Friday, June 7, 2013

A trip to Kaohsiung / Jolin Myself Final Concert - Day 1

This week was very fulfilling, I've took up an online course three months ago and I'm near the completion of it. I was bombarded with tests and assignment for this week because I would be flying off to Australia in less than 24 hours. Such a satisfied feeling to complete 2 tests with decent scores and writing up a 1k essay for my assignment.

I am last minute as usual and I don't usually post about my previous trip till I'm heading off to another trip. I have a firm belief that my memories would overlap once I go to the next trip, so let's see how much I can recall from my first ever trip alone. :)

12th April 2013

I travelled to the airport alone early in the morning. I didn't oversleep and I had plenty of time. I gazed at the commuters on the train as I wonder how my day will fall into place. This wasn't the first time I was travelling to the airport alone but it was an unusual feeling.

My first trip alone signified a lot of things, I have to handle everything myself (psst but I've already received much help on my luggage, the life of a pampered child). I've learnt how to purchase air tickets online and I've learnt how to check in myself. It might not seem much but I wonder when I'll ever get the chance to do it again because I only travel with my family.

Just days before the trip, I was overwhelmed by fear. That fear wasn't present when I was enthusiastically booking my air tickets. When I was at the airport, I've made probably 3 calls to my mum. I tried to call my grandma and she didn't pick up. That's going to send my dependent feeling kicking in once I reach Taiwan.

I've planned my time for a breakfast and a leisure walk in the departure gates before I board the plane but I was met with an unexpected stomachache. I wouldn't have notice Changi airport has such beautiful toilets if that didn't happened. I managed to get on board in time as I made my last goodbyes on facebook and twitter with my new hairstyle.

I feel like a child on a spy mission with only my favourite soft toy around.

The seat beside me on the plane was initially occupied by a man, the moment I sat beside him, he left promptly and I was wondering where he disappeared too for the first hour on the plane ride till I noticed he was sitting with another guy behind me. Maybe he doesn't like to sit with girls? I was thankful for the extra seat I had to put my whole load of crap. More seat space for me!

As the plane prepares to leave, I was still frantically loading my twitter. I can't quite remember how it turned out but I gave up shortly after and looked out my seat window. For a moment, I find it hilarious that planes were queueing up to lift off. Like overcrowding wasn't bad enough in Singapore, we have overcrowding of planes too. It's weird but somehow my fear subside, thank God my OCD didn't decide to torture me by putting nasty thoughts about planes in my head, I was rather calm and bored. My mini television was pixelated and the sound only came in through one side of the airplane's headphone. I had my Eeyore out all the time with me because I need his company, I didn't even bother how weird it must have been to be in a sea of adults as I hug a soft toy.

On the plane

Oh and my food was mashed potato with beef and ice-cream! I remembered!
I was stuffed with food, I didn't expect food to serve so early on the plane just after I had my breakfast.

I can't remember how I spent my time on the 4 hours flight. I was lazing around, trying to get myself in a comfortable position on the plane. No matter how I adjusted my position, I was never comfortable enough. Damn it, I can sleep on trains and buses, why can't I sleep on a plane?! o.o I entertained myself by watching some Taiwan variety show, found Jolin's music in the plane's playlist and played it when I have her songs in my phone, played Assassin's Creed on my phone and started worrying about battery depleting. And an uncomfortable half an hour sleep. Hmm... So that's how I got by the 4 hours flight.

When I reached Hong Kong airport to transit, my first joy was free wifi. I started checking social sites and whatsapp. I saw a nice farewell message from my colleague in whatsapp. And I needed to contact my room-mate from Malaysia who has reached Hong Kong airport minutes before me. We took a long time finding each other and we literally brushed past each other like some drama scene. Finally, we decided that I should stay at a place and she would come and look for me when we were in proximity within each other.

When we saw each other, there was a LOL moment as we realised how we just brushed past each other. We walked around the airport, chatting and attempting to foster a connection. I've met her twice in real life, she's from Jolin's Malaysia fan club, but I never had a chance to properly chat with her. We had communication breakdowns a few times because I couldn't understand her accent and she couldn't understand mine. I prefer speaking Chinese over English so I was feeling rather rigid in an English conversation.

My room-mate had her late lunch and we proceed to board our next plane that transits from Hong Kong to Kaohsiung. We met other Malaysia fan club members there whom she travelled with. We had to take a bus to get to the plane, rather inconvenient. When we left the bus, there was a nice strong gush of wind blowing on my face. This flight was approximately an hour and we were served food on the plane again! My room-mate looks in dismay at the food in front of her just after she had her lunch.

It was a very rushed lunch as they only had one hour to serve the food, take back our trays and prepare for landing. My room-mate was bursting with excitement as the plane prepares to land in Taiwan. On the other hand, foreign doesn't work too well with me. I can't even make up what I was feeling any more but it wasn't a bad feeling.

As we walked hastily to the exit, we spotted this familiar looking bottle of Remy Martin.

And so I finally made it to Taiwan alone. Well maybe not so alone.

Kaohsiung airport, never been here before. It was pretty small.

First thing I did when I got to the airport was to capture the above picture and upload it on facebook to notify my mum I've reached safely. We waited quite a while for transport. I've no idea where the arranged driver came from but he seemed to be from Jolin's Taiwan fan club. He brought us to a local's apartment where some will be staying at with their Taiwan friend. And sent us to our hotel afterwards.

I was awe by the hotel I must say.

Two banners to welcome us. That's just "Wow!"
I'm honoured. :)

The hotel has a cosy environment with free wifi. We placed our baggages down, laze around for a while, said "Hi" to my neighbour at the hotel who's from Singapore fan club too, went to pick up other Malaysia fan club members, I somehow got along with one of the guys we picked up because I was deprived from speaking Chinese for the whole day, tried to purchase 3G from the airport but we were too late and all shops were closed and finally we were off to our first attraction, night market!

I didn't take much photos there. I was displeased that I had to follow a large crowd around as they recommended food to us. They ignored all other food as they brought us to their favourite stalls. I stared at the meat and the meat stared back at me. I had bad memories with over consumption of meat and my meat threshold is very, very small. I wanted to walk alone or with my room-mate and for a moment when the room-mate tried to explain my cause, they mistook me as vegetarian. Typical introvert problems, never like the crowd or the rush. In the end, everyone in the group was walking separately, the Kaohsiung night market was surprisingly small and we kept bumping into each other. I got myself some fries and Korean rice cakes. ^^

It was actually hard to read everything in Chinese and I wondered why I struggled to read the words instead of the usual pointing. Just before we left the night market, my room-mate paused at a drink store and ordered the best papaya milk I ever had. If I ever go back to Taiwan again, I'll make sure to get it! My room-mate doesn't understand Chinese so I somehow acted as her translator.

I saw rows of these at the night market. The hoops had to land around the item before you can get it.

We went back to the hotel, I was busy savouring my Korean rice cake and I realised I had too much to eat, there was a full hard-boiled egg in there too. It wasn't that bad and I didn't want to waste food so... Thee shall become fat.

I was highly amusable that day.

I was amused by this tray of necessities in the hotel and how they are all carefully wrapped.

I was amused by our plug extension because I had a Taiwan adaptor, my room-mate has some other country adaptor and we figured this will work to get 2 ports, one for her and one for me.

Okay then, time for sleep. I need to bathe and dried my hair. I was almost captivated by the TV and that drama I watched in Taiwan still left a strong impression in my mind. My room-mate was fast asleep when I was done with bathing. After brushing my teeth, I tried to put my tube of toothpaste and toothbrush into the cup, but the cup holder connected to the wall gave way and I was producing a lot of noise in the middle of the night. Drying my hair with the hair dryer produced even more noise. I feel guilty towards my room-mate for all those noise generation while she was sleeping. :x