Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back in Cairo - my fascination on the Arabic language

Back in Cairo, Egypt. Landed this morning at 6.50am at the new terminal airport - Terminal 3. Very modern building and has a total different feel as compared to Terminal 1. Terminal 1 feels like....hmm... the pyramids. Full of history and a tad bit dusty! Hehe.

Anyway, I'm openly fascinated by the Arabic language. It goes from right to left and though it looks like scribblings, trust me, its really difficult to try and write. I tried practicing my own name and it looked really awful!!

جايمي تان

Also, check out the screen shots for Blogger and Google in Arabic:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend in Taiwan...KaoHsiung and Taipei

Took the high speed to KaoHsiung (south of Taiwan) last weekend. This is the second time I'm visiting kaohsiung but during this period since KaoHsiung is hosting The World Games 2009, the take away from the trip was slightly different from the first visit! Overall, despite the short stay, it was really relaxing and enjoyable. We took quite a lot of photos and here is a selected few to share (posting photos on blogs can take such a looong time) :-):

Taken outside Taipei Main Station
The theme outside the Taipei Main Station was one of fantasy. You had the cutest chairs on wheels, big tree figures as above and robot soldiers with robot dogs made out of metal. Felt a little like being Alice in Wonderland. Anyway, Taipei Main Station also has an underground mall (which links stations between stations) and its quite interesting with open areas for students to hang around and practise street dance routines. And I must say, some of them are really good too. Love the culture here!

Next to highspeed train.

We took the high speed rail and managed to book the tickets online without any fuss. The journey took about 1 hour 30 mins and was quite comfortable. From Taipei, you can also visit Kaohsiung by the regular train (takes up to 5 hours) or by bus (god knows how long). If you are rushing for time, the high speed rail costs about NTD 1,4oo. That's about SGD $5X (one way). Totally hassle-free. Otherwise, you can take the regular train which will cost much less and depending on the route you take, can enjoy yourself to the scenic view along the way. But I typically take a nap or read a book on the train so the scenic view is lost on me. :P

Big PUHU shoes. Taken outside Dream Mall

Dream Mall is one of the newer shopping centers in Kaohsiung so I did not get a chance to visit it in the last trip. Its very much like Miramar Taipei with a Ferris wheel built on the roof top. The open area on the roof top is like a mini carnival so its interesting to visit it, if you have time. The mall had all sorts of interesting restaurants (will post photos shortly) and little corners for the "trigger happy" tourist such as a coca cola corner, one for paddington bear and so on.

Taken at the Love River

No trip to Kaohsiung can be complete without a walk down the Love River. We were staying in Ambassador hotel (official host to the World Games so there were many atheletes staying there - I saw the Singapore softball team!! Wooottt). We had a fantastic view overlooking the Love River (which I can post up shortly, if I have the time) and were unexpectedly treated to firework displays over at the Fisherman Wharf on Saturday night.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blog that comes highly recommended

I chanced upon this blog during research on the AWARE saga and I must say it has really been serendipity for me.

Shravasti Dhammika has been a Buddhist monk for 32 years and is also the spiritual advisor to the Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society in Singapore.

I found his posts very interesting (my kind of topic) and would like to share this here.