Friday, January 24, 2014

DiHua Street for Chinese New Year!

This past Saturday I headed to buy fabric from the fabric district, which happens to be located night next to 迪化街/DiHua Street, which always gets very crowded for Chinese New Year! I did notice that this year there were fewer traditional stands and quite a few more "modern" things. I snapped some photos to share:

Grilled Stinky Tofu:
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This is one of the most famous Taiwanese foods. I like the grilled version the most, but the the fried version is most commonly seen because it is the fastest and the fragrance is less obvious. There is also the original type, which is boiled, but the flavor is most pungent and a lot of foreigners are afraid of the taste. If you ever get the chance, I definitely suggest you give it a try at a few different places, because each stand and stall makes them a bit differently!

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Handmade nougat is another popular Taiwanese food and is very popular for gifting at Chinese New Year! There are SO many flavors and you can sample them all, too ;)

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Erm, just random

Food stall:
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Balloon Octopus:
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This was for a stall selling dried seafood goods. This is also very popular!

Pizza on a truck:
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This guy had a whole stone oven on the back of his truck. Food trucks are immensely popular in Taiwan, but I've not seen one with a whole stone oven installed before! It seemed pretty fun :)

Lucky lottery:
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Gambling and lucky packets are a must-have for Chinese New Year! In America, we used to get together with other Taiwanese families and the parents would gamble real money playing Mahjong while we kids would gamble with coins playing dice games.

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It really wasn't very good to be honest...

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We actually got to the entrance after going through the whole street since we came from the fabric building.

Lucky words, spring couplets
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Another must-have! You can get couplets for the door frame or single square words that you can hang. It is very common to get "spring" and "prosperity" and hang them upside-down because it sounds like the word for "arriving" and is lucky!

Candies, dried seafood, imported candy:
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These are also very common

Fish catching:
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A Japanese game of catching fish

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More modern games!

Goose Eggs:
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I bought one and split it with my friends. The ratio of yolk to white is much higher than in a chicken egg! These eggs were baked and the lady peeled and cut them for us. Very yummy!

ZhangYuan Gao
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This is made by grinding up uncooked rice and then moistening it with water to make it mildly sticky. Then it is layered in the wooden mold with flavor powder (either peanut or sesame) and the lid is put on. The mold is placed on a metal pole which channels steam of 300 degrees to rapidly cook the whole bundle. It is a bit like a rice ball, but much finer because the grains of rice were all smashed beforehand and takes only seconds to cook!

An attempt at Western-Eastern fusion resulted in a truly baffling Hawaiian hula dance performance complete with Chinese paper (I think it was the paper money we burn) at the back of the skirts:
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I'm not entirely sure how to feel about this .___.
Sometimes Taiwan's attempts is incorporating other cultures goes not quite right... such as pole dancers at temple offerings (supposedly to attract good spirits) or the Taiwanese take on belly dance, which sort of lost the sensual aspect and simply turned it into a sexy, clubbing type of deal without enough focus on the dace as a whole, based on what I've seen professional teachers teaching and presenting on TV. Still, I think cultural integration is great!

Does your country have any "fusion" of traditional and modern things? Maybe it is because I grew up in America so I'm used to fusions of cultures and mish-mash of everything! I'd love to hear about other cultures' take on this too!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in Taipei!

This May (my birthday month!) sweet and adorable Kyary Pamyu Pamyu will sing in Taipei!
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I REALLY hope I can go, because I will still be in school then, so I am not sure of my scheduling at that point....

But I know many people are out of school by mid-May, so if you happen to be traveling to Taipei, maybe you can catch the show! Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is not a Lolita, but she shares many of the sweet and adorable aesthetics that so many Lolitas love. I have only seen one video of hers, but her photos and styling always seem very cute and unique

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Military Lolita

Normally I don't do item updates, but this spin on military-theme Lolita really caught my eye!
I'm preparing some posts on fabric shopping and exciting markets prepping for Chinese New year (at the end of the month this year), so keey an eye out for it ;)

Anyway, Yolanda on has a military-theme set that just went up:
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I love a few details in particular

The slight flare of the double-breasted piece, which can be removed, is a softer, more feminine take on the squarish cut of military uniforms. Without the piece, the golden details can be revealed:
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The epaulette details are added to the hem of the skirt in addition to the usual location on the shoulders:
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And the high-waist skirt looks more adult and the wide belt is a wonderful touch of detail without interfering with the lace-up back design:
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Plus, the golden stitching is just gorgeous!
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What is your favorite theme in Lolita fashion? I don't wear military-style fashion much, but I really like fairytale-theme clothing NOT using prints. It may not always be obvious what the theme is, but I think when teh inspiration comes from a place of fancy, there is a bit of whimsy and more elegance than is expressed with prints, since prints are the focus and the design shouldn't be too eye-catching to take away from it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Midori in Taiwan

Micro-post to let you know that BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT model Midori will be in Taiwan for a tea party on March 1! Tragically, I cannot attend because I have a friend attending that day as well as Fashion Week at my school the following day. I am sobbing hysterically on the inside, but acting real chill about it on the outside.

From her ameblo here

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Life is a Game

How many of you made resolutions for the new year? Huge, fantastic goals that will hopefully come to fruition by the end of 2014?
I personally didn't but I am not good with long-term goals. Instead, I find adding and changing small habits to be much easier for me to handle. Plus, I like instant gratification so if my goals are very small it's like I get to celebrate small successes often!

I've happened across and ADORABLE website that transforms you into a character in your real-life RPG (role-playing game) where achieving goals and exercising habits earn you EXP (experience) and money. Giving in to negative habits results in a loss of HP (health points)

The website is called HabitRPG and I think it is quite fun and easy! It is in its very beginner stages, but you can create and join guilds and accept challenges or create your own.

Give it a go if you enjoy games and goals! It is completely free, though you can donate money for gems and unlock special features, such as more custom features for your avatar.

I've only just started on the site, so I'm not 100% sure how all the features work yet. It has its own wiki for questions, as well as forums for discussion. There are mobile versions for Android and iOS, but not WindowsPhone (sobbing!) so you can take it with you! My API is 32aaafb7-4f9f-4047-ad98-13c02d364a88 so if you join, perhaps we can start a party :D

Eventually there are going to be pets you can find and raise as well as other RPG features like boss battles I believe. I haven't leveled up enough to upgrade any of my gear, but I hope to keep up with this!

Does anybody else have an account? Or will you be making one?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Baby Panda Says Happy New Year!

May the new year bring health and happiness to everybody!
I've been extra busy with sewing because finals are coming up. I cannot wait for winter break to begin!