Jul 30, 2014

Kaohsiung 2014: Transport II

This is the last of my entries for my Kaohsiung trip in March. I will start writing about my Europe trip in my next entry. Stay tune! 

Planned to take normal train back to Taipei, but found out that long distance coaches are much cheaper, actually almost 50% cheaper!

Train fare from Kaohsiung to Taipei costs NT$853 with no special discounts for students, while coaches for the same journey cost only NT$399! So for the sake of my wallet, I took the bus instead.. One of the push factors for my taking the bus is that there are more than 3 bus companies near my hotel. It was very convenient.

The seats are similar to those in Malaysia, with the 2+1 configuration. Since I didn't know to ask for a single seat, I was seated with an elderly gentleman just behind the driver. So my hope of seeing the sights kinda evaporated as I was sitting in the aisle seat.

After departing from the main terminal, the bus stopped a couple of times within Kaohsiung area to pick up several more passengers before hitting the expressway heading north. It stopped once for about 10 minutes at a station, not on the expressway, so that we can use the toilet. Not too sure how fast the bus was traveling, but I think it was within the allowed speed limit as it was on the 2nd lane all the time instead of the 1st lane like most coaches in M'sia.

The bus stopped a couple of times after reaching Taipei area before terminating at Taipei Main Station around 12:30pm. Thus end my first solo trip south. :)

Jul 27, 2014

Europe 2014: foreword

Got back from my Europe trip more than ten days ago. Fell sick almost immediately for a few days due to weather difference, jet lag and insufficient rest/sleep. I did not fall sick during my 23-days trip even when I had walked in the rain for many days in various cities. So I think it was just a matter of time when all the physical exertions and maltreatment of my body inflicted during the trip came back to bite me, with a vengeance. I'm still struggling to get back to sleep before 12 midnight, but I am making progress albeit slowly.

This trip was quite significant because a) I'm attending my first international conference as a PhD student, b) it is the first time I went back to Europe after 2009 and c) I went couchsurfing on my own. The weather wasn't very cooperative but again, it could be worse. Covered many of the places that I wanna go yet there are still some that I missed out. All in all, I really had fun during my trip. :) Met many interesting characters along the way and became friends with several of my CS hosts. I would definitely do this again next year. :) :) :)

Anyway, the end of a long vacation is always followed by the laborious task of sorting and processing the monstrous number of photos I took during the trip. So it may take me a few weeks to sort the photos and write about the places and people that I've experience during my trip. Also instead of writing a day-by-day account, I will write topically which I think will be more interesting. I will try to write as much and as soon as possible while the memories are still fresh although I doubt that I will ever forget some of the more memorable ones any time soon. :)

Jul 26, 2014

Poetry Solace: of time and eternity

Two more poems from Series One of 'Poems by Emily Dickinson' before moving on to Series Two..

                                                I reason, earth is short,
                                                And anguish absolute,
                                                And many hurt;
                                                But what of that?

                                                I reason, we could die:
                                                The best vitality
                                                Cannot excel decay;
                                                But what of that?

                                                I reason that in heaven
                                                Somehow, it will be even,
                                                Some new equation given;
                                                But what of that?

                                                THE CHARIOT
                                                Because I could not stop for Death,
                                                He kindly stopped for me;
                                                The carriage held but just ourselves
                                                And Immortality.

                                                We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
                                                And I had put away
                                                My labor, and my leisure too,
                                                For his civility.

                                                We passed the school where children played,
                                                Their lessons scarcely done;
                                                We passed the fields of gazing grain,
                                                We passed the setting sun.

                                                We paused before a house that seemed
                                                A swelling of the ground;
                                                The roof was scarcely visible,
                                                The cornice but a mound.

                                                Since then 't is centuries; but each
                                                Feels shorter than the day
                                                I first surmised the horses' heads
                                                Were toward eternity.

Have a great weekend! stay safe!

Jul 12, 2014

Poetry Solace: of love

Another two more poems from Emily Dickinson..

                                            WITH A FLOWER
                                            I hide myself within my flower,
                                            That wearing on your breast,
                                            You, unsuspecting, wear me too -
                                            And angels know the rest.

                                            I hide myself within my flower,
                                            That, fading from your vase,
                                            You, unsuspecting, feel for me -
                                            Almost a loneliness.

                                            That I did always love,
                                            I bring thee proof:
                                            That till I loved
                                            I did not love enough.

                                            That I shall love always,
                                            I offer thee
                                            That love is life,
                                            And life hath immortality.

                                            This, dost thou doubt, sweet?
                                            Then have I
                                            Nothing to show
                                            But Calvary.

Have a great weekend! Stay safe!