Thursday, November 11, 2010

Frogland Trip Day 1: Arrival (26 Sep 2010)

Since M nicknames me Frosch, my homeland Taiwan is naturally a frogland. Haha, sounds like a real habitat.

During an online chatting back in May, I invited M to come for a visit. Because winter semester in Germany starts in mid-October, M decided to visit in late September, along with his friend, FD. On the other hand, I was doing a health checkup rotation in September and an ICU rotation in October, thereby having a more flexible working schedule. Sounds perfect, huh? Actually, I had made some efforts to make all the pieces fit together. It is not an easy task I'd say.

As a side note, I had to sit in the official license exam for internist on 25 September, the day right before their arrival. I had spent most of my downtime studying over the past few months and became so wound up. Planning and organizing the trip has become an escape to my tension during those days, although making the plan was sorta cumbersome. But the cumbersomeness per se is also where the pleasure lies.

When I looked for accommodations, I found some short-term or day-rental apartments (and they are in increasing numbers in Taipei, but I've learned that such accommodations are forbidden in NYC now). I picked up the one located off the center but apparently comfy and with a nice panorama of the river.

The place is in the proximity of the red line Chuwei MRT station, so the downtown area is readily accessible in less than 30 minutes. (It's a shame that the webpage is written solely in Chinese; for those who don't read Chinese, you may inquire the landlady for details via emails.)

A marvelous shot out of the window by FD.

It was super sunny on 26 September. I got up late in the morning, trying to recover from the exhaustion caused by preparing for the exam lately; it felt like running a marathon and finally having the chance to gasp at the finish line. Nevertheless, I felt extraordinarily delighted for what I've accomplished and for what awaited ahead: the frogland trip.

M and FD took the China Eastern Airlines and stopped over at Shanghai. They arrived half past 7 pm after a couple of hours delay. I haven't seen M for months and I never met FD in person, so I was eagerly staring at the exit in the fear of missing them. Well, the worries were apparently unnecessary. M is almost 2 meters tall and FD might be 2 cm shorter; when they came out of the automated door, I recognized them immediately.

We exchanged hugs and I told them about my observation.

"Like the twin towers," FD came up with the term.

"Exactly," I concurred.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Sonnenblume, originally uploaded by quasirobot.

Someone gave me this sunflower as a token of our friendship the day I arrived Berlin. I stayed in the city for 4 days.

I booked a night train leaving Berlin for Cologne some time past midnight, so I had to carry this flower with me walking around the city after checking out of the guest house. The café near Siegessäule was closed. I sat at one of the empty table, trying to aim a perfect angle at the statue. I put the flower down and voilà, it suddenly dawned on me that this is a very poetic and nostalgic composition, so I took this picture. And, yeah, it turns out to be one of my favorite pictures during this trip.

Running cart, Mercedes Museum

Running cart, Mercedes Museum, originally uploaded by quasirobot.

This pic was taken in the Mercedes Museum Stuttgart last September. I pressed the shutter accidentally while I was still focusing my lens on the cart. But when I checked the picture afterward, this out of focus one appears more vivid and interesting than the other perfectly focused one. Well, it's apparently a bumpy ride, don't you think so? :-)