Back in January 2017, I wrote of my back-to-school post. I began taking up further graduate courses in ASEAN studies, as I began recognizing the crucial position that Southeast Asia has in the region and in the world.
It was also, by coincidence, that my next employment is Asia-centric. This background in ASEAN studies will serve helpful.
UPOU’s Oblation silhouetted against the setting sun, with Mt. Makiling in the background
Time flew by and I finished the course I enrolled in. I never thought I’d attend the commencement exercises, but I decided to opt in at the last minute. Both of my parents have never attended a single graduation ceremony together, having worked overseas since 1988. Mama was able to attend, however, my graduate school graduation in 2012.
We made it in time for my graduation
For our last day in Taipei, Mon still had some last minute souvenir shopping to do. This is honestly my least favorite part. As Ximending Night Market is just a cartwheel away from the inn, Mon has already bookmarked the shops he wanted to visit.
Most of the stuff I will be giving to family and friends had been taken care of the night before. So for the morning’s adventure, I will just be tagging along. We also planned to visit a cat cafe somewhere in Taipei in the afternoon.
Last minute shopping at Ximending Night Market
The prices of the boxes of mochi were nearly the same as Carrefour. Mon also meticulously looked for small non-food items for his family. Meanwhile, I just sat outside every bench or chair I could find. Before the end of his shopping, I also bought boxes of pastries to be given to my family and his. I also used my credit card for this one-time purchase (NTD 750).
Searching for the perfect pair of earrings
By the third day, we have been already getting on each others’ nerves. This was quite expected like clockwork during our trips. Mon wanted to just rest and wait out our trip to Shifen and Jiufen via Klook, which will start by 1:30 pm. I, on the other hand, thought that perhaps we could squeeze an attraction in the morning.
Returning to Jiantian Station, the stop for Shilin Night Market, I insisted in visiting the National Martyr’s Shrine. However, there were no buses servicing the area that time, and it will take another 2-hour roundtrip before reaching the place.
Searching on Google, I looked for the nearest attraction: the Confucius Temple.
At Taipei Confucius Temple
Our 2nd day is a special day: it is our 10th!
We were able to finally sleep well from the night before. But before hitting the sack, I gave Mon a simple keepsake to commemorate our 10th year. I initially had no idea what to give him. However, I eventually realized that it was fitting to give him a ring.
On our first year where we celebrated in Baguio, we had this simple silver ring bought from Cubao. It only makes sense to have another one in gold.
Happy 10 years!
After our usual breakfast from 7/11, we then prepared for the day ahead.
We topped our Easy Cards again with another NTD 100. To go to Longshan Temple, we took the train from Ximen Station to Longshan Station. I sort of regret wearing this PLAY T-shirt. It was hot, hot, hot outside.
Blazing heat at Longshan Temple