the grace of the heavenly Mother. (:

rights, finally a short summary of the trip that i’ve been mentioning for at least the past 8 entries. haha. trying to write up an entry based on some notes i made in point form throughout the trip.

had a great experience and insight there. specifically, the toilets. the flushes over there are not strong enough so somehow, we had to constantly rmb to dispose our used toilet papers in the bin beside instead of into the toilet bowls. so yup, you can alr imagine the “fragrance” in the toilets. haha. and i had loads of regrets, one not being able to find my vivitar which has been hiding for the past 2 months as there were really great scenery i could have shot with it. ):

checked in real early at the airport on 20th and i brought couzs and sister around the airport which once used to be my 2nd home. talking about that brings guilt; i actually didn’t realise i left daddy mummy and big aunt literally rotting at the gates because they had no idea what facilities there were in the airport. seriously, should have just brought them to nexus lounge for the sofas and tvs. daddy was jokingly blaming me for that but i was really VERY apologetic. but there wasn’t any ways i could make it up to them because it was already near boarding time by then. *sighs*

reached the foreign land at about 7am the following day and the weather was damn cooling over there. didn’t have a good sleep on the plane which provided us really yucky food. so yup, was pretty restless for the entire day and fall dead asleep at 10pm as soon as we hit the beds. actually, we slept at 10plus almost every night and woke up at 4 or 5am plus every morning. this, i can really call it a great habit of  早睡早起.

the first thing in the morning couz shermian, who was sleeping beside me, did when we woke up was to wish me a happy birthday. damn sweet lah. and yup, i did receive many many birthday wishes on sms as well. in case you don’t know, i already planned a reply for each and every message! but yup, the death of my phone stopped everything. trust me! if i get my phone back with no memory loss, i’m going to send those messages out no matter how belated it is. (:

the day was well spent visiting all our QR’s tombs and paying our respects. the trips really touched me because that’s like the first time i actually understand their stories which i’ve always only known bits and pieces of. visited some tourist place and headed off to our next home for the night, 佛山. on a side note, i actually bathed with sister for a couple of days. like first time after how many years of us living together. hahah! really hilarious when… erm okay, shall spare the details.

next up, had a sharing session with the youths in the evening and had a mini birthday bash. nothing much, just some gathering around and singing a birthday song but i really appreciate it although i didn’t really show it. oh yea, a video was uploaded by jianfen right? anyways, i think i have always been giving negative comments during sharing sessions but i didn’t really mean them in a bad way. probably i’m just like that. haha.

the 3rd day was spent visiting other tombs and then at Tian Huang Gong (天皇宫) which has changed so much since the last time i went 9 years ago before the great 921 earthquake. but yup, it’s still pretty and the people are still awesomely nice. at every place in the 8 days, we had like 10-course meals for almost every single meal. and at THG, the meals were the best! yup, that was probably why we all gained so many kilos after the trip. we were fed really WELL.

set off to taipei the next day. it was supposed to be the coldest over there but it turned out otherwise. was kinda sweating with the amount of cloths we wrapped around our bodies. hahah. went to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正纪念馆, also known as 自由广场) before heading to Taipei 101 which was the place i was most looking forward to in the entire itinerary. however, it wasn’t really that fantastic after all, probably cos i didn’t pay to go up the tower. the only stuffs we gotten were chocolates from 7-eleven because it seemed like we couldn’t get any of those in Singapore. haha.

had some KTV sessions on the bus and the bus captain played the movie Cape No.7 for us. oh well, already caught it with gladys and beng before. a 2nd time didn’t really make me understand the show more but yup, it brought back the song that kept playing in my head after that. didn’t manage to countdown for Christmas because we were all told to sleep early.

as usual, got my handphone flooded with smses on this great occasion. so glad i wasn’t forgotten, really. (: headed to Sun Moon Lake which was supposed to be cold as well but again turned out otherwise. *laughs* had a great ride on the yacht anyways and the wind really cooled us all down. we then went to this place which was partially destroyed by the 921 earthquake and paid like a S$1.50 to experience the earthquake from scale 4 to 7. were all laughing and screaming inside but thinking back, if it was to be a real earthquake, i’m sure everything would be so different. really horrifying, to be exact.

they then brought us to this pretty coffee house where we got to taste 7 different types of coffee they sell over there. heh, didn’t buy any although i enjoyed them. went back to our castle at 神威天台山 in the evening and could already see the pretty night lightings over there. unpacked our loots and i spent the night having supper till past midnight with the youths and that, i guess, was the latest we slept in the 8 days.

they brought us to the Antique Relics Exhibition Hall where our QR kept all his prized possessions on the 6th day. all the wood fossils, jade, ores, sapphires, ruby, crystals, and many more; it was really an eye-opener because i haven’t seen so many of those. sadly, photography wasn’t allowed. it made me wonder, though, if i were to “steal” one of those out, how much can it fetch me? hahah.

we were then asked to LY and clean up the entire place. had to prepare the place and make it at it’s best before the grand opening the following day! so yup, we swept the floors while daddy brought us around the place for sightseeing and photography at the same time. went for some ice at night,  just as i was told, the 神威招牌冰 is really great! chilled at the parade square after that and caught the fireworks and rehearsal for opening before we headed for bed.

the 27th morning was a memorable day because it marks the grand opening of our castle. a terrible tragedy happened in the morning – couz shermian left her camera in the toilet and we were all so devastated. seriously, thinking about losing a-week’s worth of photos is really depressing. but thankfully, in this holy place, there was no greed. so yup! we had it back with us about 4 hours later when we approached the service counter. cheerios! (:

spent the morning in the auditorium where everyone started dozing off in the comfy seats while we caught the opening, cutting of ribbon, lion dance and all on the live feed tv because there were too many people in the actual area itself. the total count of people in our castle that day was nearly a hundred thousand. President Ma came into the auditorium too, with a couple of ministers and our QR to give a speech. it’s like a rare rare oppoturnity eh. went around the 211 stalls at the fair and bought LOADS of food. i swear we were all bloated after that.

had a great rest in the afternoon and went to that stall for some ice again for the last time. for a cold weather, two thumbs up! met up with the youths again after that and we went out star gazing during the night walk that night. the stars in the foreign land did seemed much brighter probably cos of the clear skies. i really enjoy looking at the orion belt but still, i wished i could see a shooting star some day…

the last day was spent exploring the rest of the castle and all. was a pretty emotional day probably cos for whatever reasons, almost all of us teared. somehow it wasn’t our day and bad things really come together. i think i cried buckets after seeing the permanent spiderman wallpaper on my omnia. hahah. still, went around taking photos with other cameras and cleaned up our place.

had a full de shu debrief session where many of them did their sharing. i must say, am really amazed by some of the youths who spoke.. headed to the airport after dinner and it was finally home sweet home. flight was delayed which was why we landed so late but overall, it was a relief everyone’s back, safe and sound!

for this whole trip, will never forget the grace of all the Taiwan QXs. they were really great hosts and we were pampered so much and really treated like VIPs! although there were some unhappiness here and there, everything’s great. i mean, these are inevitable as nothing’s perfect right? i will remember the promise i set for myself and i know everyone else will too.

lastly, talking about regrets, i guess the biggest regret was to skrimp and save at the beginning of the trip, thus finding myself rich with NOTHING to buy at the end. had so many things in mind to get for my dear friends but mostly were either sold out or priced too high compared to the ones we seen before. so, sadly, had to come home half-empty handed. hope those who got a couple of the Taiwan goodies liked it though… (:

on a random note, 3 hours! and i’m finally done with this entry. now the question is, how many albums for facebook photos? faints.