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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Rush" - A Movie Review

Ian Liao & Xavier Lu

There are many movies about sports, and quite a few about racing, but movies about Formula One (F1) automobile racing are still very few. Recently, we saw a very touching movie, Rush, which we will remember for a long time. This movie, which is directed by Ron Howard, is the true story of the merciless rivalry between F1 drivers James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl). 
Posters courtesy 

Formula One is the most popular type of automobile racing. The “formula” in Formula One means that all the cars in the races must follow the same design rules and limits. The competition between Niki Lauda and James Hunt began when they were both racing Formula 3, where the cars are not as fast, but the competition is just as fierce. Hunt and Lauda bumped each other in one race and that’s how their rivalry began. Later, they joined F1 at the same time. In their first F1 season, Ferrari signed Lauda, but Hunt had to stop racing because his team didn’t have enough money to support him. In 1976, Hunt joined the McLaren team, and the competition between the two drivers continued.

The story of the rivalry between these two drivers came to a peak before a race at Germany’s Nurburgring. Before the race, Lauda tried to convince race organizers to suspend the race because of bad weather, but he failed and had to race in the rain. In this race, Lauda and his team made a technical mistake by choosing the wrong tires, and this mistake caused Lauda to crash. He was severely burned when his car caught fire and was sent to hospital. Incredibly, Lauda recovered from his burns and went back to the racing circuit in only 6 weeks. He won fourth place in his first race after recovering. In the last race of the season in Tokyo, although it rained heavily, the race still went on. After the first lap of the race, Lauda withdrew because he thought it was too dangerous. However, Hunt risked it all and won the world championship.

Hunt and Lauda were both born rich and went against their parents’ will to become race car drivers. However, their personalities are totally different. Lauda was a strict, self-disciplined, and arrogant person. He pursued perfection, and he talked impolitely; therefore, nobody liked to be around him. In contrast, Hunt was casual, brave, and smooth-talking. He did everything by intuition, and everyone liked him. However, his personal life was a mess. Their opposite personalities made their competition even more dramatic.

Niki Lauda and James Hunt were rivals and friends. They were also like mentors who influence each other a lot. Lauda’s decision to join F1 stimulated James to step up from F3 as well. Lauda always went faster than Hunt, but he couldn’t get rid of him. Hunt kept so close to him that Lauda had to push himself to go even further. The reason why Lauda could recover from his burns in only 6 weeks was because Hunt’s inevitable performance pushed him to get back on the track.

This competition between race car drivers gives us a significant lesson, which is that having a rival in your life might force you to improve yourself and break through your limits. As Lauda said in the end, “Stop thinking of it as a curse to have been given an enemy in life. It can be a blessing, too.”

Most of the scenes in Rush take place on the race track. This filming method makes the audience feel like they are really there on the racing circuit in 1976. This movie might be one of the best movies of 2013. Because this movie is all about F1 racing, and the people in the movie talk like professional drivers, we suggest that you learn a bit about F1 before watching it; it will help you understand this movie. Then go the theater and fasten your seatbelts for a really exciting ride!

Little Tibet - A Restaurant Review

Emily Chan & Judy Lin

In Taiwan, there are many restaurants selling American, Japanese, and Thai food. In Taichung, there is a mysterious little restaurant hidden in an alley in the Feng Chia business district where they sell Tibetan cuisine. We decided to solve the mystery of Little Tibet.

All photos by the authors
One day, as we passed by Qinghe Street, a quiet and narrow street near school, we were attracted by a colorful door with special stripes; it was very exotic. The sign outside said, “Little Tibet.” We decided to have our lunch there. After we entered the restaurant, we found that the space was very clean and not too crowded. It was big enough to sit 40 people. The Indian music we could hear combined with the dim light to create a mysterious Tibetan Buddhist atmosphere.

Looking around the interior, we saw five-colored “Jie-jie” cloth in blue, , red, yellow, and green, hanging from the ceiling. The Jie-jie represents the sky, clouds, air, earth, and water. Also, there are eight auspicious patterns on the restaurant walls, the tables, and even on the dishes. The patterns include an umbrella, a pair of golden fish, a conch, a treasure vase, a lotus, an infinity knot, and a victory banner. These all mean “luck” in Tibetan Buddhism. We enjoyed this mysterious atmosphere very much.

Little Tibet offers Tibetan dishes and Indian dishes. You can order a la carte, a set meal or a business lunch.  The menu includes main dishes, rice and naan. The price is between NT$200 to NT$300 per dish. Set meals include appetizer, soup, main dish, rice or naan, dessert, and drink. The price for each set meal is a bit more than NT$300, but it will make you really full. The Little Tibet business lunch includes main dish, rice or naan, and drink. Its price is between NT$100 to NT$130, but it is offered only from Tuesday to Friday. Besides these main dishes, Little Tibet also offers traditional Tibetan  foods like Tibetan deep fried beef pastry, desserts such as Tibetan curds, and drinks like Indian milk tea or Tibetan butter tea.

On the day we took our adventure, we were a group of six. We wanted to try many dishes, so we chose a la carte and shared our main dishes with each other. We ordered blue cheese beef and Masala mutton curry. The blue cheese beef looked like beef and vegetables in sauce. Unlike the kind of cheese you find on pizza, the blue cheese had a heavy dried cheese taste. It tasted good, but a little salty for us. We thought it would be more suitable with rice than naan. Then we were served the menu’s VIP - Masala mutton curry, a popular dish at Little Tibet! It looked like Bolognese sauce, and tasted spicy and a little sour. The mutton was very tender. We all loved this dish.

We also ordered a special dish - Tikka with lemongrass sauce, Indian tandoor BBQ. It was orange and smelled great. There were spiced chicken and onions. Its sauce had a strong flavor and the chicken was very juicy. We decided to try the Tibetan butter tea because we were curious about it. It was similar to milk tea, but we never thought that milk tea tasted SALTY, just like salty cream. It was very special! After we had finished these delicious dishes, we couldn’t NOT have dessert! Tibetan Deysi is rice with nuts and raisins on the top. It tasted like sweet glutinous rice cake. Another dessert we tried was Tibetan curds. It is panna cotta with nuts and raisins on the top. It tasted very mellow and melted in our mouths. Everything was great at Little Tibet!

The waitress told us that the manager is Tibetan and the chef is Indian, and that’s why they offer Tibetan and Indian foods. She also explained the meaning of the patterns on the walls and tables and how they are related to their religion - Tibetan Buddhism. She also explained how Tibetans seldom eat vegetables, so they drink Tibetan butter tea to gain the vitamins they lack. As you can see, our waitress was very friendly and the service was great!

At Little Tibet Restaurant, we not only ate many delicious foods but also learned a lot about Tibetan culture. It was a wonderful experience for us. If you want to try something different, we recommend that you not miss Little Tibet. If you want to go to Little Tibet, go with your friends, then you can taste more different kinds of dishes and spend less money. Call your friends and come try the amazing food at Little Tibet!

Little Tibet

Address: No.2, Qinghe Street, Taichung
Hours: Daily 11:30 – 14:30; 17:30 – 22:00 (Closed Mondays)
Phone: (04) 2452-2452
Price: NT$100~300

"The Sound of Music" - A Movie Review

Camellia & Tanya

We know that most of you have seen action movies, and some of you have watched dramas, but I suspect that few of you have seen a musical.  In fact, there are many well-known musical movies that were adapted from Broadway musicals, including Les Miserable, The Phantom of the Opera, and Mamma Mia. Recently, we saw another musical, The Sound of Music, and we want to recommend it to you. The movie tells the story of an intern nun, Maria, who is sent to serve as a nanny to the Trapp family. She wins the hearts of the children and falls in love with their father, Captain Trapp. In the end, the Trapp family and Maria escape from the clutches of the Nazis.

All images courtesy

Maria was an intern nun in the monastery at the Alps. She never followed the rules but went out secretly to sing and play. Several sisters got fed up with Maria and decided to talk with the abbess. The abbess decided to send Maria to serve as a nanny to the Trapp family. Captain Trapp applied strictly militaristic approach to raising his seven children, but Maria absolutely disapproved. Maria treated the children sincerely and taught them to sing. Thus, she won the children’s affection. However, the Captain was angry with her because he was afraid that the children had become undisciplined. Gradually, he was touched by the children. After a party, Captain and Maria found they had fallen in love. They got married, and they lived in a happy life together. Unfortunately, the Nazis came into their country and opposed the family because Captain Trapp was in the Austrian army. With the help of the sisters in the abbey, Maria and the Trapp family successfully escaped from the clutches of the Nazis.

The Sound of Music is based on the true story of Maria von Trapp. In the 1930s, Captain Trapp lost most of his property due to the Great Depression, so the family formed a choir and went on tour. At that time, the captain was offered a commission in the German navy. However, von Trapp opposed the Nazis, and the family had narrowly escaped from their terrifying power. After they left Austria, the family’s story moved many people. Therefore, people decided to write the story into a musical. The filmmaking team remade the story into the popular movie.

Many songs in this movie such as “Do-Re-Me,” “My Favorite Thing,” “The Lonely Goatherd,” and “Edelweiss” were covered in many different languages and spread over the world. In the story, Maria used “Do-Re-Me” to teach the musical scale to the Trapp children when they were first learning to sing. Finally, the name of this movie, The Sound of Music, also has a deep meaning. Music can make people feel peaceful, and even bring one to a state of truthfulness and kindness. Although 40 years have passed, these songs are still widely known. This shows how music is not limited by national boundaries, age, ethnicity, or time. That is the reason why The Sound of Music has become a classic.

We liked this movie not only for the meaningful story but also for the wonderful music. In the movie, Maria had a sincere heart, and her great musical talent won the children’s affection and respect. Even the serious Captain was touched by her personality. The story tells us that sincerity and love can stir up one’s humanity of truthfulness and kindness. The Sound of Music is really a movie worth watching. You can rent the DVD from a DVD rental store. We are sure you will enjoy it. 

OR Café – A Restaurant Review

Bob Yang & Eric Huang

Coffee is becoming more and more popular in Taiwan. With so many coffee shops opening in recent years, it is getting harder and harder to choose which one to go to. However, there’s a very special coffee shop in Taichung near China Medical University area that we strongly recommend. For coffee lovers who are also early risers, OR Café provides a free meal with each coffee ordered. If you’re trying to find a nice place for your coffee and breakfast, you’re going to love this place.
All photos by the authors

Outside the shop, you will see a huge glass door with white frame and an eye-catching purple signboard. Inside the shop, you will see a round work bar on the left and a few small round tables on the right. If you don’t want to sit on a stiff wooden chair, there’s a long couch behind the wooden chairs and the work bar. OR’s high ceiling creates an airy atmosphere, and compliment’s OR’s special decoration – posters of motorcycles cover the walls, and RC helicopters and car models are on all the bookshelves. You’ll feel like you’re in a little boy’s room. 

The meals at OR Café are quite special too. You can have a typical American breakfast, including fried egg, mashed potato, bread, salad, and a nice cup of coffee. You’ll also have a wonderful experience here if you’re an omelet or French toast fan. As for the coffee, they provide several kinds of coffee such as latte, cappuccino, espresso, and their signature OR Special.

 Our free breakfast sets included ham and cheese sandwiches, salads, and our choice of coffee (one espresso, one Americano). The sandwiches made a fantastic match with the coffee, especially the espresso. Although OR Café uses a blend of coffee beans for their coffee, somehow it doesn’t taste bitter at all.

OR Café is a wonderful place for a relaxing breakfast or afternoon tea. No matter if you want to share some time with friends or enjoy some alone time, this shop is the perfect place for you, especially if you are interested in motorbikes or RC aircrafts. The shop keeper loves to chat with you about his collection. Pay this special shop a visit some time for breakfast or coffee – or just to look at the “big boy’s toys.” You will be glad you did!

OR Café

Address: 196 Wuchang Street, North District, Taichung
Hours: Daily 08:00 – 21:00 (Closed Tuesdays)
Price: NT$80 – NT$300

Din Tai Fung – A Restaurant Review

Donna Liu & Howie Chen

Xiao Long Bao is a traditional Chinese food that Din Tai Fung restaurant has made famous around the world. When they come to Taiwan, many foreign visitors will visit a one of the many Din Tai Fung restaurants here. We chose the branch in the basement of Taichung’s Top City department store. There is convenient parking at the department store, and we can also go shopping after our meal.

Before stepping into the restaurant, we looked into the kitchen window and saw the cooks kneading dough. The open kitchen is one very special thing about Din Tai Fung. The kitchen staff is required to wear gloves, and the environment is clean and neat. In the brightly lit dining room, there are plenty of seats, and the aisles between tables are spacious. The restaurant gives you the feeling of high quality even though it is a little noisy.

There are a variety of dishes on the menu: xiao long bao, steamed dumplings, fried rice, bun, noodles, and soup – and each item comes in at least five flavors. Xiao Long Bao comes in pork, mini-pork, truffles and pork, crab roe and pork, chicken, and green squash and shrimp flavors. Fried rice comes in four flavors, shrimp, pork, pork chop, and shrimp with pork. If you are especially hungry, you can order an appetizer before your main dish. Moreover, Din Tai Fung serves dessert, including red bean buns.
We visited the restaurant on Sunday. We arrived at 11:30 am, which was a little early for lunch. What surprised us was that there were already people lining up outside. We quickly joined them. While we were waiting for our seats, a waiter handed us the menu. After 30 minutes, it was our turn to relish this Taiwan specialty. We ordered the pork xiao long bao, steamed shrimp and pork dumplings, pork chop fried rice with eggs, hot-and-sour soup, and red bean buns.
When our dishes arrived, what first came to our minds was, ‘’what delicious food!’’ The xiao long bao, famous for their eighteen-fold wrappers, were just as expected. The fragrance came out immediately after we bit into them. The wrappers were springy, and the filling was juicy. We could definitely see the chefs’ diligence. The steamed shrimp and pork dumplings impressed us for the elasticity of their wrappers and the full flavor of the prawns. Next was the pork chop fried rice with eggs. AT Din Tai Fung, they offer two choices of rice, white rice or brown rice. We ordered the brown rice. The rice was chewy, and the pork was tender but not too greasy. Later, we had hot-and-sour soup, which contained lots of wonderful ingredients, including tofu, black wood-ear, eggs, green onions, dried been curd, and strong vinegar. However, we felt a little disappointed. We thought that traditional hot-and-sour soup should contain carrots and pork blood. After finishing our main dishes, we had some red bean buns. They were tiny, with red bean paste inside and fluffy dough outside. They were not overly sweet.

What impressed us most about our experience at Din Tai Fung was the service. The waiters were very professional; once they found our tea cups close to half-empty, they filled them with tea immediately. Waiters circulated around the dining area all the time, and they did whatever they could to make customers happy. What was special to us was that even though the servers walked around all the time, they didn’t make us feel tense. Although Din Tai Fung is more expensive than other restaurants, the great quality of their service makes it worth the price. For students, it might be a bit expensive, but if you just come occasionally, it will be a really special experience.

Din Tai Fung

Address: Top City Department Store B2
251 Taiwan Boulevard, Section 3, Xitun District, Taichung
Hours:   Monday - Friday 11:00~21:30; Weekends & Holidays 10:30~21:30
Tel: 04-2259-9500 

"Léon (The Professional)" - A Movie Review

Jennifer Yu & Joyce Hung

      We recently were looking for something to watch on the Internet and discovered Léon. This film seemed old when we first started watching it. However, just as we were going to turn it off, we saw a beautiful girl and a famous actor. Intuition told us we should continue watching it. We are really glad that we did. The movie is about a girl whose family is killed by an evil policeman because her father gets involved in drug dealing. She turns to her neighbor for protection and they cultivate a special friendship.
Image courtesy of Gaumont Films

When the little girl, Mathilda, meets her neighbor, Léon, she thinks that he looks like a bad guy, but actually he is a very good person. He is lonely, and a potted plant is his only friend. She also discovers that he has an unusual job – he is a “hitman,” a professional killer. However, Léon has professional principles: he does not kill women or children. He takes good care of Mathilda. After a while, Mathilda asks Léon to teach her how to be a hitman, too, so that she can take revenge on the people who killed her family.

Besides Léon and Mathilda, there are other interesting characters in the movie. Léon’s boss, Tony, takes good care of Léon, but Tony is a bad guy. He doesn’t pay Léon all of the salary he owes him. He keeps lying to Léon, even though Léon still trust him. Even worse, Tony cooperates with the evil policeman, Stan, to kill people who have drug problems.

Léon is a special movie. The movie shows different kinds of people from different views. We know that killing people is wrong, but Léon is actually a good person; a little girl should study hard, but Mathilda wants to be a killer. Policemen should uphold justice and protect people, but Stan sells drugs and works with Tony to kill people. Most people grow up in a normal family, and it is hard to imagine that these special characters and their lifestyles in this movie might be real. This extraordinary story made us think that maybe, somewhere in the world, children are suffering from the same problems as the character in the movie and leading a hard life.

The director of this film, Luc Besson, has made many popular movies. His latest movie is Lucy; you might have heard of it. Besson has a good reputation all over the world, mostly for his movies made in French. Later, he began making movies in English.  Léon is one of his masterpieces. Jean Reno, who plays Léon, is from Italy. He is a good actor who has cooperated with Luc Besson several times. You may have seen him in films by other directors; he was in “The Da Vinci Code.” Natalie Portman, who plays Mathilda, was only 13 when Léon was made; it was her first role. Her performance was beyond her age, and made Léon a worldwide hit. Since then, she has made many films and won many awards.

Léon is not just an action movie, even though there is a lot of action. The movie is just as much a “romance” movie about a special relationship between Léon and Mathilda. This is also one of the reasons why we recommend this movie to you. If you are looking for a movie that can make you feel excited, or if you want to see life from a little different angle, Léon is definitely a good choice!

My First Part-time Job in Taiwan

Wayne Cheah

One of my junior year resolutions was to get a part time job here in Taiwan before I graduated from university. I thought I would like to experience the working environment in Taiwan and get a feel for the local culture by working part time. I believed that it would be a wonderful experience in my university life. I discovered that it was really a memorable experience after working part time.

In early September, when I first came back to Taiwan from Malaysia, I tried to find a job by searching a few Internet sites for openings. I applied for more than 50 jobs ranging from the education sector to the service industry. It is really convenient to search for a job now. There is a website in résumé format that allow you to fill in all your personal details, education background, and working experience. With that, you can have a complete resume to send out. A few days after sending out my online résumé, I got a phone call from the human resources department of a local hotel, Tempus Hotel, to attend an interview. I was really excited about the interview because I had not expected to get a phone call in such a short time.

On the interview day, I arrived early to avoid being late. When I reached the human resources office, I looked for Ms. Hsu. She was the person who had called that day. She handed me some forms to fill in, made a copy of my working permit, and directed me to a meeting room. They asked me a few questions during the interview. Ms. Hsu asked, "Do you know how to speak Chinese? Because you are applying as a waiter in the western restaurant, you need to be able to converse with customers." My immediate answer was that I could speak fluent Chinese. I told her that I could even speak English, Malay, and Cantonese. She was quite impressed that I could speak so many languages. We Malaysians speak many languages; this is one reason why I feel so proud of my country! She also asked me whether I had any working experience. I told her that this would be my first work experience in Taiwan if the hotel were willing to hire me. I asked some simple questions too about the salary and the working shift times. The interview ended in a pleasant way with no tricky questions being asked. I felt great about the interview. I wasn’t nervous from the beginning till the end of the interview because it was just a casual interview with some simple questions being asked.

Three weeks later, while I was in class, I received a phone call from Ms. Hsu. She asked me whether I was interested in working at a wedding dinner as a waiter. I had first applied as a waiter to work in their western restaurant, but I said I would like to give it a try. Therefore, I promised Ms. Hsu to work the coming Sunday. I bought a pair of black leather shoes for work as it is required by the hotel. I was reluctant to buy the shoes at first because I hadn’t even started to earn money yet, and I was already spending NT$700 on a pair of shoes!

Photo by (and of) the author

On my first working day, I arrived early to meet with Ms. Hsu. She took me around so that I could become familiar with the working place. She also took me to the staff room to collect my work uniform. The uniform was a white waiter’s shirt with a standing collar and a pair of long black pants. I looked good and neat in that uniform. It had been years since I wore a uniform. Later on, Ms. Hsu took me to the worker's restaurant so that I could have my lunch before I started working. I had steamed fish and some vegetables with rice. I didn't pay so much attention to my food and didn't even finish it as I was busy observing the people around me. Most of the people around were just like me, youngsters working part-time in a hotel. They wore different uniforms, though, some in black suits and some in purple bellman’s jackets. When I realized I was running out of time, I quickly ran to the back side of the banquet room as Ms. Hsu had shown me.

Everyone gathered behind the wedding room for a briefing. The Head Waiter briefed us on the wedding plan and the food that was going to be served, so that we knew what to tell the guests. Since I was new, I got assigned to Aaron, my coworker. Aaron taught me a lot about my work. I was assigned two tables for which I would be responsible. Aaron and I made sure that the tables were set and that we had enough cutlery, plates, and napkins at our station. When the wedding started, the Head Waiter at the entrance of the banquet room escorted the guests to their tables. When my table was filled with guests, Aaron instructed me to fill their glasses with orange juice. I had to make sure every empty glass was always filled with drinks while the guests were waiting for their dishes. Dishes would be served one at a time. I cleared dirty plates and cutlery from the tables when they had finished their food. If the guests could not finish a dish, I asked if they would like to pack it for take-out or not. If not, I would take the leftover food to the kitchen and throw it into a huge rubbish bin. You wouldn't believe the amount of leftover food that is produced at a wedding dinner! It felt like such a waste to throw all that leftover food away.

I also had to maintain the tidiness of my working station throughout the wedding. Then, after the wedding banquet was over, we prepared the station for the next event. We changed the table cloths, folded and arranged the napkins, polished the cutlery, and set the tables. My day ended at around 10pm. It was exhausting.

The job had its ups and downs. The best part of the job was that I could earn extra money. The extra cash from the part time job could cover some of my living costs in Taiwan and allow me to save some money. Other than that, I could make some local friends, too. I believe that knowing the local people allows me to know a place more easily. I also developed some good working ethics when working part time. For example, I had to work as a member of a team at the wedding banquet. This experience will equip me with the skills needed to work with people of varying personalities at future jobs. I think this skill will benefit me throughout my life.

The worst part of the job was that I was super busy during the wedding banquet. There was no rest time during my working hours, so I was super tired after work. I returned home with my feet swollen and my whole body falling apart. Another bad part of the job was that the food that I served was all too appetizing! I get hungry very easily when I see such nice food.

The biggest lesson that I learned from working part time was that earning a single penny is not as easy as I had imagined. Now, I will have to spend it wisely as it was so hard to earn. Another big lesson was how to manage my time effectively. When I first decided to work part time, I knew I would have to leave aside some time for a spot of fun because I would have little free time during the week. I had to become more organized with my schedule and plan wisely to meet assignment deadlines, so that I could find a balance between studying and working. I believe that effective time management will benefit both my studies and my life after university.

The benefits of working part time go beyond earning extra pocket money. I appreciate every working opportunity in my life because that's the process of growing up. I think that ALL university students should get a part-time job since it is a good way to gain valuable life experience.

PIG HOUSE - A Restaurant Review

Sophia Chien & Hannah Tang

There are lots of restaurants in the Feng Chia area, but it’s hard to find a good one that is inexpensive and that can fill you up. As Feng Chia University students, what we want is inexpensive food and a lot of it! We would like to share PIG HOUSE with you.

All photos by the authors

PIG HOUSE is in the alley across from Global Village on Fu Xin road. Different from other restaurants, PIG HOUSE is not near the night market, so some people can’t find it easily. You can telephone the restaurant in advance, and the waiter will tell you how to get there. By the way, you can park your motorcycles outside the restaurant. As soon as we entered the restaurant, we found that it is quite big inside.  There are about 30 seats on the first floor and about 40 seats on the second floor. The lighting is a soft yellow, so you will be relaxed and feel comfortable. There is a painting of the Three Little Pigs story on the wall, and the shelves on the walls are filled with lots of stuffed pigs, which attracts people passing by because they can be seen through the front windows.

After we arrived, we didn’t have a long wait, and when it was our turn, the waiter took us to our seats and gave us two glasses of water and menus. PIG HOUSE sells pasta, steamed rice, and casserole dishes. You can choose chicken, seafood, beef or vegetable flavors. Additionally, there are some sauces that you can choose, such as tomato sauce, cream sauce, and pesto sauce. PIG HOUSE also offers some snacks such as fried chicken, French fries, and cakes. You can order some drinks, too, such as juice, tea, and coffee. You can choose how sweet you want your drink and whether it is iced or hot.

We ordered chicken spaghetti with tomato sauce and smoked chicken spaghetti with cream sauce. Before our meals came, the waiter gave us a basket of garlic bread, two bowls of soup, and the two glasses of milk tea that we ordered. The bread was crispy outside but soft inside. The soup was cream of pumpkin with corn, and there was lots of corn in it. Our spaghetti dishes looked very colorful and delicious with broccoli and some green, red, and yellow peppers. The chicken tasted really juicy, and the noodles were not too soft. Our only complaint was that they didn’t give us enough cream sauce. Finally, our milk tea tasted smooth and not too sweet. The waitress was very friendly and always had a smile – and her service was always quick. We enjoyed our PIG HOUSE meal very much!

PIG HOUSE is a good place for students who don’t want to spend a lot of money. PIG HOUSE meals are not only delicious but will also fill you up. PIG HOUSE is a good choice if you are having dinner near Feng Chia.

Pig House
Address: No.9, Lane 172, Xi’an Street, Xitun District, Taichung
Hours: 11:30~15:00;  17:00~22:30
Price: NT$135-NT$285

"The Judge" - A Movie Review

Patrick Chen & Andrea Chiu

Most everyone likes to watch movies, especially Hollywood movies that have many special effects and exciting scenes. One day I saw a film review on the Internet and knew that The Judge was not your usual Hollywood movie. The review said that the movie was not as boring as its title but that it was “the trial of our lives.” Therefore, we couldn’t wait to see the film. One recent weekend, we went to Far Eastern Department Store VIESHOW to see it. 
Poster courtesy Village Road Show Pictures
One day, big city lawyer Hank Palmer heard the bad news that his mother had died. He returned to his childhood hometown in Indiana to discover that his father was an unpopular judge there. One night, Hank Palmer’s father went out to buy something. Accidentally, he bumps into a man who is later found dead. Soon, the police knock on the door; they suspect his father murdered the man. Now the mystery must be solved in court.

The main filming technique in The Judge is the use of close-up and zooms out. When Hank Palmer and his father are arguing, for example, the close-up focuses on their faces and records their changes in mood. When the audience is first taken into Indiana, the director use a zoom-in method that takes the audience from the wide prairie down a country road into a small town where children are playing. The director also uses zoom-out after the father argues with his son. Slowly, the camera moves from the car to the prairie, where we see them going in the opposite direction, away from the camera.

Our favorite aspect to this movie is the background music. In the beginning, as the camera takes us into Indiana, the song, “We’ll Sweep out the Ashes” by Gram Parsons, is clean and beautiful. Another of my favorite songs in The Judge is “Holocene” by Bon Iver. This song is so touching that I find myself crying every time I hear it. The Willie Nelson song The Scientist makes a good ending to the movie.

The Judge is a meaningful movie. It describes the conflict between our attachment to our family and our desire for justice. After watching this movie, I asked myself, “If I encountered the same situation, which would I choose, family or justice?” I’m still not sure of the answer. We liked The Judge very much and recommend that you see it, too.  

The Baker – A Restaurant Review

Hubert Hsu & Irene Kuo

In the Feng Chia night market, there are not only many stands selling snacks, but also many stores where you can enjoy food in a comfortable environment. The Baker offers many kinds of food, including western meals and rice dishes. We were especially attracted by its décor and its menu.
All photos by the authors
 Two weeks ago, we went to The Baker at brunch time. It was easy to park our scooter at that time. Outside the store, there is a chalk-board listing the day’s special meal. The exterior of the restaurant looked warm because there were many plants and two small ponds in front of the door way. We could see the interior clearly through the floor to ceiling windows. We needed to across the pond to enter. Once we were inside the restaurant, we could see that there were about 30 seats and the interior was bright because of the large windows and because of the many chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Most of the decorations in the restaurant were made of wood, and you can enjoy your meal while sitting on a sofa, just like you do at home.

The Baker’s menu can be divided into breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverage, and dessert sections. For breakfast, they offer French toast, omelets, bagels, English muffins, and pancakes. For lunch and dinner, they sell western meals and rice dishes, including sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and rice dishes. For dessert, they have only ice cream. For beverages, there are many kinds of drinks. It was hard for us to choose since there are too many kinds of delicious food!

After we looked around the menu, we decided to have a mushroom & beef burger and a Denver omelet. Baker’s Mushroom & beef burger is made of beef, mushrooms, and soft bread. To my surprise, the beef was very juicy and tasted really good. In addition, there were two slices of tomatoes and onions alongside the burger. You can add them if you want. This is very thoughtful because some people don’t like tomatoes and onions. This burger also came with some French fries, which were crispy and not too greasy. My burger cost NT$230, and I think it was a really good deal.

The Denver omelet is made of eggs, hams, cheeses, mushrooms, and green peppers. The egg tasted soft and a little salty. I really liked its soft texture. The omelet tasted mostly like green peppers, though, because they put too much green peppers inside. People who don't like green pepper should not order this. My omelet came with two slices of bread. One had an orange flavor, and the other was longan. The whole meal was quite enough to fill me up, and cost NT$190.

The service at The Baker was polite but very slowly. However, we felt good because we had enough time to chat and enjoy the atmosphere. The Baker is a fantastic restaurant with delicious food, and a very nice place for dining. We suggest that you enjoy this restaurant when you are in the Feng Chia area.

The Baker

Address: No. 7, Alley 28, Lane 20, Fen Chia Road, Xitun District, Taichung
Hours: 09:30 – 22:00
Telephone: (04) 245-5759

Price: Meals: NT$100-490; Drinks: NT$ 50 – 150