One day after work my scooter was screaming...GET SOME PETROL! Obviously I headed straight to the petrol station. It took me past the trendy, hipster, Vegan Restaurant Ohh Cha Cha. I had been to this place before and really didn't like it, but for some reason I decided to stop and give it another chance. If your not a Vegetarian or used to going to places that make hip and trendy menus, then you could be quite confused.
This time round I ordered the rabbit leaves, in a bowl with some ginger and kimchi, as well as a cup of Oolong tea. Before ordering I didn't realise the ginger was going to be some kind of square block on the plate. It looked and seemed a little odd but it actually tasted great. The flavour was a bit weird at first, but grew on me as I ate more. Then when I ran out of little ginger blocks I was disappointed they were gone. As for the tea, the mug they put it in is like a mug for giants. I reckon ordering a tea here is worth it, due to the size of the mug. Even though you cannot refil as they don't plop a teabag in it or any tea leaves. I guess they don't want you sat there all night as they've only got a small space with a handful of tables.
I am the first to confess that I am no expert on hipster-vegan food, but I did really enjoy those gigner blocks. I would really highly recommend trying the ginger and kimchi. On the menu it's called a Beet Ball Bowl, if you do go to check it out, they're weirdly fascinating and taste intriguingly good.
As I wasn't finished my cup of tea, I decided that I should treat myself to a cake for eating healthy. Which kind of defeats the point I guess. The cake I ordered was a raw cheesecake apparently. I didn't even know cheesecakes came raw, so I had a google search and it seems it has no cheese at all. It's made from almonds. It was odd that it was almonds and not cheese because it tasted like cheese, which I suppose was the objective of making a vegan cheesecake. To taste like cheese.
A lot of their food is gluten free, which will be really good for my mother when she comes back, as she has a gluten intolerance and most food in Taiwan has gluten in it. This place is a godsend for those folk with the same problem as she has I assume.
It is located right next to Guting Station at exit no.2 and is very easy to find. Enjoy.
- See more at: http://www.taipeimagpies.tw/news/item/news/ooh-cha-cha-vegan-food#sthash.vwJqzOjL.dpuf
With the new OTPL season fast approaching our preperation hasn't been the best so far if I'm being honest. We have only managed to play one friendly since last season vs Shane and even then we ended up putting out a mixed bag of a team, combined of ex players living in other parts of Taiwan, newbies who haven't played before, old players, and random mates. This only managed to get the number up to 12 players for the game meaning we were justified in only playing 1 friendly due to so many people taking a holiday.
The friendly ended 4-4 which was a pretty fair result. The first half we were very good but the team got tired in the second half and we were completely overrun by Shane at times with a lack of options from the bench. 4-4 was a fair result, even though I read on their report that it ended 4-3 to them and our last goal was after the final whistle.
We didn't play anymore friendlies because the Chinese New year was early. So we had a break due to Christmas and the New year, then after another couple of weeks it was the Chinese New Year holiday. There was also a pre season tournament involving some teams from the league but we couldn't muster up a squad to play in the two day competition. So we had to give that a miss also.
On top of not playing any friendlies, we also lost our kick about pitch due to Fujen University rebuilding the stand for the Universadite Games. This has meant we haven't got to practice so much since the end of the season.
Fortunately we found a new training pitch at Taipei European School on Yangmingshan Mountain. Unfortunately the new training sessions have also been interrupted due to the holidays.
The last bit of news we could of done without was our goalkeeper telling us he wanted to play outfield. After we refused he informed us that he would be joining another team so he didn't have to play in goal. This has left us a week from the opening of the league with no keeeper, which is never a good thing.
With all these issues and problems going on before we start the season, we have still been working hard behind the scenes to try and keep our training sessions going and recruit new players. So far it has been hit and miss but we will be entering the new season with the same grit and determination we finished the last as we look to again finish no lower than top 6, with a target on top 4.
Keep on, Keeping on lads!
- See more at: http://www.taipeimagpies.tw/news/item/news/new-otpl-season-2017#sthash.BJOKdL1i.dpuf
With the new season just around the corner our only goalkeeper decided he didn't want to be a keeper anymore. With him being the only keeper we have, and good in goal we refused and told him we really want and need him to be the keeper.
Unfortunately he had already made up his mind, and decided he didn't want to be between the sticks this season, so has left to join an unknown team and will supposedly be playing outfield.
This leaves us searching for a keeper with only a week until the new season. If anyone is interested in playing for us in goal. Please get in touch as soon as possible!
- See more at: http://www.taipeimagpies.tw/news/item/news/goalkeeper-needed#sthash.GibGQH1r.dpuf
The first I heard of Amore Pizza was in a newspaper article in Taipei Times. They claimed despite Amore Pizza's shabby old looking brown interior this was one of the finest pizza establisments in town. The Mrs. quickly looked it up and found out that it was located behind NTU close to the back gate. This was a bit of a tricky spot to find. When we eventually found it, it wasn't hard to miss the drab shades of brown that Taipei Times spoke of.
I don't remember what we first had when we went there, but I am certain it was most likely pepperoni. If a pizza place does bad peperoni then clearly they're not worth visiting again. Luckily for Amore Pizza or some would say unluckily the pizza I ate that day was enough to keep me going back.
Then suddenly one day we decided we wanted to eat a decent pizza and Amore Pizza was gone. We hopped on the scooter and looked around incase for some odd reason we were looking in the wrong place, but it really was gone and we weren't going clinically insane.
At this point I did think it was gone forever, and was rather disappointed because like most people I do love to have a decent pizza from time to time. Apart from the usual suspects of Pizza Hut and the other cheap take away pizzas there really wasnt / isn't that much choice in Taipei.
Then one day from nowhere, out of the blue my Mrs. said, "Amore Pizza is open again". It didn't close it just moved. "HMMMM, Moved?" I said with some kind of sinister gleee that I would again be chomping on that good ole pizza of theirs...but where was it?
Turns out it had a new location between Zhongxiao Dunhua, and Zhongxiao Fuxing. This new location was as awkward to find as the previous one. Jammed in the middle of two busy MRT Stations, but hidden away down the back lane like some sexy pizza gem that would make Pinky and Brain give up their conquest on conquering the world and wet their pants with excitement.
The other news was, the inside looked identical to the last one. All that drab brown was there too, but who cares when good pizza is the order of the day eh? You could look at those drab brown walls all day. As long as they kept serving sexy tasting pizza.
THEN NO!!!! WHAT THE HELL!!!!! It happened again. It was gone, it was no longer hidden in the little back lane. It was closed and gone! And we were back to eating Pizza Hut. We felt pizzerless which was the equivalent to a husband who's wife has ran off and left him for the 20 stone butch lesbian. It's depressing...maybe not that drastic but you get the point, every city needs a good pizza place with a reasonable price.
Never fear however! My Mrs. came and saved the day again like she is the batman of the pizza world or some random shit like that. She again informed me that Amore Pizza had upped and moved. Again! This time it relocated to Gonguan. It was lke Amore Pizza was trying to get rid of me and didn't want me to be a regular anymore.
I was very pleased it was still alive, breathing and serving that goddamn sexy pizza. This time they seem to have left the brown behind too and went for bright yellow. This seems to be the best location of all three they've had. However the secret is firmly out the bag this time, and the bright yellow decor is screaming, "SEXY PIZZA IS HERE BITCHES." Unlike indie music hipsters I don't mind the secret being out and I keep returning for more.
They serve all types of pizza and pasta, including pizzas for one person. I by far prefer the sausage and pepperoni. The Mr's likes to get meatball pasta, I do believe she only gets the meatball pasta so I can help eat the salad and bread, which comes together with the pasta order.
All in all if your looking for somewhere to eat pizza, that won't break the bank like some of the other 'trendy' looking places around Taipei you wont be going wrong heading to Amore. I can assure you, it's even better than a lot of the so called trendier ones too. Enjoy...Today Pizza! Tomorrow the World!
- See more at: http://www.taipeimagpies.tw/news/item/news/amore-pizzeria#sthash.MSTUITYo.dpuf
So before I begin with this blog, let me point out one thing quickly. I don't think this place is worth visiting on it's own. That's unless your mad into this kind of history then you might like just paying a visit here without going somewhere else too. If your not that mental about history I would advise you to see this as well as other tourist places in the area like; the National Palace Museum, Shilin Night Market and Yangming Shan.
Anyway I have known about this place for donkeys, practically since the day I arrived in Taiwan and had a google of what to see in Taipei. For some reason or another I have never got round to having a bit of a peek at it.
Due to my failed attempt to go to the hot springs due to it being the most crowded place I have seen in Taipei since the Chinese New Year holiday started, it give me the chance to eventually pop in here on the way back.
There was a massive lack of parking spaces. We managed to find about 6 scooter spots in total about 10 minutes walk down the road from the entrance to the square, and that was it. There were no car parking spots, and cars were just sat outside the entrance.
We managed to get to the Shrine at a good time as they were in the process of changing the guard. I managed to barge my way through the other tourists to get into a good snapping spot. It's odd when they change the guard here, your not behind a fence like in London, there is just a little red ribbon. There was a bit of novelty added to it all as some other bloke came out and corrected the guards uniforms for them when they eventually stood up on the little podium. I thought it's probably a good job he didn't have a wedgie. When their routine was finished we decided to go and have a nosey around the rest of the place.
As you walk through the entrance you enter onto a big square that is reminiscent of Chaing Kai Chek Memorial Hall without the Theatre and the Concert Hall. Once you walk through the main square you arrive at another entrance. This entrance is shaped and designed more like how a temple would look. Inside this area there is a smaller square, and it has a big shrine area which is blocked off and guarded.
At the left of this area, there is another room with plaques. On the plaques it looks like they have all the martyr's names who died fighting to create the Republic of China, if your not reading this in Taiwan and don't know the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China are not the same country. The ROC equals Taiwan, and the PRC equals China, no matter what your told by Chinese media about them owning everything from their new man made islands to Haiwai...it's just not true. Taiwan is an indpendent country.
Around the place, there were some small signs explaining different things like how the Canton Uprising was the Catalyst for the Republic of China being born.
The Shrine was generally interesting and good to see, but on the downside there wasn't much information around telling you about the history of the place. This is why I would only plan a trip there coupled with a visit to the National Palace Museum (at the very least) which is close by.
- See more at: http://www.taipeimagpies.tw/news/item/news/national-revolutionary-martyrs-shrine#sthash.HxXdw0Ll.dpuf
This year's Taipei Lantern Festival will take place around the Beimen (North Gate) area and Section 1 of Zhonghua Road. These areas can be accessed via Biemen or Ximen MRT Stations. The lantern Festival will start on the 4th February and run until the 17th February 2017.
During this year's festival vistors can look forward to seeing traditional lanterns plus light shows that will be projected onto buildings and sites around the area. There will be different zones throughout the areas where you can see different types of displays plus light shows.
According to the promotion material the reason for holding the lantern festival around the Beimen area is to show people this old part of the city.
The lantern festivals held around Taiwan are really interesting to see, I would highly recommend not missing them. As we are located in Taipei I look forward to checking out Taipei's every year. Each is different, and has a different theme to it, but please don't get the sky lantern festival mixed up with the normal lantern festival. None of these ones will be flying through the air.
There will be different activities throughout the districts of Taipei City, including street performers, stage shows and light shows. Times and schedules are all on the Lantern Festival Website(details below)
One Christmas while I was teaching, some of my students decided to give me a box of sweets. I couldn't wait to open them and have a try, because they were traditional Taiwanese sweets that I hadn't seen before.
The packaging was all in Chinese and I still struggle with reading even though I studying as much as I can, so obviously I couldn't work out any goddamn meaning on the box as per usual.
After teaching I dashed home as it was Christmas Eve and I had Christmas Day off which is pretty much a novelty in Taiwan. On the scooter, at the traffic lights I decided to rip into the box and pop one of the sweets the students give me hurridely into my mouth before the traffic lights turned green and The Wacky Races continued.
As I was in such a hurry I didn't pay any attention at all to how the sweets felt. If I was paying more attention I would of realised that they were as hard as a bloody rock. As things turned out, I proceeded to try and crunch through it. My teeth on the other hand disagreed with my decision and part of it cracked off.
Just my god damn luck I thought, I also think I ate the tooth not just the sweet. As you do! Christmas Bloody Eve! We had a nice meal booked for Christmas Day and now my tooth was broke, utter nightmare. It's really, really how my luck seems to go!
I had no choice but to pick a dentist, luckily the one I picked was good, and the dentists were really nice and helpful. I ended up having to get my tooth capped to save it which set me back a fair bit. If I remember correctly the total cost was between 6000-8000NT. I was going to blame the kids, I should of blamed the kids but it was clearly my stupidity. They all found it hilarious when I told them what happened.
If your living in or around the Guting area and looking for a dentist I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this one.
- See more at: http://www.taipeimagpies.tw/news/item/news/a-good-dentist-near-guting#sthash.SmMsEQ5K.dpuf