The first thing that I did in Taipei was to cut my hait.
My instructions to the stylist were: I want to trim my hair. Give it some sort of a style.
I sat there. She cut. I walked away looking like that. And I finally understood why contestants on America's Next Top Model cry when their long hair gets chopped off.
It's objectively a nice cut but it doesn't suit me. I really didn't feel like a girl at all, and instantly bought hairbands the minute I had the chance to do so.
We also went to the Flora Expo.
The expo was full of people. It was very bloody crowded. There were annoying aunties and rude Chinese (by race) people lacking in civic consciousness crowding my space, like this auntie who blatantly cut my queue in the toilet. They must be from the South. Ha ha ha.
There was some flower design cup competition thing, and I was amused by Singapore's entry.
There was also a huge scoreboard for the competition and my dad pointed out to me that Singapore was dead last. Somehow, I was not too surprised by that.
They turned a sporting stadium into one of the venues for the expo, and very tastefully decorated the stands with a variety of flowers to form pretty patterns.
The expo had a few pavilions with differently-themed exhibitions. Apparently some of them are so popular that you are required to reach the venue at 9 a.m. and queue for some voucher that will allow you to get tickets. Or whatever. My relative was explaining the mechanics to us and I tuned out when he mentioned that 9 a.m. thing.
Nonetheless, one of the pavilions was known for its walls which were made of huge plastic bottles.
I didn't go into the pavilion because it was crowded and there was a very long queue of people outside, waiting to go in. I didn't even know what exhibition it was and I didn't really care.
There was also a section of the expo dedicated to various countries submitting a small landscape that's supposed to be representative of the country. I'd heard a lot of bad things about Singapore's submissions, and I knew that I had to see it for myself.
Singapore had two small plots of land given to it. The first one that I saw wasn't so bad.
But guess what? It was designed by an Australian. I guess, in a very sad way, that is representative of Singapore.
The next one was just so laughably bad, especially in view of the fact that I kept an eye out for the most bland, non-descript plot of land...and I knew this was Singapore's the minute I spotted it.
This one was definitely locally-designed. Compare this to Hong Kong's and the Philippines':
The Philippines' one was only one part of it. The whole thing was impressive - it was meant to reconstruct a historical landmark of the Philippines. This is what one of the designers said about his/her country's exhibit:
Given the millions of visitors that are expected to visit the expo in the next six months, hopefully, it could create considerable interest in the beauty that our country can offer so that these visitors would want to personally visit and experience the Philippines.
And to be honest, seeing that structure did pique some intrigue in me with regard to our Southeast Asian neighbour. While I quite understand that Singapore doesn't have that many prominent historical or heritage sites to reproduce, at least put in some effort, like Hong Kong did with its dolphins. I would've been quite happy to see the fucking Merlion there. At least it would have been something. Or even a statue of Raffles since we love our colonial history so.
And outsourcing one of the exhibits to a foreigner? HOW VERY TYPICALLY SINGAPOREAN. How are we going to have a sense of pride as a nation if the powers that be 1) let foreigners do work that are supposed to represent us; and 2) don't even seem interested in presenting the country to the international community in a way that's representative of the country and makes the country appear interesting? I don't see how that sorry plot of land that could easily pass off as my grandmother's garden can hope to arouse curiosity in its visitor.
Okay, rant over. Moving on now.
We visited a huge sprawling Chinese-styled housing compound that was huge, and so very pretty.
All I know about this place is that it was inhabited by someone. Yeah. That's it.
At about 5.45 p.m., we visited the Pavilion of the Future. That was because people were already leaving and there wasn't much of a crowd anymore. This pavilion housed various species of plants. Which was great, except plants are green and brown and they all looked the freaking same, so I was quite bored.
Not only that, it was still quite full of people; we just didn't have to queue for more than 10 minutes. It was so crowded that the aforementioned aunties were literally invading my space by pushing past me to look at some geraniums or whatever they were. I really don't know which cave in the south of Taiwan did these winners crawl out from; I really did want to die quite badly.
Anyway, I did like the cacti. There are other cute ones but I was too lazy to edit them.
At night: we visited the pavilion of bonsai, which was incredible. I'd always thought that bonsai were small little plants; I never knew they actually grew big. Of course they're not huge like trees, but they're bigger than John Casey's bonsai, let's just say. Also, there were a few where the designer utilised the dead parts of the tree trunks/branches to shape the bonsai and give it colour. Too bad they didn't allow pictures indoors; those were really unique.
Lastly, a picture for my boyfriend: