 101 - standing 508 meters tall and awarded as the tallest building in the world in 2004, until it was overtaken in height by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Taipei 101 is family staple because it has Din Tai Fung!
One of Sofia's favorite restaurant. That face on Sof is because we always go
for a late lunch so you can beat the crowds.
Even our order is so predictable. Loads of Xiao Long Bao,
some Pork Chop with Egg Fried Rice, extra Pork Chops and Veggies.
Sofia's favorite restaurant in Taipei is Modern Toilet.
You can read about that here.
Sof is now big enough to take our orders (Self-Service),
then you pay (cash only), then they serve it.
Sof and her lolo get along so well when it comes to toilet humor. 
Modern Toilet also has toilet related merchandise, so of course, Sof used
her allowance to buy overpriced toilet erasers. Just like mom.
Lolo said - Let's all do poopy face... but no one followed!

Going for the weekend is just right for Taipei if all you're going to do is eat (and shop for stationery products) like we do. Taiwanese Street Food is the best! You can find them along the streets of Xi Men Ding, as long as you arrive before the policemen do their rounds.
Taiwanese Sausage with Sticky Rice (that looks like Bratwurst).
Note to self, Sof also likes this so next time I should buy more.
This is the perfect snack to bring to the airport for the midnight flight back.
Quail Eggs on a stick!
Roti-like pancake with different filling.
Our favorite is the Egg, Bacon and Cheese. Don't forget the cheese!
Hot Star remains to be a favorite, even if they have already opened branches
in the Philippines, but we no longer go to Shilin Night Market for it.
You can read my post on Shilin Night Market here.
I am really intrigued by the shaved peanut candy and Ice Cream Popiah
(wrapped in spring roll wrapper) but I didn't have enough stomach space.
Ironically, despite being famous for street food, these vendors still have no
legal permits, so once the police do their rounds, they all run away.
Beware of hot carts... but after a while, they all come back, business as usual.
Another great thing about our hotel is they have an eating area and pantry
in the basement where you can eat your food.
Just help yourself to the drinks are provided.
The best Street Food lunch ever!!! yes, that's the sticky rice on a stick!
For shopping, I highly recommend Kinokuniya in Breeze Mall.
It is so much better than 9ta, which I wrote about here, because they are
under new management. You can still find stuff, just have lower expectations.
I was so stressed and tired, I totally forgot we reserved our hotel room till
the following day because the flight was at midnight. We actually checked
out of our room already. Good thing the hotel was nice enough to tell us.
 Everyone was busy napping in the Disco room before the late flight.

The flight back was slightly delayed so all of us napped at the airport gate again! Yes, we are there so often, we know where the reclined chairs are.
I arrived in Manila at 4am, with just enough sleep to present *credibly* I
hope to at least a hundred people. 

Next day, it's another late night flight to... Indonesia!!! Food was so bad on PAL (soggy fried fish) that I preferred to sleep rather than eat, so room service at midnight it is!
Deconstructed Onion Soup (passable) and Chicken Satay (quite good).

Work started early the next day because of we went to do trade visits around rural areas.
No rest for the weary.
Even the long bus ride is alignment time.
Good thing we take my favorite Premium Bus. The size of a regular bus,
but seats only 12 (I think), complete with plugs, WiFi, lazy boy seats and our
own air-conditioned toilet. Truly a mobile office, as long as you don't get dizzy!
One of my favorite trade visit discoveries is this Fried Tofu stall across one
of the stores we visited. They served Fried Chicken flavored fried tofu!!!
Super yummy... especially with chili powder! 3 for 1,000Rups (1Php/pc)

These trips also include activities that keep us physically active.
Hello rafting crew! Good thing there were only 2 people per boat, with a guide
that does all the work. Hahaha. Most relaxing rafting trip ever!
Then there's early morning hiking! Yes... 700 steps to see the Megalithic Site
in Gunung Padang because I took the "Auntie" less steep way up.
Like my outfit, check out AVA Athletica here, BTW,
stepping on the vertical stones are not allowed! Which I only found out after!!!
The reward for the exercise is always worth it because after we sweat it out,
it's Indomie time! Both the dry and soup versions are really yummy.
I think the secret is in the Sambal (fresh chili sauce).

Another bright side is we get to see different parts of Indonesia, if only for the night.
Indian Ocean
Inna Samudra Beach Resort in Sukabumi
Novus Giri Resort in Puncak

I got to eat some of my favorite food too!
Nasi Liwet (coconut milk rice) and Sambal. I love love love Sambal.
A new breakfast favorite is Bubur Ayam (Rice Porridge) which you top with
Chicken, so I put hard boiled egg and fried garlic in mine too!
Plus I couldn't resist trying the meat ball soup because it was served so nicely
in a coconut shell.
This trip shopping finds (yes, from the trade visit) include
a new flavor of Oishi Sponge - Mochaccino, which is also
not available in the Philippines, cupcake gummies, and
Shaun the Sheep gummy vitamins. 
Unfortunately, our 1am flight back to the Philippines was delayed, so
I was truly a walking zombie at the airport. Good thing retail therapy helps,
yes, I bought another new adult coloring book + erasable crayons too!
I've never been so happy to see Manila.
6am on a Saturday.

Let me be very clear. I am NOT complaining. I am having the time of my life. Seriously. Just don't annoy me. Just saying.

No. 63, Baoqing Rd, 
Zhongzheng District, 
台北市 Taiwan 100

No.8-1, Er Mei St., 
Wanhua District, 
Ximending, Taipei

Xinyi District, 
Taipei City, Taiwan 110

Taipei 101, Xinyi District,
City Hall Rd, 45號台北101購物中心

108, Taiwan, Taipei City, 
Wanhua District, 
Lane 50, Xining S Rd, 7號2樓

Xi Men Ding Main St.
Taipei, Ximen District

5th Floor Breeze Center, 
No.39, Sec.1, Fusing S.Rd., 
Songshan District, Taipei  


Jl. Raya Cisolok Km. 7, 
Pelabuhan Ratu, Sukabumi, 
Jawa Barat 43365, Indonesia

 JL Raya Cipanas, 
No. 180, Kec. Cianjur, 
11530, Indonesia

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