Monthly Archives: December 2012

iPhone 5

“I love your old stuff better than your new stuff” – anyone who knows me knows that I’m more of a technophobe than tech geek. I love fat decks with big wheels, thin steel tubing and friction shifters on the downtube, sub 1000kg cars with no airbags…

Regarding mobile phones; I’ve always hated them. I was the last in my group of friends to buy one, even then I hated it and today I still find myself not answering it most of the time. I felt a little left out though in Taiwan as all the boys were on “whatsapp”, some new instant messaging system which couldn’t be installed on my iPhone 3GS because it was too old. That and my 3GS’ built in camera sux ass so I promised myself (whilst I was in Taiwan) that I’d get a new phone when I got back.

Well today I got my new iPhone 5. Now I’ve got to figure out how to get all my contacts off my old phone on to my new one… it shouldn’t be hard, but when you’re a pessimistic technophobe like me you know something will go wrong!

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My night in RB26

Whilst I was away Sergio asked if it would be alright to take RB26 out. We’re practically in bed together with Zen Garage and ALL STARS so of-course I obliged, little did I know he was going to drive it to a meet, then parade it down George St AND write a review!

It’s not often that you have someone review your own car. When it does happen, reading the review is kinda fun!

Read up here:

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Back home

Came back home to a clean house as I’d organised for the cleaners to come in whilst I was gone. Also, pressies on my kitchen table and an egg sandwich (thanks mum!) and cookies (thanks sis!).

Mia was very vocal, poor baby.

She was instantly up for some quality couch time :)

Purr purr purr.

Flew in to a beautiful day in Sydney. Cab driver tried to rip me off by going the long way home, was a little annoying having to correct him a few times and the bill ended up being more than 10 times the cab fares we’ve been used to over the past week, but hey… I’m home!

House was sparkly clean as I’d organised for the cleaners to come in whilst I was away. What an awesome move that was! Mia was suuuper sooky, she still is today, so cute. I’ve not unpacked yet, need to do a food shop too and also catch up with everything Zen. It’s great to be back!

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Taipei – Day #6 Transformers!

Since 1974, nuts right? It’s almost 30 years since Transformers were created.

All generations of toys were on display.

Generation 1 toys… not quite as complete as I was hoping for.


Masterpiece display.

Unicron! My fave toy of the day by far.

Original artwork (this one ended up being used on the back of the G1 boxes I’m pretty sure).

Comic book original artwork.

OG Movie poster on the left, would love to have this for home, or the garage.

Yonas controlling a fighting robot.

Full size Bumblebee.

Mastergrade toys in the gift store on exit (I had no room left!).

The expo was held at the National Science Education Center, like our own Powerhouse Museum it had fun stuff for kids to play with, like this bicycle in the sky race on ropes.

We then checked out the National Palace Museum.

Chinese tourists by the bus load.

We ate an amazing meal (also our most expensive meal all trip at $33/head). This was the Tai Chi double-flavoured Champion Beef Noodle Soup presented in a huge yin yang like bowl, one side was clear broth, the other marinated. SO GOOD!

Tea set, kinda felt like an Asian version of high tea (we had all sorts of teas to drink, all fantastic).

Day #6 was our last day in Taipei. We went out hard the night before and there was no way all of us were going to check out at noon so Charlie and I opted to pay up for another night to have a late checkout (our flights were at 11pm). Despite being hung over I still managed to check out the Transformers Expo, so glad I did as I geeked out hard once I was inside.

We checked out the National Palace Museum afterwards too, but I was way too wasted at that time to take in all the artifacts, and by the time we got the the airport I was running on reserve. I pretty much crashed once we boarded the plane, and woke up in Sydney! So sweet :)

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Taipei – Day #5

We hit the Taipei Motor Show.

Merry Christmas!

So hot.

Oh noes.

German Fusion Restaurant!

Charlie loves chilli.

Night markets were amazing (especially if you’re adventurous with your food!). Sorry for the crappy iPhone (3gs) pics, time to get a new iPhone me thinks!

Spotted an aquarium too.

A live nautilus!!!

For realz, a blue ring octopus.

My Humps.

Mos Burger, best thing ever at 5AM in the morning.

Charlie posing with a passed out local.

And David too.

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Taipei – Day #4

Outside our hotel.

Ximending, a cool young people’s hangout. Heaps of fashion shopping (heaps of fakes…), reminded me a little of Shinjuku.

Nicely modified Taxi.

Slammed Merc.

Crazy Engrish everywhere.

Spotted this beasty scooter at a vinyl wrap and airbrush shop.

And this storm trooper SL.

A rip of a rip of a rip. Quick too as Comme have only just released this red T.

Super detailed figurines.

WALD makes it right.

At this stage, with all the food and alcohol consumption, the days just rolled into one another and to me felt like The Hangover Part III. Crazy fun!!!

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Taipei – Day #3 continued


Might as well order everything then!

It’s pretty much a haze from here on.

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Taipei – Day #3 Zi and Gloria’s Wedding

Love my J Press tie (thanks for the heads up Kanye).

Steve and Zi.

Souvenir take-away photos.

Willy and Charlie scrubbed up nice!

Big Chinese banquet.

Zi and Gloria doing the rounds.

Saying goodbyes on the way out.

The reason why we were in Taiwan was to celebrate Zi and Gloria’s wedding. As it was a lunch time wedding I ended up feeling glad I didn’t go out hard the night before. The wedding lasted just 2 hours before they turned all the house lights on and kicked everyone out! Crazy! I’ve been to a fair few weddings now, none have been anything remotely alike (of-course all of them have been lovely experiences) and Zi and Gloria’s wedding was no exception… but it was the shortest wedding I’ve been to!

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Taipei – Day #2

Day #2 I woke up feeling pretty queasy and was super close to sleeping in, but ended up getting up. First stop was an electronics arcade as Stevey (James Bond) needed a portable external battery. The guys use whatsapp to keep in touch via phone, my phone was too old for the app unfortunately (time to upgrade my 3gs!).

Charging session, so geeky.

Next stop, 101. Spot the 2nd tallest building in the world in the background.

We were just amazed at how wild the locals drive, and praising them for not having accidents and knowing how to brake, but then we spotted this.

Taipei 101 from street level.

For lunch we smashed Din Tai Fung and ordered 60 dumplings + a billion other dishes, all of which only came to $20AUD each. Ridiculous!

We then went up to the top, was a really hazy day unfortunately.

Spot the kite, crazy right?!

Exit through the gift shop. The hand carved coral is nuts, this particular piece is over the top.


Joe from AAI picked us up and drove us out to visit AAI HQ.

The car we were driven in.

Mugen CRZ in progress.

This MKII Golf staff car blew my socks off.

It’s even got Buddy club seats in it.

More AAI staff cars.


The first thing that greets you, this amazing Le Mans racer.

So wide so low.

Tom’s Racing Corona (?) race car.

The boss’ new hobby to keep him fit.


This chaser was awesome.


Got intake?


A new project they’re working on. Automatic only though for Taiwan, if you want the manual you’ll have to buy the Subaru.

Some Buddy club Honda race cars.

Massive money spent on this FD.

One in you can’t get out. Nuts!

Race cars lying around everywhere you looked.

Even this now neglected EG up high on the mezzanine.

And this fantastic EK.

AII HQ even has it’s own bar.

Staff bike. Ti frame with old school Campy friction gear on it.

Their $20 simulator was crazy and makes our Forza simulator at Zen look piss weak.

Joe then took us out for some traditional Hakka food.

So so good. Hearty and earthy.

All traffic lights have hook turns for scooters (which dominate traffic) and a countdown to green too (wish we had that!).

Day #2 I got up feeling wasted and vomit sick. I skipped the hotel breakfast (a first for me as there’s nothing I love more than hotel buffet breakfasts!) but I still managed to get up and get on with the day. I was feeling much better by the time we got around to lunch time (where we smashed so much Din Tai Fung it was ridiculous), and visiting AAI was great (Zi, David, Charlie and I used to work for AAI/Buddy club Australia), but I didn’t have enough energy to do it all over and hit the clubs once more come night time (OLD MAN!) so I crashed, lame.

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Taipei – Day 1

Charlie (who’s tall) freaking out about having to sit it out on a 9hr flight in such a confined space.

Willy just as freaked out but not showing it.

Xmas decorations on the (rather old model) plane.

The airport was completely empty when we got in (around 4am from memory).

First thing we did was get cash out of an ATM.

Bought some JDM ciggs duty free, a whole carton for the price of a couple of packets locally.

We hung out at the airport 7/11 a little to re-group. Nothing else was open and we couldn’t check in until 3PM so we weren’t in any sort of rush.

Local Taxis come in all sorts, new and old, some standard and some quite modified!

Left Hand Drive! Our driver had gadgets galore all over his dash. Clear skies greeted us as the sun came up. We were cruising at 140km/hr on the freeway into the city.

We dropped off our bags at our hotel. Zi was there to greet us.

We then followed Zi on a tour of our immediate area.

We passed a temple, then Rongxing Garden Park where the oldies were getting active. Some performing Tai Chi, some doing the Tango!

Our first stop, a local feed.

This was interesting, crunchy and light. Basically deep fried bread sticks in fresh baked bread… bread in bread!

Egg in roti was delish.

And our first serving (of what was to be many) dumplings.

Next stop was a cafe that made some great coffee.

Aussie spoons on display.

The girl behind the counter made a pretty special filtered coffee (whilst we had ours) which took at least 10 minutes to make. Customer then proceeded to (on purpose) add a whole lot of salt to it for taste.

We then hopped on a train to get to Sogo, a large Japanese department store, which wasn’t quite open yet so we checked out the supermarket within. Asahi beers in all sorts of sizes and guises, even tea.

Our first Mos Burger vist; shop still wasn’t open so we just wanted to sit down more than anything.

All of us walked away from the supermarket buying some fun stuff. Whilst I bought myself some Asahi and an Initial-D toy someone else bought a variety of dried seafood.

Haha. Encouraging Charlie to try new foods.

I came across the New Era Transformers Cap Bots which I promoted on Zen a while back, got pretty excited and bought a few.

Love it that all Sogo Dept Stores all over Asia have a level dedicated to great restaurants. We went for the Katsu House.

Oyster Katsu! So good.

Our first swig of the local beer. It’s nice and crispy!

We spent the day at Sogo and later that afternoon we checked in to the hotel. King bed = score!

The Wi-Fi password and ‘in case you get lost’ hotel card inside this little folder proved very handy throughout the trip.

Just got back from my one week trip to Taipei for Zi and Gloria’s Wedding. Was so fun travelling and hanging out with the boys, who started the craziness on the plane when we were denied Chicken Rice (yet teased with it), then forced to settle for FISH PASTA. The air hostess insisting “It’s really good, I tried it myself”. The chewiness of it, brilliant, so fresh, the pasta so al dente… David even went back and asked for more (but seriously, tripple microwaved nastiness which made for a running joke the whole trip long).

As usual I slept through the entire flight, and basically teleported to Taipei. We got in crazy early, and had a LOT of time to kill before check-in at 3PM. Zi greeted us early though and kept us busy (mostly eating) all day. Later that night Stevey flew in and we hit town hard, so hard it destroyed most of my Day #2 haha.

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