Tag Archives: Taiwan

What it’s like to fly Hello Kitty class

I’m crazy about all things Hello Kitty, so imagine my delight when I discovered the plane I was flying on from Tokyo to Taipei was the famed Hello Kitty plane we talked about two years ago. Just so you can have a glimpse of what it was like, I took photos from start to finish!

Check-in counter:

hello kitty check-in counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My airplane ticket:

hello kitty plane ticket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tail end of the plane as I was boarding:

Back of Hello Kitty Plane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Subway commercial from 200 BC

Before Jackie Chan, there was Bruce Lee.  And before Bruce Lee, there were these guys — old-school heroes with cat-like reflexes and the best evil laugh ever.  Check out this hilarious Subway commercial, featuring the new lobster sandwich set in drama of feudal China. I doubt Jared a.k.a. The Subway Guy could do a better job selling!

Meet the inventor of bubble tea: Ms. Lin Hsiu Hui

It’s summer time and that means many of us are craving a large cup of ice-cold bubble tea (aka boba tea) with chewy tapioca balls. While most of us have had this Taiwanese drink before, we probably don’t know who the original inventor of this refreshing cup of yumminess is.

Meet Ms. Lin Hsiu Hui, who says that her bubble tea invention came about when she was attending a meeting in 1998. During her meeting, she decided it would be fun to pour the fen yuan, a sweetened tapioca pudding, into her iced tea and drink it. At the time, Lin was the product development manager for Taiwanese tea house, Chun Shui Tang.

“Everyone at the meeting loved the drink and it quickly outsold all of our other iced teas within a couple of months.  Even after 20 years on the menu, bubble tea makes up 80 to 90 percent of our sales and Taiwanese are proud of this home-grown drink,” says Lin.

Although the boba craze has spread internationally, Chun Shui Tang, where Lin continues to work at, aims to distinguish itself from other shops. What sets them apart is that their bubble teas are customized to the customer’s taste and are usually shaken, not blended. Each drink is then measured with a refractometer, a device used to measure solution concentrations, to ensure that the level of sweetness is up to par with each individual customer.

I’m totally craving some bubble tea now. My personal favorite? Almond milk tea with extra tapioca!

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Move over Virgin, Hello Kitty is now boarding

Just when you thought you couldn’t get enough Hello Kitty, try jet-setting on a Hello Kitty airplane. Taiwanese airline, EVA airways is launching its Hello Kitty aircraft this October to commemorate its 20th anniversary. Everything from the  boarding passes, meal trays, baggage tags and the flight attendants’ aprons will be Hello Kitty themed.

Additionally, the campaign has hopes of increasing travel between Taiwan and Japan after the massive earthquake and tsunami. Hello Kitty is more than just a cute character, it’s bringing the world together!

(Thanks, New Heights!)

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If you’re not yet sick of Hello Kitty, check out the Hello Kitty mansion, glasses,  braces, tattoo, and toaster!

My fobby flashback: Din Tai Fung, mecca of soup dumplings

Few people would wait four hours for a table at a restaurant, but I am more than willing to when it comes to dining at Din Tai Fung. I could barely contain my excitement when I learned last year that my favorite xiao long bao joint was opening in Seattle! This internationally famous chain actually began as a small shop in Taipei City before spreading to Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia and the US. Its specialty is xiao long bao, a tasty dumpling filled with pork and a hot broth, pouring flavor into your mouth when you bite into its delicate, doughy skin.

I felt so nostalgic watching everyone around me enjoy good food, drink, and company.  This restaurant was my go-to spot in Singapore every time I craved soup dumplings.  Even in Seattle, Din Tai Fung’s dumplings are top notch, with the perfect ratio of meat filling and soup, and a super thin dumpling skin.  We even paired our delicious meal with ice cold Tiger Beer, Singapore’s national beer.  The four hour wait was totally worth it.

I noticed amongst my friends that we all have our own techniques for eating xiao long bao.  I like to put my soup dumpling on a spoon filled with soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger, and then place everything in my mouth all at once.  I notice others like to poke a hole in the soup dumpling and drain the broth into their spoon, sip on the broth, and then eat the dumpling.

I’m curious, is there a “right” way to eat xiao long bao? How do you eat yours?

Hungry yet?  Read about other fobby food favorites, such as Disney dim sum, instant ramen, Obama’s favorite Indonesian meatball soup, congee, Filipino comfort food, Vietnamese banh mi, and Rachel Ray’s version of pho.

(Thanks, Jennifer for the pics!)

Not all Asians look the same…or do they?

“Konichiwa!” yelled some random guy as I walked down the street.  What a effing moron, I thought to myself.  Besides the fact that he was super crude and offensive, I am Chinese.  Not all Asians look the same, geez.

I mean, of all people we fobs should know, right?  I’ve traveled to and/or lived in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan…so I would consider myself somewhat of an expert in guessing which country an Asian is from. That is, I thought I was an expert until I came across this Asian Look-Alikes website, which tests your ability to guess where someone is from.

Soon enough, it became clear that I’m actually terrible at recognizing faces from different Asian countries.

But I found a loophole to this weird Asian-guessing game — if you keep clicking on China, your chances of guessing correctly are much higher.  Which makes sense, right?  One fifth of the world’s population is from China, so statistically speaking, the website’s database likely has way more people from China than from any other country.

Try it out for yourself — my tip works, right?

Want more of our thoughts on race and ethnicity?  Read about Suzie’s Fob Revelation on offensive Asian Halloween costumes, China’s “American Idol” show going racist, and our thoughts on Arizona’s racial profiling of anyone who looks like a fob.

(Thanks Frank!)

Single in your 30s hits a new low: Taiwanese woman marries herself

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This is what I call an independent woman — who knew you could marry yourself? Taiwan-based Chen Wei-yih, 30, held a wedding for her, and her alone. She went the whole nine yards; the event had guests, a wedding dress, a ring, and a photographer. After her marriage to herself, Chen is flying off to Australia to embark on a honeymoon for one. It’s apparently a move to show other women that hey, it’s really not so bad being single in your thirties! She explains that women often treat men to things like weddings and marriage, so why let men have all the fun? Throw a wedding for yourself!

I get where she’s coming from, and I’m totally against society’s stigma of being unwed when you’re 30, but I think Chen’s act had the opposite effect on me. Is it just me, or did Chen make being single in your thirties sound even worse?

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MJ scarecrows tell crows to “beat it”

Not sure if these MJ scarecrows will attract birds or repel them. Taiwanese farmer, Lee Ping-hsing, set up these two MJ scarecrows as a creative technique to scare the birds. Oh, and these straw crow chasers also have a deeper metaphor to them as well. Lee said that he “thought since Michael is good at ‘grabbing his bird’, I’m inviting him to grab ours.”

Wow, the King of Pop reduced to a pile of straw.

Giant burgers causing jaw injuries in Taiwan

Watch out for those giant burgers!  In Taiwan, people are having difficulty opening their mouths after sinking their teeth into massive burgers.  According to Professor Hsu Ming-lung of National Yang-Ming University, biting into burgers taller than three inches can cause jaw problems.  With hamburger-related jaw injuries on the rise, Professor Hsu is calling on fast food restaurants to limit the size of their burgers.

Um, does that mean the McDonald’s Mega Mac is out of the question?

mega mac

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Jay Chou to star in “The Green Hornet”

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Jay Chou, Asia’s superstar, will be hitting American theaters next year! The Taiwanese soul singer will be starring alongside Cameron Diaz and Seth Rogen in a superhero action film called “The Green Hornet.” Chou will be acting the part of Kato, the Green Hornet’s sidekick who is a martial arts expert. The singer will hav a lot to live up to, because the Kato role was formerly played by the legendary Bruce Lee.

I think I fell in love with Jay Chou when I first heard one of his hit songs, Ke Ai Nu Ren. FYI, the talented musician can even compose, act and produce!

Check out the movie trailer below.

(Thanks, Lu!)