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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

MR. CHEF'S Taste of Italy - A Restaurant Review

Terry Lee

MR.CHEF'S has two locations in Taichung city; both locations are on major roads, so they are very easy to find. At MR. CHEF’s, they serve both lunch and dinner, and the prices are reasonable – perfect for FCU students.

All photos by the author
I visited the Dadun Road location. The restaurant is neat and clean and filled with yellow light. When you enter the restaurant, you will first see a beautiful bar with lots of fancy plates and cups on it. The tables and chairs are arranged very neatly around the room, and there are a lot of special pictures hanging on the walls. The decoration gives the restaurant a relaxing atmosphere.

At MR. CHEF’S, they sell a variety of Italian noodles, salads, breads, beverages, coffees, and desserts. They have five kinds of Italian noodle dishes, including cream, tomato, pesto, Thai, and chili sauces. When you order a main course, you also get bread, a salad, and your choice of beverage. They only have one kind of bread, but it's tasty. They offer two types of salads – shrimp and cheese – and many types of beverages. Their beverages include iced tea, soft drinks, apple vinegar, juice, milk tea, and, of course, coffee.

I was hungry the night I visited MR. CHEF’S, so I ordered the spaghetti with vegetables in tomato sauce. I also choose a cheese salad and a cola. Before the waiter delivered the main course, he also gave me a cup of icy apple vinegar. The waiter was very polite and friendly. He showed me how to eat my bread with their special sauce. All in all, the service at MR. CHEF’S was very good.

The food, service, and ambience at MR. CHEF’S were also wonderful. The most important thing is that the price of my meal was really low! Therefore I strongly recommend this restaurant to all my readers!

244 Tung Hsing Road, Section 3, Taichung
811 Dadun Road, Taichung
Hours: 11:30 – 21:00

Teaching English at Da Ren Elementary School - A Great Opportunity

Serena Chen

Teaching English at Da Ren Elementary School is a volunteer activity for Honors Program (HP) students.  The Honors Program volunteer student teachers teach at the elementary school from 7:50 to 8:30 on Thursday morning for eleven weeks.  Honors Program student teachers help the children with the problems they have had in their regular English classes.  This volunteer activity might look like hard work, but actually, it can be fun.  There are many reasons why this volunteer activity is really great for HP students.

First, knowing that you can help others makes you feel useful.  When you are teaching elementary school students, especially the students who don’t go to cram school, you are helping them and giving them a chance to accept and like English.  Once they like English, they can learn English better.

Second, even though you are the teacher you learn English, too.  During this volunteer activity, there will probably be some English questions that you can’t answer. When this happens, you still have your English teachers at FCU to go to for help.  In this way, you continue to learn and improve your English while you are teaching English.

Also, as you get more experience teaching, your teaching ability improves.  No one tells you what to teach or how to teach it.  As soon as you think about what you are going to teach, you start to improve your teaching ability.  I don’t think it’s easy, but it can be fun.  You can choose your own teaching style.  You can play a game, do an activity, or stand in front of the class and teach the textbook the traditional way.  It’s all up to you.  Regardless of what teaching method you choose, your teaching ability will gradually improve.

Another thing I have learned from this volunteer activity is what it means to be a teacher.  Since I became a teacher, a part of me has want to think like a teacher, dress like a teacher, and talk like a teacher; therefore, I observe the teachers in my HP classes.  I also want to understand just what our teachers want us to learn and if I have really learned it.

Finally, I’ve learned what it means to be me.  I’ve gotten to know myself better through this volunteer activity.  I know who I am by the way I teach and the way I act.  Being an HP volunteer teacher has helped me to see more clearly what my values are.  If you are a student in the Honors Program and are interested in teaching English, then teaching at Da Ren Elementary School can be a great opportunity for you – just as it has been the greatest opportunity for me!

Reaching For The Stars - An Interview With Annie Ju

Sandy Chang & Cathy Huang

Annie Ju is our classmate in the Language Center’s English Honors Program.  While she may not look so friendly at first sight, after talking to her for a few minutes, we found that she is really an optimistic and friendly girl. We also discovered that Annie is a very busy girl. We were curious about what keeps her so busy, so we decided to interview her. It turns out that Annie has a little secret.

All photos by the authors

UsWe know that you major in two subjects. Why do you want to major in two different subjects at the same time?

AnnieI first majored in Land Management, and I didn’t like it very much. Land Management is not what I am interested in. Therefore, when I was a junior, I started to major in another subjectMarketing.

UsWhat’s your study plan?

AnnieMarketing and English are what I am interested in, so I am working hard on learning both of them.

UsWe know that singing is your dream. Can you tell us about that?

AnnieI have enjoyed singing since I was a child. I played the violin when I was four-years old, but I liked guitar much more. So I started to practice guitar and sing along with my playing. Playing guitar really helps me relax when I am singing. Singing is not only my dream, but also my hobby.

UsAnnie, you are really busy in your school life. How do you balance between singing and your studies?

AnnieIt’s not hard for me to balance between singing and my studies. To be honest, I do not spend a lot of time practicing before a performance. All the songs in my performances are the same. But sometimes, I think majoring in two subjects is a really a lot of trouble and keeps me too busy.

UsUsDo you have any plan to pursue your dream?

AnnieLast month, I started to sing in the coffee shops around Taichung. I named my plan “Dreaming of Coffee Shops.” I contacted the coffee shop owners to arrange performances. Although some may reject my plan, that is still a good opportunity for me to learn something. I perform for about 30 minutes each time and sing five songs. The songs are the stories that I want to tell my audience.

UsHave you ever participated in a singing contest?

AnnieLast week, I went to the Super Idol, a famous singing program in Taiwan. After singing in this program, I discovered that standing on the Super Idol’s stage isn’t what I want. For me, singing is a way to tell everyone “Don’t give up; pursue your dream.  Now, I have to focus on my studies. Therefore, I have decided to stop my “Dreaming of Coffee Shops” plan for a while. But singing is still my favorite hobby.

After our interview with Annie, we were really impressed by her courage to pursue her dream. Most college students don’t know what they want to do, and they give up on finding out and pursuing their dream. At the end of the interview, Annie encouraged us to take action and not waste time. If we do this, we may be closer to realizing our dream.

Google Maps - Don't Leave Home Without It!

Celeste Jheng

Nowadays, technology is everywhere; people are even using electronic maps now!  The difference between traditional maps and electronic maps is that traditional maps are more inconvenient to use than electronic maps.  In the past, it was troublesome to use a traditional map because you had to take it everywhere and fold it up after you had used it.  However, electronic maps are common on smart phones, so they are more convenient.  Because electronic maps such as Yahoo Map and Google Map are now common, I’d like to tell you how to use one of these electronic maps.

An electronic map like Google Map provides many functions for you.  You can use it to find out where you are, search for the place you want to go, or search for a public transportation route.  When you go to a place the first time and want to know how to reach your destination, you can use the electronic map on your cell phone.  First, make sure your cell phone can log onto the Internet.  Then use Google map to search for your destination.  Next, use the route planning function to find out how to reach your destination.  After that, open the position function.  When you use the position function, you will see a target pointing to where you are.  You can look at the target and follow the route to reach your destination.

You can also use an electronic map on your computer.  However, the electronic map interface on the smart phone and the computer are just a little different.  We just saw that on a smart phone, you have to go through many steps to get the route to your destination.  However, on a computer, you just have to set the starting point and the terminal point and then click on the “route planning” button.  You route will be planned for you in just three easy steps! No matter which device you use, electronic maps help you find the best route to your destination quickly and easily.

Electronic maps are now common. Electronic maps aren’t like traditional maps that you have to fold up after use; you can take an electronic map everywhere as long as you have a cell phone which can surf the Internet.  Remember, however, that while electronic maps are very useful when you are going to a place for the first time, you should be sure to be familiar with the operation of the electronic map before starting your trip!

Man Bites Dog

Stanley Hsu & Boting Chen

Even though Taiwan is a small island surrounded by big seas, you can still eat many different kinds of hot dogs here.  In Taiwan, hot dogs come in different flavors as you go to different places such as 7-11, night markets, and Costco.  

First, when you go to the Feng Chia night market, you will see hot dogs coated in batter and fried in oil. You not only see the golden appearance of the hot dog, you can smell its mouth-watering fragrance. Even better, you can buy it at a very low price.

When you crave a hot dog late at night, you can go to 7-11 because 7-11 is open twenty-four hours a day and provides many kinds of hot dogs with many different flavors of sauce. However, 7-11’s hot dogs are too small to fill my stomach. For a really satisfying hot dog, Costco is the place to go.

Costco’s hot dogs are bigger than 7-11’s hot dogs. In addition, when you buy a Costco hot dog and a drink, the clerk will give you a cup that you can refill as many times as you want.

There are so many kinds of hot dogs in Taiwan that, if you really wanted to, you could eat a different kind of hot dog every day. Enjoying delicious hot dogs at a night market, buying hot dogs with different sauces conveniently in a 7-11, or wolfing down humongous hot dogs in Costco – all are options for hot dog lovers in hot dog paradise – Taiwan.

Tights - The Latest Fashion

Athena Chen & Joanna Chiu

We have recently noticed that more and more girls are wearing long stockings, or tights. Many TV programs introduce tights that you can buy on-line. We think that wearing these long stockings is a trend for girls. We wanted to learn more about tights, so we went to Feng Chia night market to ask some questions.

Honey-Kent is a retail shop that sells tights imported from Korea. Pora Bella is the brand they sell. They are very special; they are made from 80-120 tannic fabric. This means that they are not scratched easily. What’s more, the patterns on these tights are all embroidered, so when you wear these pattern tights, the pattern will not change shape. So far, Honey-Kent has three branches near Feng Chia, and you can order tights from them by phone or E-mail. Honey-Kent will also have a blog and official website by next year.

According to the sales clerk, the solid colored tights are the best-selling tights followed by patterned tights. The solid colored tights are the basic type and the patterned tights are becoming more and more popular because of television and magazine advertisement. This summer, new tattoo tights have become fashionable. Even people from Malaysia come to Taiwan just to buy these tights because they are much cheaper here than in Malaysia. The solid colored tights at Honey-Kent cost $150 per pair and three pairs cost $400. On the other hand, patterned tights cost $190 per pair and $500 for three pairs.

All photos by the authors
Honey-Kent not only has many kinds of tights but also has perfect service after you buy their products. For example, if there is a problem with your tights, you can exchange them for a new pair at any time. Moreover, at Honey-Kent, they teach customers how to put on their tights correctly and how to take care of their tights.    

Starting this month, Honey-Kent has a point-collecting event. When you spend $200, you can get one point. If you collect ten points, you can get something worth $80 for free; if you collect 20 points, you can get something worth $150 for free, and if you collect 30 points, you can get something worth $190 for free. After exchanging your points for free merchandise, your points will not be reset (your new points will be added to your old points) and two friends can combine their points. After 30 points have been collected and exchanged, you can return your point collecting card to the shop, and they will put your name in a lottery for their grand prize. What a great event!

More and more girls pay attention to what they wear. However, it isn’t enough for girls to wear stockings only. Girls want their legs to look slim and fashionable. As tights can do this, they have become more popular among young girls. If you want to look fashionable, why don’t you take a look at Honey-Kent and buy a pair or two for yourself!

Honey-Kent locations:

Feng Chia Mall
Feng Chia Night Market
Feng Chia "Boxed Lunch Street"

Hours(Mall location):
M-Th 16:00 - 01:00
F         16:00 - 01:30
Sat      15:00 - 01:30
Su       13:00 - 01:00

(Hours at the other locations are only slightly different.)

Kokonana - A Restaurant Review

Grace Wang

Christmas is here once again. Therefore, my friends and I decided to celebrate Christmas and have a wonderful meal at a good restaurant. I want to introduce the restaurant where we had our Christmas meal – Kokonana.

Kokonana is located in Taichung near Chaoma bus station. It’s in a little lane surround by a residential district, so it is very quiet. The people who live nearby are all rich, so the prices at Kokonana are a little high for average people.

The restaurant is very bright and clean because there are a lot of big French windows. When I opened the French door, the thing I first saw was a refrigerated display case that was full of many cakes and chocolates. Then I turned around and saw the dining area. There was a big step down into the dining area, and guests sat on red pillows on the floor beside little tables. It looked very comfortable. My friends all loved their decoration. They kept taking pictures until our meals were served.

All photos by the author
At Kokonana, they sell cakes, including vanilla roll cakes and coffee roll cakes. There are many kinds of drinks such as coffee, ice drinks, flavored milk, flavored cocoa, alcoholic drinks, and herb tea. They also sell some light meals. If you want to take home some delicious food for your friends or family, you can buy a cake or a pack of chocolates as a gift.

I was very hungry that day, so I ordered the meat ball rice gratin meal which came with a salad, pumpkin soup in a bread bowl, a glass of caramel milk tea, and a piece of French chocolate cake. The waiter was very friendly. She knew that I was very hungry, so she recommended that I also have some bread and cookies. However, I didn’t buy anything else because it was a little expensive.

My meal was delicious! The salad was very fresh, and best of all, the French chocolate cake was amazing! One of my friends ordered a piece of cheese cake. She said it was awesome. We agreed that the most delicious food at Kokonana is their cake. There was only one thing I wasn’t happy about. The waitress served me the wrong soup, so I asked her to change it. In addition, I ordered a glass of caramel “iced” milk tea, but it wasn’t cold enough; it was just cool. If they could correct these kinds of little mistakes, I think Kokonana would be a comfortable, relaxing place to eat, even for those of us who can’t afford to go to such a nice place very often.

KOKONANA Bakery & Café

55 Chaoma 7th St., Xitun Dist, Taichung City
Hours: 08:00~18:00

My Sweetest Dream - The UK!

Annie Ju

Before I became a university student, I went with group of students to the UK to study for one month. This experience was just like a dream. I would like to share my sweetest UK dreams with you all.

I studied in two places during my study tour - Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England. I preferred both the people and the culture in Edinburgh. I spent two weeks there. During those two weeks, a famous local activity took place: Edinburgh International Art Festival. There were many street artists all along Royal Road, the biggest road in Edinburgh. The street artists performed on the street for free, and if you liked their short street performance, you could go to see their whole performance by buying a ticket. Did I pay to watch? Yes, but only one time. I still remember this group. They were energetic and liked to play tricks. You can see them in the video below.

(Video by the author - 2 minutes)
While the festival was exciting, the best thing about my stay in Edinburgh was making a good friend there. My friend and I were in the same class. We chatted a lot during the day, and after class we went to her apartment for fun. The day I left, we both cried a lot. I didn’t realize that in those two weeks we had created such a close friendship; we still keep in touch. Because of the beautiful people and wonderful festival, I loved Edinburgh.

(Video by the author - 11 minutes)

After my classes in Edinburgh ended, I went to London. This city was really different from Edinburgh. I saw many black people on the street there, and I felt that I was always in a rush. I saw four operas while I was in London. My favorite one was “Les Misérables.” Maybe I didn’t understand the lyrics, but I did feel the sorrow that the actors expressed. I even broke into tears during the final scene. People told me that when British people have forgotten an opera, they will go to see the opera again and again. No wonder they have such a good sense of literature and art. I also went to several museums, and all of them were free! I had heard that before I went on my trip, but when I got there, I still felt shocked and a bit jealous.

Before I left home, I had also heard people say, “British food is the worst food in the world.” I am not sure that is true or not; however, I do know that I love “fish and chips.” I think I could survive in the UK just by eating only this dish. When you go there, you have to try it!   

I can’t say that I grew up during this amazing trip, but I did learn that English is an important tool. If you can communicate with people in English, you won’t encounter too many problems. Also, traveling to different countries changes people; it lets you see the world differently. When I have saved enough money, I plan to go back to the UK – and I will enjoy every moment of it. I love the UK!