Monday, January 26, 2015

Keep Calm and Study 日本語 (Japanese!)

^^ source ^^
Ever since we moved to Japan i wanted to give japanese a try, simply because i love the way it sounds. I knew it would be complicated. For one they use symbols instead of letters, but also because they have 3 alphabets, 2 sets of numbers, and their grammar/sentence structure is completely the opposite of english. I quickly learned simple phrases like Hello, Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening, Thank You, You're Welcome, Excuse Me, Please, among a few others and they do help me feel like i'm being polite but i wasn't satisfied. I wanted to learn more, but the thing is i'm not disciplined enough to learn on my own. My japanese co-worker started teaching us little things when we weren't busy, like the days of the week, the numbers, and little words here and there. It quickly became my favorite part of work days. 

Soon after i had heard people talking about a Japanese class at the USO and when a friend mentioned she was on the waiting list, i quickly told her to sign me up when a class became available. A month later there i was taking a 40minute japanese class every Monday. I've only taken 5 classes so far but i am so in love with it! It's really fun learning a new language. I've even started learning Hiragana (the first alphabet) on my own, slowly but surely, and i especially love practicing by spotting the symbols when i'm driving. Also, now that we'll be staying in Japan longer it's going to make everything easier! Like reading menus, ordering at restaurants, asking questions in stores, etc. 

Q: Is there a language you've always wanted to learn? Which one and why? If there is one i say go for it because it's totally worth it, even if it's for fun! 

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Taiwan: Taipei Zoo and Maokong Gondola

On our first full day in Taipei we woke up super early, ate a quick breakfast at Starbucks and went on our way to the Taipei Zoo. The only reason i wanted to visit was to ride the Maokong Gondola (thanks Pinterest), but sadly we realized once we got there that it was closed on Mondays. We ended up exploring the Zoo because apparently my lovely husband had never been to a Zoo!! The tickets were only $60NTD ($1.90 USD) and you can easily pay for it using the easy card (totally recommend getting this while visiting Taipei beause it's super convenient). Excuse the huge picture spam! ;) 

^^ of course i had to take a picture with the colorful poops!! lol ^^

^^ pretty wall outside the Koala exhibit ^^

^^ it was so fun seeing Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, the pandas! ^^
^^ we had a little too much fun with these hippo statues!! ^^ 

We returned to the Zoo three days later and we got the chance to ride the Maokong Gondola on Christmas day. It was even more amazing than i had expected, i mean for one, everything was covered in Hello Kitty! Also the ride was incredibly high up and kind of scary (especially for G) but the views were spectacular.

^^ the view was a bit hazy and foggy but can you spot Taipei 101? ^^

When we reached the end of the line we went into the first tea house we saw, right outside the Gondola station. We were starving so we ordered waffles, as well as citrus and peach tea. A friend recommended the tea house and we thought this one was the one but after eating, we walked around and realized there are countless tea houses around this area. 

When we rode the gondola back we decided to stop at one of the stations and visit the Zhinan Temple. 

Just in case you missed our previous Taiwan posts, click here

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