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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tetris Battle - Available Now

                                          Vera Hsu & Kevin Chang
 
Today we want to introduce a very popular game on Facebook. There are many games now available now, such as Diamond Dash, Castleville, and our favorite, Tetris Battle. Tetris Battles’ rules are as same as the original Tetris, but it is played differently. There are 2P, 3P, and 6P modes, which means that you can play with two, three, or six people together. Moreover, you can play with people randomly selected from among players around the world! Each game lasts two minutes. We love the 2P mode most. You can play with others one after another, and you win by getting more knock-outs.

Image (c) Facebook
We didn’t know about this game at first. Our friends recommended it to us.  Now, we love it very much. We didn’t have any skills in the beginning, so we always lost to our friends. After we had played and practiced it every day, we were really happy that we could finally beat them.

There are good reasons why you should play Tetris Battle. First, playing it trains our brain. For example, when you think how to arrange the falling square blocks to form a line, you are training your space conception. Also, when you spin the blocks in order to match the new blocks with the bottom blocks – and match them faster and faster – you are training your hand-eye coordination. Besides training our brains, playing Tetris Battle is a great way to kill time when you are bored.

However, there are also some reasons why you shouldn’t play Tetris Battle. As everybody knows, many people become addicted to video games, especially young people. Also, because you have to concentrate and fix your eyes on the screen, you will get screen sickness easily. No matter whether you win or lose, you will want to try again and again. Then you will forget the time. Therefore, when you start to play Tetris Battle, you must think about how to control your time. Maybe you can set your alarm to remind you to stop.

People have been playing the original Tetris for an incredible thirty years. However, because the game company keeps updating Tetris and making it more complex and challenging, the players keep increasing.

We recommend Tetris Battle. It’s good for training and entertainment, and you can make manyfriends with players around the world. Just be careful not to get hooked!

Two North Taiwan Daytrips

     Rachel Hsu
Last weekend, I went to Taipei with a friend. We visited many places, but I want to introduce two locations that impressed me deeply – Tamkang University and Jiufen. They are both places you shouldn’t miss.
We visited Tamkang University first. Their campus is not big, but it is a distinctive school. We entered Tamkang campus from “Overcoming Difficulty Slope”, a steep slope made up of 132 stone steps. We were tired when we had reached the top, but we were still excited. There is a meaning to the slope; it symbolizes “difficulties and hardship”. The slope tests whether students can persevere and overcome difficulties.
Photos by the author
The Chinese Palace- style Classrooms in Tamkang are famous. They are modeled on Chinese classical palaces, with black roofs and red walls. They have become a symbol of the school. I thought it would be really special to study here. There is a Chinese garden behind the Chinese Palace-style classrooms, with a tiny waterfall, pool, Chinese gazebo, and many flowers and tussocks. I really envied the students at Tamkang such a restful and unique learning environment.


The next spot we went to was Jiufen. Jiufen is in the mountains of Ruifang. In early Taiwan, it development into a town because of the gold rush, but when the gold ran out, Jiufen quickly went into decline and, for a while, the town was mostly forgotten. In 1989, a popular movie, A City of Sadness, was filmed in Jiufen.  The movie attracted many tourists to Jiufen. From then on, it became a famous tourist attraction. An anime movie, Spirited Away, was also filmed in an antique tea shop in Jiufen. Because I love that movie, when I heard the news from tour guide, I was excited.
There are many old-style groceries on Jiufen’s old street, selling children’s toys, clogs, and souvenirs. We ate Juifen’s specialty: Taro rice balls and Moxa cakes. All of them were handmade; they were chewy and delicious. Retro- Chinese style café’s, tea houses and old- style shops stand on the old street; I enjoyed the nostalgic atmosphere. At that time, I almost forget time and space and couldn’t tell the difference between present and the past. I had been to Jiufen two times before, but I always went in the daytime. My friend said the night is more charming, so, next time I visit, I’ll spend the night and experience the silent environment and see the fascinating night view.


Coming home from Taipei, I thought that both Tamkang University and Jiufen are worth visiting. In Tamkang, you can relax and look at the unique buildings at the same time. Jiufen is a mountain town with vintage atmosphere and many shops. You will feel as if you had gone through a time tunnel. You will also see a panoramic view that you can share with family and friends. If you have two days, you can visit these two scenic spots. If you just have one day available, choose one of them. Because they are kind of far apart, it will take too much time to visit both places. No matter where you go, just open your mind and have a nice trip!


Visit Southeast Asia without Leaving Taichung

Lisa Huang

Without traveling out of Taiwan, you can experience Southeast Asia in Taichung.  First Square, near Taichung train station, is also called “Little Southeast Asia.” You can eat exotic foods or buy lots of things from the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand there. The grocery shops at First Square are my favorite shops in this area.

Photos by the author

There are lots of grocery shops at First Square. They look very normal, just like the grocery shops at Taiwan. You will see neither beautiful wallpaper nor beautiful paintings on the walls; it’s just WHITE walls. And the shelves they put their groceries on are exactly the same as those in Taiwan’s grocery stores. However, the atmosphere is totally different from Taiwan’s stores. Because most of the groceries they sell in these stores are from Southeast Asia, you will run into lots of foreigners there and see lots of words on package labels that you can’t understand!

They sell four types of groceries in the First Square “Little Southeast Asia” grocery shops: Filipino, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Thai. You can browse freely and have a little adventure in the shops without people bothering you. If you want to know how to use an item in a certain dish, you can always ask the staff. If they are not busy, they are often willing to give you a brief introduction about the groceries they sell.


My favorite item is the green curry sauce. It is cheap and easy to cook. Usually I will cook it with some coconut cream, chicken drumsticks and vegetables. Cheap groceries are not the only reason I visit the shops; I also like the service they provide. Because there are lots of things that I don’t know how to cook, I always ask the people who work there how I can use the items they sell. By asking questions and talking with the staff, I also learn about different cultures and broaden my horizons.

First Square – “Little Southeast Asia” – is a wonderful place to visit if you want to experience different cultures or get some cheap and exotic groceries. If you have never been there before, grab some friends and visit the shops together; I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time!

A Little Bit of Tibet Here in Taichung

Ray Yeh
When I was walking by the exotic restaurant Little Tibet, I was attracted by the unique and colorful decorations. Even before I went into the restaurant, I was impressed with the shop front. There were many bright decorations and colorful flags hanging outside the restaurant. When I opened the door, the smell of food came to me and I was surrounded by traditional Tibetan music. The cashiers counter was in the center of the room, and there was a unique drawing above the bar. There were many pictures of Tibet hung on the left and right walls. When I looked upward, I was surprised at the distinctive hanging lamp.

All photos by the author

Little Tibet serves Tibetan and Indian dishes. It provides appetizers, soup, main dishes, drinks, and deserts. You are free to order a la carte or you can order one of their set meals. The set meals included an appetizer, a bowl of soup, a main dish, a drink, and a desert. The price of the average meal is moderate for dinner; it is cheaper for lunch.


The waitress who served me that day was kind. She greeted me and guided me to my table as soon as I walked in. When I didn’t know what to eat, she was patient with me. She not only recommended some delicious dishes, but also taught me how to enjoy the food in the Tibetan way.

I ordered a set meal. I had pickled purple collard greens. The dish was a little spicy and sour, but it was appetizing. Although the beef soup didn’t look too appealing, it was rich and delicious. I could not stop eating the soup until the bowl was empty. My main dish was Tibetan Blue cheese with beef. This dish had a strong cheese flavor. The best way to enjoy the dish was with the yummy naan – traditional Tibetan fried bread. First, I spooned the Tibetan blue cheese onto my plate. Then, I tore the fried naan into pieces and used my hands to wrap the cheese inside a piece of the naan. It was interesting to eat in this special way. The white curd tasted a little sweet and soft. The butter tea that I had with my meal was unsweetened and a bit salty. It was really different from the milk tea I am accustomed to.


When you enter Little Tibet and find yourself surrounded by Tibetan decorations, you will feel like you really are in Tibet. Although this was the first time I had tried exotic food, I still enjoyed my meal with the kind waitress’s help. The atmosphere at Little Tibet was comfortable because the decorations were colorfuland the atmosphere was great. Of course, I loved Little Tibet’s food! If you like to try exotic food, I really recommend you Little Tibet.

Little Tibet
No.2 Qinghe Street, Xitun District., Taichung
Hours: 11:30-14:30; 17:30-20:30
Phone: 04-24522452

International Trade Simulated Trade Fair - A Winner!

Lynn Hsieh

In April of 2012, our group, FCU PAPAGO team, was awarded second place in the International Trade Simulated Trade Fair Contest.  Twenty-four teams from Taiwan and China participated, and we were also awarded the champion of English Commercial Communication and the second place in New Product Presentation. Preparing for the competition, where we would promote our new product, the Driving Recorder PAPAGO P2 (a video system that records your driving experience), was really difficult for us.

Our teacher/advisor, Miss Hsu, had set high standards for us and led us by working with us. Members in our group were unfamiliar with each other at the beginning and had to cooperate with each other instantly. The lucky thing was that we all had our talents and were willing to do our best in the contest.

We had to understand the product, analyze the market, and create an innovative strategy to compete with competitors in the driving recorder field. How to attract customers’ attention was very important. The main character of the Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow became the star of our new product presentation. The host, as Captain Jack, had to pay attention to his voice, movements, and facial expressions to present our product completely. The color, the lighting, and decoration were important to our booth design. Finally, our project had to meet the standards of the judges.

The contest began on April 21, after 4 months of preparation. Competitors came from different universities and promoted different kinds of products. In the commercial communication area, the judges pretended to be our customers and asked us questions. We might have felt nervous, but we had all prepared very hard, so we had confidence to win. Finally, our representation went very smoothly, and we attracted the spectators’ attention when the new product presentation began.

We learned a lot by participating in the contest and became good friends. Though we might have had some quarrels during our preparation, sharing the same goal taught us to forgive and work harder for the group. This was a really a good experience. We improved our skill at creating an exhibit for an international trade fair, and we learned a lot from each other in the process. I am very proud of my team, FCU PAPAGO!

Shopping at "Fantasy" - A Dream Come True

Angie Chang & Jody Tu

Enjoy, relax and have fun in your leisure time. Fantasy is a special place that has a good atmosphere and well designed shops. You can leave the crowds and noise of shopping malls behind and have a quiet afternoon tea and stroll through the various shops in this interesting area.

From outside on the street, you can see the walls of the main building are painted in colorful geometry. After you enter this small shopping “district,” you will see many well designed shops along the street. These are your first impressions of Fantasy. Fantasy is a small district of old buildings that have been renovated and made into shops.

Photo by the authors
The idea of Fantasy is of providing a comfortable space for people who have great ideas and want to open their own small business. The founder of Fantasy had an unsuccessful experience running a business because he didn’t think that running a business cost a lot. For other people, too, “we can’t afford the cost” is one of the reasons why great ideas are not realized. Therefore, the founder established a space for people who share the dream of owning their own store. In Fantasy, the bills are shared among the small shops so that each shop’s cost could be reduced. This makes it easier for the shopkeepers to run their stores.

Now, these shopkeepers’ dreams have become a reality.  Fantasy is composed of a number of well designed, small modern shops. Fantasy provides a place for people who want to find some fun and enjoy a unique window shopping experience. Shoppers are allowed to browse freely through the shops. One of Fantasy’s features is that each shop has its own theme and their products are unusual and delicate. The atmosphere in each shop is different and gives you a unique shopping experience.

To get to Fantasy, go to SOGO department store and go along Meicun Road. You will see H&B real estate(住商不動產) on your left-hand side at Lane 117. Turn left on Lane 117 and go straight; you will a colorful geometric wall. That is Fantasy. Fantasy is a place full of amazing and unusual products. We believe that you will have fun here.

Fantasy
21 Lane 117, Meicun Road, Section 1, West District, Taichung

In Search of the Perfect Cappuccino

Sunny Wu & Jack Lin

Nowadays, many people try to increase their work efficiency by drinking coffee. Some drink coffee during business meetings, some while having a relaxing chat with friends, and others when they are enjoying a private moment. We think Feng Chia University students drink coffee for all of these reasons, and coffee is very popular here on campus.  Therefore, we investigated six coffee shops in Feng Chia University to see which one we liked best.  Since it is our favorite coffee drink, we decided to try the cappuccino at teach place. Here is what we found.  

Heien:

The taste: Unfortunately, Heien does not sell cappuccino.  We tried the Americano, instead.
The price: The American coffee is on sale now, and a cup of black coffee is only $29 (the original price is $45). If you only like cappuccino, this shop might not be your best choice.

We did like the Heien cups, though.  They have a special design; they don’t tip over easily.

EZ Café

The taste: The cappuccino at EZ Café tastes very soft, and it smells great. It will really wake you up!

The price: If you order a meal or beverage in English ( foreign students have to speak Chinese ) , you will get 10% discount.

The environment at EZ Café is very good . You can talk to foreign students here or discuss your school work with your classmates here.
 
Bis in Dei

The taste: It seemed like the cappuccino contained too much milk. However, if you like a lot of milk in your coffee, Bis in Dei is your best choice.

The price: if you are a FCU student or teacher, you can get 10% discount.

Because Bis in dei is in the library, you can borrow a book or magazine and have read it while you enjoy your coffee.   

Garden Café

The taste: We thought the cappuccino tasted like it contained a kind of Chinese medicine; it tasted much different from the other cappuccinos! If you like traditional cappuccino taste, you have other options.

The price: There is no discount here, so if you don’t want to spend too much money on your cup of coffee , you have other choices in Feng Chia University .

Garden Café is located on the seventh floor in the Business College building. If you can’t find a suitable place to have a business meeting or a relaxed chats with friends, or if you just want to avoid the crowd at lunch time, this is a nice place with a beautiful view.  

7-11 City Café

The taste: We thought there wasn’t enough foam on the cappuccino. If you like lots of foam, try the cappuccino at EZ Café, Bis in dei or Garden Café.

The price: There is no discount, so if you think the price is too expensive, you can choose other coffee.

There is a coupon activity now. If you buy four grande cappuccinos and add $85, you can get a bag.

Hi-Life Hi-Café

The taste: We thought the cappuccino at Hi-Life was not too bitter. If you don’t like your cappuccino too strong, this might be the coffee for you.

The price: If you are an FCU student or teacher, you can get a 10% discount. Because this makes Hi-Café’s price lower than the others, it’s good news for students.

Hi-Café is having a sales promotion now. If you buy six venti Café Americano or five venti latte you can get a special price – NT$220 total.

Conclusion

Although drinking coffee can increase your work efficiency and relieve your daily pressure, if you drink too much there may be some physical risk. According to research reports, you should drink less than 500 cc per day. And if you can only drink that little, then it is important to find your favorite cup. Follow our advice and you will be sure to find that special cappuccino just right for you!  

The Fisherman & the Fish - Moview Review

Anfisa Kusnetsova

“The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish” is an old Russian cartoon made in 1950. It tells a tale written by famous Russian writer and poet Alexander Pushkin. Pushkin wrote the tale in 1833. This tale is about an old man, his greedy wife, and the “Golden Fish”. The tale and the cartoon are well known for their important moral message.

The old man and his old wife lived in a small hut by the sea. The old man had been a fisherman for thirty-three years. One day, he went out to fish and threw his net three times. Two times he pulled out just seaweed. The third time he caught a “Golden Fish”. The fish could talk and begged him to let it go. It promised to make any wish come true in return.

The old man let the fish go and did not ask any favor of the fish. When he returned to his hut he told his wife about the miracle fish. The old woman was angry that he did not ask anything from the fish, so she sent him back to the fish. She told him to bow to the fish and ask for a new washboard. The fish granted her wish. When the old man came back to the hut he saw his wife with a new washboard, but she was still not happy. She sent him to the fish again. This time she wanted a new small hut.

When the fish granted her second wish, the old woman still wasn’t satisfied. She was tired of being a fisherman’s wife; she wanted to be a noblewoman! She told her husband to go back to the fish again and ask the fish to make her third wish come true. The fish granted this wish too; however, the old woman still was not happy. Finally, she wanted to be the sea queen and make the “Golden Fish” her servant. The fish didn’t grant her greedy wish and gave the old woman what she deserved.

The “Golden Fish” did not get angry about the old woman’s greedy wishes, even about the last wish. However, its unhappiness with the old woman’s greed could be sensed in the scenes of the sea. The sea was calm at the beginning of the cartoon, but every time the old man went back to the fish and told it of his wife’s newest wish, there were small storms on the sea. Eventually, when the old man came to tell his wife’s final wish, there was a big storm on the sea.

The moral of the tale is that very greedy people end up with nothing. Because the cartoon shows that some people do not value small things, it also teaches us to value what we have. Finally, it shows us how some people who are unhappy also make others unhappy.

This famous cartoon is not only good for children, but also for adults. Children especially like the cartoon for its beautiful scenes. However, adults like the moral lesson more. I think students here at FCU will like it because it is something new – a Russian cartoon!  So, go to YouTube and search for “The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish.” As you watch the cartoon, you will get a feeling for Russian culture and the Russian people.

Old Young Brunch - Restaurant Review

Clair Lin

As I parked my scooter in front of the restaurant, I was stunned by the old house; and when I stepped inside, I was surprised again because there were so many special decorations on the walls – and even on the ceiling! This is Old Young Branch, a unique café where you can relax and get away from it all.

All photos by the author
The thing that makes Old Young Brunch unique is that the café was rebuilt from an old house with a historical past – it was built during the Japanese colonial period. At Old Young Brunch, you can relax in the slow-paced atmosphere and sink into history. The soft music they play also helps customers relax.  The other thing that makes Old Young Brunch unique is that they provide a showroom for young artist to show their works.


The menu of the café is very cute because the front side is the menu but the reverse side is a big doorplate. Old Young Brunch sells brunch, dessert, and drinks. The brunch includes salads and sandwiches. If you come in the afternoon you can order the desserts and have a cup of coffee share with your friends. They also sell many kinds of beverages; coffee, fresh milk and beer. If you order a drink with your meal and you will get a discount on the drink.


I ordered a dessert and a cappuccino. My dessert was banana toast with chocolate ice cream, which looked cute and tasted yummy. The toast was crispy and hot and tasted sweet with the chocolate syrup. The cappuccino was terrific, too. It was sweet and a little bitter, and I thought it was great. The most amazing thing was that the milk and coffee divided into two colors and didn’t mix together.


To spend a free afternoon chatting with friends was awesome. I felt relaxed because the decoration and music created a comfortable atmosphere. I suggest visiting the restaurant on a weekday so that you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, far away from both the city noise and the stress of your daily life. Give yourself the day off and visit Old Young Brunch. I believe you will love this restaurant.


Old Young Brunch
17 Dahe Road, West District, Taichung
11:00 – 20:00 (closed Tuesdays)
Phone: (04)2301-2881

Toys and Treats - A Traditional 柑仔店

  
Jessie Chen & Wendy Chang

柑仔店 means “traditional candy shop" in Taiwan. There were many of these kinds of candy shops in the 60’s. However, as more and more convenience stores open, 柑仔店are slowly vanishing. Luckily, a 柑仔店 just opened near Feng Chia night market called "陸零年代逢甲小學柑仔店,” and they still sells some traditional goods that remind people of their childhood.   
 

The shop itself is very traditional. Outside the shop, a few old cartoon characters are drawn on the outer wall. The door and windows are old-fashioned. Inside the shop, the space is divided into two sections. In the front of the shop, they sell toys. In the back of the shop, they sell candies. When you go into the shop, you will see cars and masks in two glass cases. Many other toys like planes, ships, and plastic guns are hung on the walls. When you go further inside of the shop, you will see that it is decorated with traditional farm tools and old furniture. Colorful candies are stored in rows of jars and organized by flavor and type. On the top of each lid is the price tag.

 The toys that “陸零年代逢甲小學柑仔店” sells are old style, like masks, planes made of plastic, and colorful beanbags. Everything is very simple but very attractive. While we were in the shop, a small boy came in with his family. When he walked into the shop, he couldn’t move his feet from in front of the glass case. He was enthralled by a plastic airplane. "陸零年代逢甲小學柑仔店" sells mainly traditional Taiwanese candies and cookies, like chocolate bars, chewing gum, and malt sugar lollipops. The shopkeepers are a couple. They usually stand behind the cash register and are very friendly and easygoing. When you walk out of the shop, they will smile and say goodbye to you. Even though they might look a little serious, the shopkeepers treat their customers very nice.


 During my last visit to "陸零年代逢甲小學柑仔店", I bought my favorite sweet, “麥芽餅乾”, a traditional sandwich cookie with malt sugar in the center. The hard cookies and soft malt sugar melted together in my mouth, and I felt like I was in heaven! I also bought my favorite toy, a “戳戳樂”, which is a Styrofoam box partitioned into several compartments. There are little items in each compartment, and each compartment is covered by paper so that you can’t see what’s inside. After you pay NT.10, you can choose one compartment and poke it with your finger to break the paper and get what’s inside. You always get something special! The sense of mystery – and surprise – is what attracts me most.


We don't see these 柑仔店 very often now, so I think you won't want to miss  "陸零年代逢甲小學柑仔店". The shop not only sells candies but also displays traditional items. It recalls the good times we had before. Go soon to “陸零年代逢甲小學柑仔店” and find some memories of your childhood. Don’t forget to buy some candies and take some memories back with you.

六零年代逢甲小學柑仔店
323 Zhishan Road, Xitun District, Taichung
Directions: Go straight from FCU main gate to McDonalds.
Cross Fushin Road and keep going.
Turn left on Zhishan Road (the next stop light) and go past Family Mart.
You will see 柑仔店 on your left.

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 16:00 – 24:00
(The shop is also open on Mondays that are national holidays.)

                                                                    

Banana New Paradise - Restaurant Review

Zoe Hung & Marian Li

We had no idea about Taiwan’s past, so we wanted to discover more about it. Recently, we discovered a restaurant, Banana New Paradise, which has an old style atmosphere. We saw a lot of memorable stuff which taught us about Taiwan’s past lifestyle.

When we arrived at Banana New Paradise, we saw an old train car and platform outside the restaurant. We got on the train, and the train took us “back in time” to old Taiwan. When we arrived at our destination, we saw an old Taiwanese scene in front of us. We were surrounded by dim light and old Taiwanese music. It was like an old street.

All photos courtesy of the authors
When we arrived at the reception desk, the waiters took us to our seats and introduced the menu. After we ordered our meals, we went for a walk and looked around the shops. However, we discovered that the shops were not real shops; they were just façades. In front of the reception desk, we saw a row of rusty motorcycles and a tricycle. As we moved clockwise, we saw a grocery store displaying a number of folk games and candies. Next to the grocery store was a photo shop decorated with black and white photos on the walls. We saw a lot of school stuff, such as old workbooks and text books, in glass cases along the street. Before we arrived back to the reception desk, we saw a dentist’s office. The dentist’s office equipment looked the same as contemporary equipment.  When we went to the second floor, we saw many movies posters on the walls. There was also an old movie projector on display.


When we had completed our tour around the restaurant, we felt hungry. Luckily, the dishes we ordered were served soon after we reached our seats. We had ordered collard greens, braised tofu, steam fish, and stewed chicken feet. The collard greens were crispy and fresh, so they tasted a little bit sweet. The braised tofu was chewy on the outside and tender on the inside. It went well with our rice. The steamed fish was sour and refreshing because it was cooked with a bit of lemon juice. The fish melted in our mouths and also went well with the rice. The stewed chicken feet were tender.


Although the decorations at Banana New Paradise were beautiful and the food was delicious, the cost was a little bit high for students. We spent almost NT$1000 for four people. During weekdays, the minimum purchase for one person is NT$50, and on the weekends, it goes up to NT$100. Besides, you need to pay an extra 10% service charge.

Banana New Paradise is still a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and experience Taiwan’s traditional lifestyle.

Banana New Paradise
111 Shuangshih Road, Section 2, North District, Taichung (Near the Confucius Temple and Yu Jen Elementary School)
11:00 - 00:30
(04)2234-5402
http://www.vernaldew.com.tw