I have written about target shooting plenty of times, but, in reality, I have never fired a gun in my life. When I was kid, GI Jane was one of my favorite toys, but to finally hold a real gun in my hands? Ayayayay! It was a different story.
BAAAAAAAAM! The sound of piercing thunder reverberated inside my sorry eardrums. You see, ear problems run in my genes. But because I wanted to become GI Jane, I had to succumb to ear-splitting ratatatatat, never mind that I had to cover my sensitive ears with makeshift rolled tissue paper ear plugs. I had to keep in mind: This is all for the glory of GI Jane! And of course, being a half-Caviteña, I had to live up to my "gallant" blood =D
Black magic. Potion. Mangkukulams. Barangs---
Siquijor has long been stereotyped as mystical. But after twenty four hours of "demystifying" this island, I learned that The Island of Fire is far from its typecast. If anything, it is bewitching (the fascinating kind.) Too bewitching that it makes tourists do crazy poses ;-)
Phnom Penh can shock you. Somewhat like a bipolar, one minute it peeps out a chaotic urban feel; next, it would take you to its relaxing laid-back lifestyle. One minute it lets you meet friendly people, and the following minute it would let you stumble across money-grubbing people from hell.
We hopped out of the bus, after surviving seven hours of bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City. The environment was frantic, the bus stop was nowhere to be found. We were in the middle of a market-like place, surrounded by Cambodian tuk-tuk drivers hounding us for their services. The sun was up and everyone was ironically wearing long-sleeves, gold bling blings, and slacks. Near the area were more Cambodians hopping in and out of packed vans and pick-ups with their oversized bags. Vendors selling crickets and other unidentified exotic snacks were roaming the streets. It was Quiapo and Divisoria rolled into one.
Scaling the country's third highest mountain is part of my ultimate bucket list. I conjured up a couple of distinct scenes in my head-- jumping above the sea of clouds, roasting marshmallows over a bonfire, and rolling down the orange grassland. But alas, the real scene was poles apart from what I imagined. Different yet still dream-like.
I have always loved Din Tai Fung's and Crystal Jade's xiao long bao. But after my Taiwan getaway, I had to renounce my earlier "This is the best xiao long bao!" declarations and tell these two famous restos to move over 'coz I've finally discovered the better than best xiao long baos in the universe!
One of the best night markets in Taiwan, in my opinion, is the Ziqiang Night Market in Hualien County. It's not that crowded compared to the ones in Taipei. Plus, there's wide variety of food to choose from. Here are some of the gastronomic finds this bazaar is famous for:
1. TAKOYAKI (OCTOPUS) BALLS
The best takoyaki balls I've tasted in my life. Not only it's "too tender that it melts in your mouth" but the sauce used was unforgettable. I asked the kid to give me extra sauce! This is best eaten while it's smoking hot. I think these balls are the reason why this night market stands out for me!
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