C’est juillet! Every year when July swings by, I always feel an extra bit of excitement because it’s the month of my birthday. Haha, self-absorbed much? Actually, it doesn’t matter if it’s my birthday or not because I don’t really celebrate it then or now, and more often than not it is just another occasion for me to have an excuse to shop for myself since no one will buy me those gifts that I want. :p
And it’s only natural that I note people around me who share the same birthday month. In my family including myself, 3 of 5 were born in July, how’s that for a majority? And in my group of friends who I still keep in touch with other than wishing them Happy Birthday on Facebook once a year, there is more than a handful who are July babies too. Over the years I have also discovered 3 other people whom I have met through the course of work or otherwise, who were born on the same day as me, with one having the exact birthdate. Yes, same year too!
So anyhow, that was just self-indulgence talk above, not that anything on my blog isn’t. I was just thinking back to the Taipei trip and thinking how low maintenance I can be when it comes to food (note the quick qualifier), because I can really just survive on cafe food anywhere. When I was in Brisbane last year for a 2-week trip and spent a week on my own, I could just have a coffee and sandwich for meals anytime. If there are convenience stores nearby, all the better because they become the best place for me to go to for food/snacks/anything.
Taipei was great because like a lot of other Asian cities, there is an abundance of convenience stores. Of course I think the best is Japan, where there seem to be at least one on every street, but even in this supposed not-so-centralised part of Taipei I was able to find at least 3 stores in the hotel vicinity. They always have a lot of promotions going on instore, so I’m always buying a lot of stuff from these shops. Taipei stores are rather into the environmental friendly regime because from years back when I visited I realised they charge you for the plastic bag for your purchases, so I will try to remember to bring along my own grocery bag or dump everything into my bag. Singapore stores should seriously consider making people pay for plastic bags so that we will be more disciplined to bring along a grocery bag each time.
There are a lot of interesting/cute stuff in the stores and I always spend an inordinate amount of time browsing through the food items and deciding on what I should get. Hello Kitty yogurt doesn’t necessarily taste better than other brands but I just thought the bottle looked cute and yes I am a closet cute-stuff-lover. I have a lot of cutesy stuff bought from overseas when I shop even though I don’t really use a lot of them; maybe I just love to shop and somehow being overseas justifies buying anything so long as they appeal to me at that moment (and provided they don’t cost an arm or a leg).
The hotel that I stayed at gave me a plate of fruits (apple and kiwi) on the first day I checked in. I took the apple and left the kiwi because I didn’t have the necessary utensils/cutlery to cut/eat it. The next day they gave me a pack of Japanese crackers, which I found was so random, but it was good! They replaced it with an apple again the next day, and over the days I got another pack of crackers and a biscuit/cheese pack too. At the end of each day when I get back to the hotel, I’d check what they had left for me, haha.
Just a picture of a late dinner I had one night after coming back from the office and not knowing what I want to eat, I ordered the safest sandwich, i.e. Club Sandwich, from the cafe near the hotel, and I don’t know if they felt bad for making me wait too long while they prepared the sandwich but they gave me a complimentary cup of mushroom soup that went really well with the sandwich at the end of the meal. How do you eat Club sandwich if you do? I always dissect my sandwiches and eat them piece by piece, bread and fillings separate, because I don’t know how to take the whole thing and shove it into my mouth like how burgers are supposed to be eaten.
I thought it was going to rain when we went to Shilin Night Market on Saturday, as you would probably think from this picture.
I took the photo while my colleagues were queueing to buy the fried chicken chop, but it didn’t rain eventually and it was still extremely hot and humid without the sun that we were all sweating as we stood at a side and ate our food. I think mid-year is too warm to visit Taipei to properly have fun and do all the things like eating/shopping at night markets. I’d want to go back there again when the weather is better, so if anyone is keen do let me know! It’s no fun going to a night market alone because then I won’t get to eat a wide variety of food.
And if you’re a July baby, Happy Birthday to you, whether you are a Cancerian/Leo. 🙂