Everyone Says Good Good Eat…Again! – Taiwan Trip #16

March 30, 2009 at 10:32 am | Posted in itchy mouth | 4 Comments
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This trip to Taiwan Itchyfingers had planned to check out (and hopefully pick up if I could afford them…) the local design – be it food, signage or lifestyle product, after seeing many of these on magazines.

Remember Itchyfingers once wrote about discovering a tit-bit with a cute little girl as mascot on the packaging? Was attracted by the cute girl and the even cuter product name – 張君雅小妹妹, that I bought the snack even though I seldom eat them! 😀 So during the Taiwan trip, I kept reminding myself to visit the supermarket to look for the whole series of product under this 張君雅小妹妹 brand. Well, didn’t have to even look far in supermarkets, cos just under our hotel was a 7-11 store, and was excited to find some of the products there while picking up snacks for our day trips out of the city! 😀

This is the noodle snack featured in the advertisement we linked on the last post.
There were three colours but I only bought one….kinda regretted now…afterall
it was so cheap…

Ooo…they even have gummies! These were lychee and grapes flavours…

Ooooo….the white lychee ones only had 張君雅小妹妹 with very faint hair
line pattern whereas the purple grape ones were more distinct. You could see
the hair line and the smiling faces. The other ones were grumpy faces….hahah

Then there was this tiny cup noodle version..cute mermaid 張君雅小妹妹 with
clam shells….:p

The shrink-wrapped cup…

I brought back and cooked it…oh my goodness..so cute…the fish cakes were
in the shape of 張君雅小妹妹’s face! 😀

Was so happy with my purchase that day! 😀 The next day when we returned to get some drinks, my eyes caught these and immediately grabbed them without looking at the price or read what was the content! I must have these! :O

Pack of five 張君雅小妹妹 snack. Normally you could choose to buy one pack
or the whole row. Didn’t even see what was it inside…But I guess should be
some candies. Have to get them first! 😀

So, it’s some BBQ flavoured noodle snacks again. This fifth pack had
張君雅小妹妹 pleading people to come and buy her… :p

The happy 張君雅小妹妹: “Sold one pack, hurry before all are gone!”

“Left just three packs! Quickly bring me to the cashier!”

張君雅小妹妹 getting pissed. “Left only two packs and still thinking?”

“What! Only left with one pack!??” What are you still waiting for!??

Heee….Itchyfingers brought all these cute 張君雅小妹妹 snacks back home and finished them all by myself…. 8) The snacks themselves were okay, but with a nice branding and nice packaging, you will be sure to attract consumers’ attention! 😀

Anyone visiting Taiwan soon? Itchyfingers dun mind getting these 張君雅小妹妹 snacks as little gifts….hahahahah….. 😀

Also see related post:
> Everyone Says Good Good Eat!

Answer to Nature’s Call #3 – Toilet Signs, Taiwan Trip #15

March 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Posted in itchy fingers | 7 Comments
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Itchyfingers were kinda surprised to find the public loos in Taiwan were mostly the squat kinds, except in the train stations and in one of the nicer shopping centres we visited. One of the first loos I visited was in a shopping centre. It was our first night in Taipei, walking around after dinner. We had thought that the shopping centre was a 24 hour bookshop we planned to visit as they had the same name. Went up several floors and saw no books… 😦 So I thought might as well go visit the loo since we might be staying out for a while before returning to the hotel. 

But I was a bit shocked by the loos in the shopping centre….such nice and hip shopping centre selling upmarket things but the loos were…..

This was the cleanest of all the cubicles…but after looking at the condition
of the other cubicles, I was in no more mood to use the loo anymore…Notice
the design of their squatt loo is different from ours, which is totall flat? The
metal thing on the right is for you to step on to flush. All tissues were supposed
to be thrown in the bin at the left. 

I remembered some other countries also don’t encourage tissues to be thrown into the toilet bowl…think it was Vietnam or Cambodia…can’t remember well cos they merely had a small discreet sign. None of these other countries had such big signs to remind users not to throw the tissue in…except in Taiwan…. 😀  

A ‘poem’ on the gracious use of loos at the Shilin Market….You really have
to understand the language to fully appreciate this piece… :p

Well, Itchyfingers shall attempt at a (very!) loose translation for those not proficient in Mandarin… 8)

It said, (from left to right):

“To pee, lean forward; Urine, won’t drip out.
To squat, aim correctly; Loo, will remain fresh.
When done, flush immediately; Faeces, gone you go.
Foreign matters, throw not; Betel nuts, spit not.”

Haha….lousy translation….but you get the idea…. 😀

Another friendly poster in the toilet at Taroko National Park. From left to
right it said, “Toilet paper makes me suffer from indigestion. Sanitary pads
block my intestines. Please do not throw these into the toilet bowl. Keep
public toilets clean.” 

Now I think back, the toilets at that first shopping centre were actually not that dirty. They were just old and the flooring a bit wet. I think because they thrashed the used toilet papers into the bin, there was always this stinky smell in the loos…so I wasn’t used to it that night. Haha…

Itchyfingers also din forget to take nice toilet signs to add onto our collections. 

This nice one at Tiansiang, Taroko National Park showed the tribal people

Another at the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

Another cute loo sign…but this was not a loo….it was a restaurant!

Before we were in Taiwan, I had been reading about this cute restaurant. But due to its popularity, reservations had to be made at least a day ahead. We were not sure if we could afford the time to go and find the place since we weren’t supposed to be staying only in Taipei city. So we decided to give it a try only if our timing allowed us to fit in a last minute visit. But we accidentally bumped into this branch at Shilin on our way to the train station…and wow! So cute! I wanna try! But we were already full and the restaurant seemed to be full house…. 😦

With loo as a theme for the restaurant, what do you think the decor would be?

Big pile of sh*t on a toilet in the window display…why did they keep the 
Happy Hour sign behind?

Cute loo and sh*t shaped merchandise on display….wow!

I peeped into the restaurant for a long while before finally willing to leave. Too bad we didn’t have a chance to visit any other outlets during our short stay in Taiwan. Next time, Itchyfingers will be back and we will make sure we visit the restaurant! :O

Also see related posts:
Shit Happens – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #8
> Holy Sh*t!
> Answer to Nature’s Call #2 – Toilet Signs, Singapore
> Answer to Nature’s Call #1 – Toilet Signs, Bangkok

Nine Portions with Nine Lives – Taiwan Trip #14

March 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Posted in itchy backside | 4 Comments
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Once upon a time there was this village with just nine families. Each time the villagers would request ‘nine portions’ from shipments arrived from town. As times went by, people began calling the village ‘nine portions’, or jiufen 九份 in chinese. And the people lived happily ever after…:p

Wow. Er…I vaguely remembered reading there is another place in Taiwan called Shih-fen 十分? :p Wonder what was the story behind…. :p

Well, Jiufen used to be a propsperous gold mining town until mining was discontinued. In 1989, Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien 侯孝贤 filmed A City of Sadness 悲情城市 in Jiufen, and the small town with charming old buildings and streets on a steep mountain became popular destination for visitors. In 2001, Jiufen’s downtown was used as a model in the anime movie, Spirited Away 千と千尋の神隠し, one of my favourite movies by Hayao Miyazaki 宮崎駿

Have not had a chance to watch the chinese movie, but just because of this
sign here, this must be one of the most photographed spot in Jiufen…

Movie poster of another movie, Dust in the Wind, by the same director…not
sure if he shot the film here…couldn’t find much information about this 1987 film

There were no lack of teahouses to relax tired feet…

You could see mountain and the Pacific Ocean here…very good fengshui…hee

A lot of homestay available…next time maybe can try…

Another view…

We soon felt it was a bit touristy for our liking…such a charming place bustling with commercial activities…so we tried to escape by sneaking into backlanes…

…and saw a sleeping cat on a roof top…shouldn’t old towns have such
relax and laid back feel? Made me feel like sleeping too… 😀 Guess if you
were said to have nine lives like cats
you could afford to sleep anywhere you like…

Not too sure what the stylised chinese words said…but I like the shape

Nice old window 

Surrounded by plants

A heart shape… 


Besides the protective shield
, many bikes had these fabric gloves attached onto
the handle to keep the hands warm… 

And we saw more cats…Cats seemed to be everywhere in Jiufen…


on door….

on sign…

We soon found ourselves back to the busy streets again….

One of the shops that I had planned to visit in Taiwan….
Henry Cats

The cats and dogs merchanise were simply beautiful…especially the hand
painted stones…couldn’t afford those though…:( 

At the other corner was a second shop with cafe upstairs

Ooo…So many cats on the sign…

Wow! More cats inside!

There were many chops with cat designs available for you to DIY and 
personalise a card…This was the card Itchyfingers chopped, complete
with a typical Jiufen old building along the stairs and postmark… 😀

The artist at work

When there’s cat, there’s fish…. :p

Cute doggy waiting to be fed dried cuttlefish…

The same cute doggy resting by the street when we were about to leave…

As a whole, I like Jiufen for the charming old buildings and the view you get there. The weather was cool so having something hot to eat or drink was such great joy. There were many teahouses, cafes and eateries as well as shops selling food but I wished there were lesser of those shops selling the run-out-of-the-mill souvenirs for tourists. Instead have some unique designed stuff inspired from the place itself. With its proximity and relatively easy assess from Taipei city, there would be no problem attracting visitors for short day trips or stay.

I think the many shop owners in modern day Jiufen can also live happily ever after, counting the endless flow of tourists’ money…. :p

Also see related posts:
Déjà Vu and a Brief Encounter – Taiwan Trip #13
Letting Our Imagination Run Wild – Taiwan Trip #12
Walking in the Wind – Taiwan Trip #11
A Walk Along the Cliff – Taiwan Trip #10
Away From the Concrete Jungle – Taiwan Trip #9
Shit Happens – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #8
Gorilla in the Mist – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #7
It’s a Cat! No! It’s a Bear! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #6
Wow Cow! Holy Cow! So Many Cows! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #5
Gong Xi Fa Cai! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #4
Holy Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #3
Wow Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #2
Buy One Get One Free! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #1 

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