TAIPEI | 好氏品牌研究室

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Of all the cafes I have been to, anywhere, this is one of those I remember most vividly. It’s the kind of place that takes you away from reality temporarily. It has a bit of everything in almost the right amounts – nothing too whimsical or clinical, too bright or too dark – yet overall, maybe a little over-curated in places, but still oozing with character.

I’ve been saving these pictures for a good day, but I got carried away, and it has been perhaps two years since I visited this café and design store in Taipei. But, it is still there (I checked their FB page to be sure), although I am not sure how it has evolved since.

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Exposed.

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This late morning, I was on a comfortably-packed train, wondering if I should drop by the poke bowl shop to pick up lunch before heading for the office. I had a small craving for it, but not enough to rule out a simple sandwich, or a bowl of noodles, completely.

Lost in thought over my first-world problem, my idle fingers found the folder of film-taken pictures on my phone. I should post something on the blog, I thought above my lunch thoughts.

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I flipped through pictures of my Italy holiday, my multiple Taiwan escapades, and weekend walks, pleased to see them again. Then my finger hit a folder of experimental double-exposed (and somewhat failed) photos. I had connected with a stranger on the other side of the world for this little project, and for my part, I wandered into the streets off East Coast Road to complete it.

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But as I looked at these photos, it wasn’t the stranger I thought of. Or the streets I could no longer name. Or the reason why I couldn’t take a proper double-exposed photo. My thoughts strayed onto the companion who’s absent, yet undeniably present in all the photos.

Strange how life could change the course of a friendship, how archives and archives of fond memories were not enough to keep it together. Not nearly enough.

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Then the overhead sound system announced my stop. I barely heard it, but my body has learnt the routine, and I stepped out to join the rest of the working crowd.

Birthdays and wishes

I am one of those people who remember birthdays without having to rely on social calendars too much. But I am also one of those people who rarely send a birthday card (and gift) in time.

Then I saw the cutest The New Yorker online cards on the beautifully-curated Paperless Post. I am such a fan of its art and humor (although I have to say that works of Ashkahn, Mr Boddingtons Studio , Felix Doolittle, Happy Menocal, and Kate Spade – just to name a few of my favourites on the site – were strong contenders).

So I wrote my friend a simple birthday message, inserted into an e-envelope holding a The New Yorker card, against a customised gold polka-dotted backdrop – all in 5 mins (excluding the time taken to actually decide which card to go with) and more importantly, in time for her birthday. I hope it perks up her morning when she sees it.

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This post was done in partnership with Paperless Post.

A life update.

When life gets so busy you are arranged around your activities, instead of the other way round – that’s how it has been the last couple of weeks.

A few updates lest I forget:

The June skies around here are beautiful. I am so glad for the treats of blue, pink, and orange in the evenings. Wonderful reminder to go out more. In fact, I’ve taken more walks around the city this month than I’ve had in a very long while, and it feels great – for the body, if not the soul.

More soul food – Meeting up with friends, including those usually left to convenience to arrange a time with. And making plans to reconnect with others who are always on my mind, but remain just there. Do you have friends like that too?

Slipped out of the city for a reprise in Bangkok. The city is almost like a second home.

Also poring over IDs for the new place.

And stressing over work as we enter high-stress zone.

On another note, I’ve managed to improve my bowling game (I am a terrible bowler).

I’m also currently hooked onto Selena Gomez’ remake of Only You (Why did I never like it before?), and I recently read an article that made me a little sappy. Thought I’ll share it.

And as you can probably tell, my thoughts are all over the place. Bye!

Memories of Jeju island

Jessie and I got lost while navigating the Jeju Olle trail (those were the days we did not rely on mobile data to find our way, but intensive pre-planning work, physical maps and road signs). But the beautiful scenery accompanying us on our long walk made up for it more than twice over. 

Canon A1/ Tudor xlx 200 (expired)
Mamiya 500 DTL/ Kodak Colorplus 200 (last 2 photos)