阿妈,你带我走。好吗?

阿妈,

我知道你能听见我的求救信的。

我真的好累了。自从你的离别,我的世界变得好黑暗,再也没有真正的开心过了。几乎每天,我都在落泪。

他们,对我真的很恶毒,天天把我当出气包,我真的很辛苦。

他们,也很假。每次在婶婶和叔叔他们的面前,就假装对我很好。

去庙里祭拜你的坟墓的时候,也是装出来的好。

回到家更是露出了真面目!

没了你的日子,一天不如一天,的差。

我真的无法再继续这样了!

阿妈,如果你在临走前说的话还算数,那就请带我走吧。我不想在继续反抗到底了,没了你的日子毫无意义,没了家庭的温暖,每人和我说话,我好寂寞。我很想永远陪伴你,可以吗?

我求你了,阿妈,待我走吧!

x 你的走头无路的孙女 x

10D9N Taiwan with $1000 Budget

A 10 days 9 nights long holiday in Taiwan would seemed like an impossible feat for anyone especially with only a budget of SGD$1000 or NT23,600 (Exchange Rate: 23.6) to be able to plan for a trip that includes not just your flight and accommodations but rather your daily expenses like local transportations expenditures and attractions expenditures as well. So how did I actually managed to be able to keep the budget low and still have a long 10 days in Taiwan?

Oh! Did I mentioned that within the 10 days long holiday in Taiwan, we did not just stayed in Taipei or nearby cities, but rather every day, we travelled to different cities in Taiwan, and made a full round trip around Taiwan? How awesome is that!  Within $1000, we managed to make our money worth and managed to tour the whole of Taiwan, except we missed two stops in Tainan and Chiayi…but still, we travelled a total of 6 CITIES in Taiwan within 9 nights!

I supposed you guys would be curious how I managed to did it, so I shall share with you guys the details of our flight and accommodations in this part of the post and the rest of the information like our attractions and activities in Part 2 in the later post!

For our flight, we booked SCOOT airlines during their 2nd anniversary sale with their 2cents promo! With Taipei flight at $22, we managed to book our seats with a total of $279.96/pax! The flight tickets were inclusive of 15kg luggage check in to Taiwan and 20kg luggage check in for the return flight.

(TIP: For those who want to save the additional $15, you could skip the luggage check in for your flight to Taiwan as there is 10kg hand carry luggage inclusive in your flight tickets, which means you could drag your small trolley bag on board the flight!)

ROute MapThis is our route map and I shall share with you our accommodations that we booked for our holiday.

(Here’s a tip I would like to share with you guys, if time permits, try not to book your accommodations online instead, walk in to the hotels or minsu, you would like to stay in. Of course, you would be worried that the accommodation may be fully booked and might not have an accommodation to stay in, but most hotel or minsu owners will reserve some of their rooms for walk-in guests.)

However, we did not took up this option because we went Taiwan during the summer vacation period which were considered to be peak holiday period in Taiwan. Therefore, we had to book our accommodations in advance. Then again, we did not book from Agoda, Tripadvisor, Zuji or those common hotel websites that everyone knows but rather we booked accommodations directly from the minsu or hotels website.

So, how did we managed to source those minsu?

Yes, those links are the answer to solving your Taiwan accommodations problem! These websites provide you with the list of minsu available in all parts of Taiwan, they are definitely more cool, unique and less costly than those available in hotel booking websites! 😀

(Note: These websites are written in Chinese, and that it is highly recommended to contact and email these minsu owners in Chinese so that they will not hike up their prices. If chinese language is not your forte, then maybe you could try asking parents or friends to help you with the booking. Once you settled with the prices and booking of the accommodations, it will be alright to speak English with the owners over in Taiwan as they do know basic English.)

1. Yilan : Jing’s House

http://www.goez.tw/bnb/jinghouse.htm

Location: ★☆☆☆☆

The minsu was extremely difficult to locate as there was no signboard or any information about the minsu. The minsu was in fact located on the 2nd floor of a boutique called “Amanda” with the “Amanda Boutique” signboard. Thus, we actually walked for 2 hours in Luo Dong to be able to find the minsu. It was a killer under the hot summer sun!

Room & Service: ★★★★☆

The owner that greeted us was this old man in his 60s and he was very friendly and attempted to help us with the luggage, but we insisted on carrying ourself since it was just a short flight of stairs (No lift, by the way!). The room was small, around 20sq.m but the room was nicely decorated, well cleaned and maintained. It was a cosy room for two and the amenities like fridge, hair dryer and water boiler were brand new. Wifi connection was poor and that we had to camp outside the minsu entrance to attempt to receive Wifi signal.

Vicinity: ★★★★☆

Slightly far off from the train station, may take around 15mins walk to get to the minsu. However, it is pretty near to the famous Luo Dong Night Market with plenty of good food and even near to local supermarket which is 3mins walk away from the minsu. 7-eleven and FamilyMart could be located everywhere and that just right beside the minsu, there’s a good teppanyaki shop and as well as a good breakfast shop that sells the best guo tie that I have ever tried!

Cost: NT1400 ~ SGD60  ($30/pax)

2. Hualien: Leo House (Sunny Over Rain) 里欧雨后天晴

http://leo.okgo.tw/

Location: ★★★☆☆

The minsu is slightly far away from the train station but owner provides free ferrying service from the minsu to the train station and fro. All you have to do is to arrange with the owner to pick you up when you arrive. Nonetheless, the plus point is that it is located right beside the seafront (Beibin). Imagine waking up early for a morning brisk walk to see the sunrise with your other half, how romantic! Plus, the area is quite serene and calming for those who want to have a getaway from the buzzling city life, Hualien is the city for you!

Room & Service: ★★★★★

I have to say that the service of the owner is impeccable! The owner is super friendly, and he answers any queries that you have about Hualien and that he even gave us an introductory talk about Hualien, its good food, shopping places and activities. How cool is that! He even woke up early to send us to the train station at 6.30am as we had to catch a train at 7am to Kaohsiung. The room was spotlessly clean and the bed was extremely comfortable and soft. Wifi connection was strong as well as there is a Wifi router located right outside the room on each floor! One of the downside is that, there is no fridge in the room!

Vicinity: ★★☆☆☆

There is barely any convenient stalls around the minsu and it takes about 15mins walk to get to the nearest Rainbow Night Market, food shops and convenient stalls. Do stock up on your food supplies if you are planning to stay here.

Cost: SGD50 ($25/pax)

3. Modern Plaza Hotel 現代商務旅館

http://www.hsien-dai.com.tw/

Location: ★★★★☆

The hotel can be easily spotted when you exit from the train station with its huge signage. The metro station is right beside the train station which is also of walkable distance from the hotel.

Room & Service: ★☆☆☆☆

The exterior of the hotel looks extremely rundown and old. Needless to say, the interior is extremely outdated. The room deco looks like those sex hotel rooms from hong kong movie dated back to  the 60s or 70s. The bed was hard and there was no plugs for us to charge our phone. The room and hotel was dimly lighted at night making the atmosphere extremely eerie.The cleaniness of the room was terrible as it was dusty (thick layer of dust) and there were plenty rubbish under the bed and cabinets).  Also, the hotel does not allow early check-in despite the low occupancy.

Vicinity: ★★☆☆☆

There is a 7-eleven right across the hotel and being located near the metro station, it makes it easy for us to travel to anywhere in Kaohsiung. The clothes shopping district (Anning Street) was also located right at the corner of the hotel. Food stalls and shops were located across the train station which will take about 10mins walk.

Cost: SGD36 ($18/pax)

Disclaimer: The main reason that we stayed at this hotel was to keep budget low so that we could save up to have an extra night in Kenting as accommodations in Kenting were quite pricey due to Taiwan’s summer vacation.

 4. Kaohsiung: Riverside Hotel 高雄金馬大飯店

http://riverside.hotel.com.tw/

Location: ★★★★☆

The hotel is located 5mins walk from the metro station, facing the small smelly canal. It can be easily sighted from afar.

Room & Service: ★★☆☆☆

The hotel have a really small and tiny lift that could fit no more than 4 person without luggage and 2 person with 2 luggage each. The hotel generally looks fine, slightly outdated deco and as for the cleaniness, do not expect much… for we spotted a baby cockroach! The hotel walls were thin and we could easily hear sounds from outside and opposite. Wifi signal was average but the signals were like on and off at some point in time.

Vicinity: ★★★☆☆

There are plenty of food shops and stalls around the hotel and as well as convenient shop around as well. The downside of it was the stinky canal that makes you want to avoid walking near it.

Cost: NT1080 ~ SGD47 ($23.50/pax)

5. Kenting: Xin Yu Minsu 心語渡假旅店

http://cuu.uukt.tw/

Location: ★★★★★

The minsu is in the perfect location, right behind the main street of Kenting where all the happenings are. Right across the road is where Da Wan Beach is, we could even hear the waves from the minsu.

Room & Service: ★★★☆☆

The owner does not live in the minsu itself and neither is he in the minsu, thus when we reached the minsu, we had to knock on the room doors and ask the guests to help us call the owner to come down to the minsu. (We did not buy the local sim card and therefore phone-less). Thankfully the guests were kind to help us and the owner came down to register and hand us our keys. We gotten the room in the basement which was quite disappointing. However, the room was huge and clean and the bed was extremely comfortable and big (king size I supposed). Wifi connection was strong and good.

Vicinity: ★★★★☆

The main street was right behind the minsu, thus there were plenty of convenience shops, food stalls and shopping around. There are also bustops nearby where we could easily get to the other beaches we want to go such as Bai Sha Wan.

Cost: NT1800 ~ SGD76 ($38/pax)

6. Taichung: Feng Jia Day Dream 逢甲盒子-夢遊館

http://www.fjdaydream.com/

Location: ★★★★☆

It is highly recommended to cab to the minsu in Taichung as there are alot of lanes and alleys in Taichung which makes it hard to locate. Nonetheless, the minsu is located from 10 mins walk from the biggest night market in Taiwan, Feng Jia Night Market. Also, it is very near Chao Ma station, where you could take buses to any part of Taichung and coaches as well.

Room & Service: ★★★★☆

The owner is a young lovely lady in her mid 20s and she is super friendly and bubbly. She stays in the minsu and it was easy to contact her. She is also super helpful and gave us directions to the night market and places to have breakfast. The minsu room was located on the top floor with countless flight of stairs to climb (quite a feat as our luggages were getting heavier over the days). The room was super tiny, I suppose 17sq.m? The bed was huge and comfy but the toilet was petite and it was just a small little living quarters for us to rest and have a good sleep to recharge our energy. Cleaniness wise, we had no complaints as it is well cleaned. Wifi connection was good and strong as well.

Vicinity: ★★★★★

The minsu is located in the neighbourhood where the locals are staying and is a good representation of how staying in Taichung is like as we could mingle ourself with the locals and experience their daily culture even though it was just for a night. There are also a couple of breakfast shops right around the corner of the minsu and convenience stalls nearby within 3mins walk.

Cost: SGD35 ($17.50/pax)

 7. Taipei: Dream Home 梦想家

http://www.twgogogo.com/hotel/116/

Location: ★★★★★

The minsu is owned by the boutique owner on the first storey and is of 8mins walk from Xi Men Station and 10mins walk from Xi Men Ding.

Room & Service: ★★★★☆

The owner of the minsu is not as friendly as she was more interested in getting her room rent collected than providing us with the service. She did not helped us with the luggages as well and was reluctant to let us store luggages when we checked out. Nonetheless, the room was lovely and well clean. The bed was big and comfortable and the facilities were well-maintained. The downside was that there was no lift and the flight of stairs were tall and narrow, making it difficult to climb, especially when you had a big luggage and Siru ended up collapsing on the bed when we first reached our room!

Vicinity: ★★★★★

The minsu is located at the outskirt of Xi Men Ding where the local shops and food shops are and the government buildings are nearby as well. There are plenty of convenient shops around and as well as plenty of local food eateries around the minsu. Best of all, there is a supermarket a street away! (I spent like over SGD50 in the supermarket alone on food.)

Cost: NT1250 ~ SGD54 ($27/pax)

AND…

That’s it.

The total amount we spent on the Taiwan’s accommodations came up to $244/ pax with 1 night each in Yilan, Hualien, Taichung and 2 nights each in Kaohsiung, Kenting and Taipei.

Thus our 9 nights accommodation and flights came up to a total of SGD$523.96/PAX!!! I know it’s incredibly low and sounds ridiculous but yes, we managed to keep our budget this LOW!

The rest of the budget such as food, local transport and entertainment expenditures were estimated as followed:

Food: SGD$250

Local transport: SGD$100 (exclusive of HSR)

Entertainment: SGD$100

I know these budgeted amounts may sounds ridiculous to you guys again, but I will share with you guys in Part 2 of this post with the food that we ate, how we saved up on our transport and what we spend for our entertainment.

For your information, we ate alot! Yes ALOT, like nearly 4-5 meals a day! I ain’t joking.

Trust me.

Saying Goodbye to Braces

13.11.14

The day I will remember for life.

The day where I am given a new phase of life.

The day where I could start afresh, with a fresh new look.

Thank you braces, you did your job well.

Braces have always been part of my life for the past 2years 3months and 2 years 7months (I had the lower braces removed earlier than the upper one). Without them, my life would have such a drastic change, especially in making friends (placing heavier emphasis on the opposite gender). It has given me a whole new self, not just straightening my teeth, but rather… (I suppose I’ll give you a 10 good reasons why you should get braces! … wait a minute, I think 3 SOLID GOOD REASONS would be more than sufficient).

1.Braces are cool.

Nowadays braces come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and even designs, from the classic metal braces to damon braces (invisible braces, what they call it in Singapore) to the newly introduced, invisalign. Just the metal brackets alone, they have like flower shapes, heart shapes, diamond and even mickey mouse ones instead of the classic square. There are also the ligatures (which are the colour rubber bands), they have a wide variety of colours to choose from. You could get like the neons ones, the glow in the dark, the pastel or any shade of colour that you would like. HOW COOL CAN IT BE!

2. Braces builds confident

Are you one of those that are frequently bullied for being ugly? Are you one of those that were often called bugs bunny because you had protruding teeth? Or are you one of those that feels inferior because you do not have a beautiful smile (straight set of teeth) like those pretty girls in school that are surrounded by friends and following suit is a crowd of the opposite gender? Well, braces is the best solution that will solve everything. Everything and anything. It may be a tough journey, but as your teeth starts straightening, the results will starts surfacing. You’ll feel more confident with people saying you look prettier and most importantly, being able to let out a wide smile in PHOTOS even when you are wearing braces.

3. Braces instantly transform you from ugly to… PRETTY / HANDSOME!

No jokes. I am being 100% serious over here. For those who have overbite, underbite or those that have uneven alignment of teeth to the extent where both jaws can’t rest properly, which results in you having to leave your jaws open instead of closed, braces would help to solve them. They will straighten your teeth, re-align your jaws where they would fit perfectly over the other. Instead of a longer jaw-line, you would have a shorter jaw-line now since you could close your mouth instead of leaving them open because the teeth don’t fit. This will instantly, make you look way prettier than before. I know it because this was what happened to me.

ENOUGH SAID, I’ll prove it to you.

(Warning: The following photo may be of discomfort or shocking to those, scroll down slowly…I’m serious here!)

2012-04-15 23.35.39

This was taken way back in April 2012, where I had finished putting the spacers and had my molar rings banded, with 4 pre-molars removed.

You could see how bad my condition was, my teeth didn’t fit because they overlap with one another and I could not close my mouth at all. How annoying. Also, because it was so difficult and tough to brush teeth, to the extend my teeth started yellowing as well.

That’s the reason why I was banded with the ugly girl title in school, how everyone said I was ugly, and I never smiled in any of my photos…

UNTIL NOW…p1070644_副本I can FINALLY let out a nice teethy smile, confidently and proudly say, “hey, I look prettier than before!” 

p1070641_副本

And continue snapping a few more photos of the braces before it’s time for them to be removed!

p1070640_副本

Yes braces, I will miss you even if you are off and away from my life. I always love how you were on my teeth, looking forward to each and every appointments with Dr Ivan because I could get to change the colours of the ligatures and it gets me excited seeing how each and every of my tooth move, day by day, while staring hard in the mirror in amazement. Despite all the pain and aching, inability to chew or bite food, the numbness and soring of teeth, everything that I had endured was proven worthwhile with the end product of a beautiful set of teeth.

Thank you braces. ❤

And Dr Ivan as well for his amazing skills and experiences to entertain and reduce my discomfort.

Here’s a video that I filmed myself on the actual day of my braces removal. I didn’t add any background music as I wanted to keep it as a footage for memory sake. (Warning: watch it if you have the patience)