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Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Vegetable Field (Fresh Rolls) - A Restaurant Review

Jennifer Li
“What should we eat?”  This is a very common question among FCU students because we are only one step away from the Feng Chia night market and have so many choices that it is hard to decide what to eat.  However, if you were to ask me what I want for lunch or dinner, I would answer right away, “The Vegetable Field (Fresh Rolls).

Photos by the author

The Vegetable Field is a food stand located on Boxed Lunch Street in the Feng Chia night-market. I believe that most FCU students know about The Vegetable Field, but they may not know how special it is. The Vegetable Field sells “fresh, light food, and daily balance diet,” and provides the basic nutrition people need every day. For students, it is also a convenient take-away at affordable prices, NT$45/ per roll.

The Vegetable Field sells mainly two kinds of rolls, vegetable rolls and rice rolls, and both of them have meat and vegetarian flavors. All rolls are made with whole-wheat-wrappers wrapped inside another wrapper of laver. The meat vegetable rolls basically have vegetables, fried egg, apple, and cucumber. The meat rice rolls contain rice, cucumber, vegetables, and dried tofu. The vegetarian rolls have sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mashed potato, and alfalfa sprouts, all of which is finally sprinkled with some sesame powder and blueberry sauce. The meat rolls come in seven flavors: pan-fried pork, onion tuna, dried pork, bacon, Kung Pao chicken, black pepper pork, and crazy-spicy pork.  The menu is also flexible; for example, if there is something you don’t care for, just tell them, and they will make a roll to your order. By the way, at The Vegetable Field, they also sell bagels and fruit salad.
How is it possible for to enjoy such great food at such low prices?  How could the boss make a profit with the high cost of labor?  If you ask the boss, he will tell you, “Nothing is more important than health.”  The boss used to run a newspaper office. He lived a routine life; he had to get up early every morning and work late. Time flew, and he became a father of two children. At that time, his father also passed away due to a long illness.  This made the boss more aware of the importance of health; therefore, he decided to close the newspaper office and to pursue his interest in healthy food – and The Vegetable Field was born.  He knows this business might not be profitable and realizes that what he can do is very limited; nevertheless, it does not stop him from sharing the right life diet concept.

Although there are many kinds of food in Feng Chia night-market, I just do not like the greasy, heavy, unhealthy food. I love The Vegetable Field. I love not only the food but the people in The Vegetable Field; like their food, they are natural, plain, and real. The boss and his wife are really kind and have a sense of humor. I can always talk to them like family, and sometimes they will give me some diet advice, and, if I am really lucky, they will give me some complimentary fruit or something special in my roll.  Just like a fortune cookie, The Vegetable Field is really full of surprises!  I really cherish the good people and the good food at The Vegetable Field!

The Vegetable Field – Fresh Rolls
Address:  Feng Chia Night Market (Walk down Boxed Meal Street and turn right at the end)
Hours:  11:00~20:00
Phone:  0923-571-208

FCU Symphonic Band- Continuous Aspirations

Renee Poon

     Long before my introduction to FCU’s amazing symphonic band, another FCU English Online writer, Marian Li, showed us how much fun we can have with the band. Since she already told us so much about the band, why should I introduce the band to you all over again? Well, the band has passed quite a lot of milestones since then, and I would like to update you.
All photos courtesy FCU Symphonic Band
     In 2012, the Feng Chia University Symphonic Band performed in the Jeju International Wind Ensemble Festival and had joint concerts with National Dong Hwa University and National Hsinchu University. That year, they even won the National Student Competition of Music!  Then, this year, they went on a visiting tour and later won the National Student Competition of Music again!  This record of achievement would have been impossible without the support of people around the band; with their help, the band conquered all barriers and overcame all difficulties – and they don’t plan to stop there.

     Later this year, the FCU Symphonic Band will visit Chang Jung University in Tainan and have another joint concert in May. Through this kind of opportunity, the members of the FCU band learn from others and are motivated to improve. Of course, working with other school bands is also a great way to meet some new friends who share the same hobby.

     Besides the upcoming concert, this summer the band will host a summer camp here at FCU for high school students.  Quite a lot of students are passionate about music, and this will be a great activity for them.  Even if you do not plan to participate in the summer camp, you can come and support the FCU Symphonic Band at their post-camp concert. Further information is available on their official website and fans page on Facebook (see below).

     As Marian mentioned in her earlier FCU English Online article, the FCU Symphonic Band is a paradise for anyone who loves music. No matter how you would like to show your support for them, you will find supporting the FCU symphonic band and enjoying their wonderful music worthwhile.  So, please do not hesitate.  Check out their websites today!

Obiwan and Zenkwun: A Man and His Dream - A Music Review

Michael C.M. Liu

     Established in 2006, Zenkwun (神棍樂團) is an indie rock band that has won many awards and released two records; it has seemed for a long time that fame and fortune were just around the corner, but Zenkwun hasn’t acquired vast popularity, at least not outside the underground music world. I don’t really care about making big money. The most important thing is to produce music the way we want,said Obiwan (陳正航), the lead singer of Zenkwun and my former college classmate.

From Zenkwun official website
     Zenkwun’s first album, “Atheism (萬佛朝宗)” was released in December, 2009. As it uses traditional Chinese musical instruments such as suona, erhu, pipa, and Chinese percussion instruments as well as western bass, piano, and electric guitar, their music is as unique as the album cover, which features the bagua (八卦), the eight trigrams representing the fundamental principles in Taoist cosmology.

     There are ten tracks in this album, with lyrics and melody all composed by Obiwan. The genres of these songs range from rock, traditional, religious, to even rap and Hakka. The title track, “Atheism,” tells the story of a monk who has difficulty resisting the lure of the secular world and struggles between various religions and eventually becomes an atheist. In addition to its thought-provoking lyrics, the musical arrangement artfully combines Eastern and Western instruments.  The band’s performance exudes the ambiance of a Taiwan temple fair.  See for yourself by watching the YouTube video, below.

Official video from YouTube

     Back in college, Obiwan was a brilliant student (if my memory serves me), but his grades weren’t excellent.  Nevertheless, he went on to graduate school at National Tsing Hua University, one of the most prestigious colleges in Taiwan. He didn’t finish his master program, though; I suppose he just had to leave to pursue his dream before it was too late. I sincerely hope that he gets to be famous and rich in the near future, because he really is a role model for me and for others who are too afraid to chase their dreams. If you haven’t found your true passion, keep looking! If you HAVE found it but haven’t really done anything about it yet, listen to Obiwan’s music; you will be inspired!

"The Last Supper" (王的盛宴) - A Movie Review

Sophia Hong

This movie is about an event in Chinese history, The Chu-Han War. It is a popular story, explained through the eyes of Liu Bang. In my view, Liu Bang only seems to be the main character; Han is the main character in reality. The movie is an artistic film rather than a documentary film. Because you can feel the difference between light and shadow, I think Han Xin is the real protagonist, a leader who is bright, attractive and positive. In this movie, the most memorable scene is of Liu Bang struggling with the past in a room that is dark and narrow, just like his heart. Han Xin appears in the sun, in a wild, peaceful place, and he is fearless. The freest person is limited by another person who is trapped in a cocoon around himself. How ironic!

All movies about history tell a story from beginning to end. In The Last Supper, Xiang Yu dies, and Han Xin also dies after Liu Bang becomes emperor. There are other sub-plots about the death of Yuji or how Qin Wang Zi Yin dies.

This movie seldom uses special effects. Instead, the director uses light and shadow to create a special atmosphere. It also creates strong contrasts such as when you see glowing blood inside a gray frame. When Han Xin turned his hand to the sunlight was my favorite moment. Because I watched the movie on a large screen with an overhead projector, the moment was gorgeous. So that the audience can hear the actors clearly, the music in the movie takes a secondary role; you notice it only during the battle scenes.

While I don’t think the movie has much to teach us, it did contain one message that I thought was valuable:  “People always look at themself and overlook other people’s desires.” To me, it means that you are frailest when you dwell on your success.  Personally, I think this means that I have to do better, even when I am doing my best.

I recommend this movie if you want to view Han Xin in a positive view, or if you want to see how a visually beautiful movie is made.

Happiness Corner (幸福角落): A Restaurant Review

Harry Zhang

     Happiness Corner is a restaurant I visit frequently. I am an international student from mainland China, and I had trouble getting accustomed to food in Taiwan in the early days. However, this Italian food restaurant really suits to my taste.

All photos by the author
     This restaurant is neat and well-decorated with clean glass dining tables, soft yellow lighting, and the most wonderful paintings on the wall. There are green trees, aromatic flowers (I can almost smell their aroma; sorry to be so dramatic) and kids flying kites. On the wall there are also some photos of people who have come here before with their smiles and delighted gestures, indicating their joyful dining experience.

     The menu at Happiness Corner has something for everyone. People who enjoy western food may choose pasta, gratin, garlic toast, French fries, fried or roast chicken, or curry. People who like Chinese food can enjoy delicious set meals that include rice, vegetables, meat and soup. I love the Tung-po meat very much with its fresh tender texture and rich flavor; and it’s not too fatty! Beverages include black and green tea, milk tea, Chinese watermelon tea, lemonade, and Tapioca tea. I don’t like the black tea in most restaurants near FCU because it is too sweet, so I strongly recommend the low-sugar green tea, which is healthy and refreshing.

     The owner of the Happiness Corner is outgoing and talkative. When I am waiting for my meal, we always talk about various social issues and events. Since we come from different countries, we have lots of interesting things to share. Through our conversations, I gain a deeper insight into Taiwan society; that’s why I was so deeply impressed the first time I came to this restaurant. The owner is friendly and pleased to make friends with international students, who tend to visit this restaurant frequently.

     The boss at Happiness Corner is not only a restaurant owner; he is a health food salesman as well. Besides selling his products, he actively advocates a healthy diet and life-style. For instance, he encourages me to keep a regular schedule, avoid staying up late, and eat as little junk food as possible. Only in this way can I keep energetic and do well in school.     

     The food in Happiness Corner is a little bit more expensive than a set meal at other places, but I promise its price is acceptable for students. If you have no idea where you’re going to have dinners (I’m pretty sure that worries most of us at FCU), why don’t you give it a try?  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Happiness Corner
Address:  No. 21, Lane 138, Wenhwa Road., Xitun District, Taichung
Hours: MonThu & Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Fri: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Phone: (04)2452-9189 or 0988489658