I have moved

March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hi everyone. I know I haven’t blogged for a very long time. Besides my obvious laziness, I was also unhappy with the domain and the theme of this blog, amongst other things, so I decided to start a new blog, using a very simple format. I have been blogging more consistently at: packingsbagsandplates.wordpress.com

Please meet me there for more travel and food diaries.  🙂



Xin Nian Kwai Le

February 5, 2011 § 2 Comments

It’s the year of the rabbit, whoopie!!! This weekend has been the most relaxing we’ve had in a while. With all the packing and moving, we really needed the rest. Taipei is so quiet during Chinese New Year. Most people travel to their families who live lower down on the island, or travel elsewhere. It is the ideal time for the Taiwanese to travel, because there is almost a week of holiday. Also, Taiwanese are allowed very few days of vacation, especially when they just start working. In fact, in the first year of working for a new company, they get 0 days of leave. It goes up by merely a few days every year.

In class on Thursday, we had to each write one card to one of our classmates, wishing them a “Happy New Year”. It felt like preschool all over again. I remember having to write cards to my parents for Mother’s Day and Father’s day, under the supervision of my teachers. I received a card from my Japanese classmate, so as you can see, the wishes are in both Japanese and Chinese.


The cool thing about Chinese New Year is that it comes a little after that of the Gregorian calendar, so if you haven’t been keeping up to your new year’s resolutions (like me), then there is a second chance. Yay! I will not eat so much of chocolate.. I will not eat so much of chocolate.. I will not eat so much of chocolate..

Gayageum Concert

December 31, 2010 § 2 Comments

My fellow Chinese classmate, An Narae, is also a Gayageum artist in South Korea. She is currently in Taipei with a group of Korean artists, performing and teaching students at the local University. She invited us to her solo gayageum concert at the university. The gayageum is a traditional Korean 12 string instrument. An concentrates her work on the “sanjo gayageum”. Sanjo literally means scattered melodies. With the sanjo gayageum, the strings are placed closer together and the instrument is typically of a shorter length,to enable the artist to have better control over it. Mind you, it is not short at all.

Almost full length gayageum


Close up gayageum

So many aspects of the this concert amazed me. An played the instrument for a full 70 minutes, without any break. This requires such intense concentration and upper body strength. The instrument is fairly long and she had to constantly stretch in both directions when pulling at the strings. She also placed the instrument across her lap,over crossed legs. This means that she did not change her sitting position or even move the lower part of her body for the full 70 minutes. Her outfit was so simple, yet so beautiful.

I absolutely loved the little shoes and matching pointy socks. I doubt they will look as good on my much bigger feet.

An belongs to a group called Yeoul in Seoul. There are many videos of this group on YouTube. I particularly liked this one:

I hope you learnt something new today. I most certainly did!

Packing and Cleaning

November 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

I spent the last weekend Rome. It was beautiful and I have so much to share. I also have to pack up my flat and then clean it afterwards. I plan to share my Rome Diaries soon. Watch this space 🙂 For now, wish me happy packing!

Goodies from Japan

October 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

My friend recently visited her family in Japan. She asked if I had any special requests for Japanese goodies before she left, but Ionly requested that she use her discretion. She chose well.

I always admired how she wrapped her school lunches in napkins, so she brought me  two beautiful napkins.

I look forward to wrapping my lunches in these eco-friendly napkins in Taiwan.

The husband and I each received one of these hand-stiched pouches:

In his pouch, a pack of Japanese bad-habits, a portable ashtray and a slab of white chocolate. I devoured his slab already. Of course mine will be saved for later.

My pouch held a small (Japan-like) clock, which also indicates what the temperature and level of humidity is. Now I will be able to tell you if Taipei really is as humid as they say.

Treats from abroad make me 🙂

I love you, Slottskogen

October 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

Since my great trek in February ’09, Slottskogen has been my favourite Gothenburg  place to visit. It is a massive park, with trees, animals, grass, pathways, a pond and some streams.

 It is beautiful in spring when the flowers and grass are brought back to life. It is beautiful in summer the when semi-nude bathers envelope the grass and mjukglass (soft-ice) is at hand to ease the heat. It is beautiful in the winter when the ground is a mass of white fluff that extends for kilometers… And it is beautiful in autumn when the leaves red and brown float in the air, settle on the ground and crunch under pressure.

I love to observe the animals. Especially those that I had not seen before moving to Scandinavia. My favourite is the reindeer. I struggle to comprehend how their not-so-large heads are capable of carrying such heavy-weight antlers. I could watch them for hours if Gothenburg was not so windy/cold/rainy.

Here are some of the pictures I took during different visits:

horses with long hair

Swedish people were impressed by the ostrich - this was no novelty for us South Africans


European elk - resembles a camel

I did not manage getting a single good shot of the reindeers, or maybe I was too busy staring at them to give my camera any notice. I liked this cartoon I found online of a reindeer so lets pretend it is mine. source

That is all for today. See, I didn’t wait too long to post again 🙂

Lilla Snigel

August 29, 2010 § 2 Comments

This is my favourite Swedish nursery rhyme. Everytime i’m out in the forest and I happen to see a snail, I am reminded of Lilla Snigel 🙂

It translates to something like the following:

Little snail, beware



little snail beware

otherwise I will take you

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