Category: Taiwan

Chinese & Taiwanese Dramas OST

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chinese & Taiwanese Dramas OST

What makes a drama memorable?  There are a lot to consider but I think one big factor is the soundtrack that goes with it.  With just a few notes, you know what drama the soundtrack is from.

I can’t understand Chinese Mandarin or Cantonese but somehow the tune of the music gets to me.

Here is a list of my favourite.

 

Fated to Love You (You’re My Destiny) Dramas

This drama is so good that it has been remade in Korean and currently by Thailand.

The story is about a timid office girl, who would try to do anything and everything to please her office co-workers, who accidentally slept (apparently this can happen 🙂 LOL) with a CEO of a large company.

Three months later, they met again but at this time, the girl found out that she was pregnant.  After a shotgun marriage, the two learned to live together but it was far from smooth sailing.  There were faced it so much emotional upheaval that the girl lost her baby.

Though they loved one another, they thought it was the unborn baby, Doggie Poop, who was holding them together.  So they decided to go on their separate ways.

But as the title says, they were fated to love.  Three years on, they met again.  This time the girl is now successful in her own right so on par with the man.  They finally got together and had a baby or two and lived happily ever after.

 

Fated to Love You (You’re My Destiny) Dramas

Fated to Love You (Taiwanese Version)

The original version is of course stars the very watchable Joe Chen and Ethan Ruan. It was made in 2008. They have a sweet, very touching chemistry.  Joe Chen was perfect to play the girl, Chen Xin Yi (Elaine).  She showed so much vulnerability that you feel for her.  You can see all the gamut of emotion running through her face.  Brilliant actress.  Ethan Ruan was a perfect foil to Joe.  Love them together.

Also the other characters were also rather adorable.  The story would make you cry and love at the antics of the other characters.

Fated to Love You (2014 Korean Version)

I love the Taiwanese version so much but I got curious with this Korean one.

OmG.  I was so pleasantly surprised.  It is of course the same story but it is still as fresh.  I have to say Jang Hyuk with his evil incessant laughter made me smile.  I think he has never look handsomer than in this drama.  His floppy curls only made him more masculine, a sex on two legs as they say, very fanciable! 🙂

Jang Nara of course is perfect to play the female lead, having the same delicate vulnerable face as Joe Chen.

They chemistry is so hot, rather sexual.  LOL

The opening scene where Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk) being the CEO of Chemical industry corp, controls the ads for their new shampoo.  He was not happy with the model who was behaving like a diva.  So he proceeded to show the director and crew how he wants the ads to look by doing it himself.  Woah sexy!  This of course, is the beginning of a very sexy drama.  Fated to Love You (Korean)

You’re My Destiny (2017 Thai Version)

Attention, Love! (Taiwanese Drama Review)

Attention, Love!

Attention, Love! (Taiwanese Drama Review)

This Taiwanese drama is so cute.  Well the first two episodes anyway.

But having seen the preview for the next episode, it seems the budding relationship between the leads is going to be more complicated.

The story goes that during a 108 birthday celebration of a community patriarch, two best friends attended the party with their pregnant wives, who were already aware of the sex of their babies.  The babies were named by the patriarch as Li Zheng (played by Wang Zi) and Shao Xi (played by Joanne Tseng) and he said that they should be together, soon after this pronouncement he died.

Therefore before the babies were even born the babies were betrothed.  Shao Xi was guarded by her father from when she was a girl.  She was not allowed to play with boys and she learned all manners of self defence and more.

Shao Xi was a tomboy and became known for her pugnacious nature.

Years later, her parents announced that Li Zheng, her fiance, is coming to stay with them in Taiwan as his uncle, who was looking after him was going to get married.  Li Zheng lost his parents in a car accident at a very young age.  He was being looked after by his young uncle, who took him to Japan.

Anyway Li Zheng had grown into a very personable young man.  Shae Xi was enchanted by him, everytime he is close by she hears Close to you, as a mental background music!  🙂

Spoiler alert!!!

Episode 3

Li Zheng had started tutoring Shao Xi.  Shao Xi bet that if she gets to the top 100, Li Zheng has to treat her to the movies, 4D with popcorn and drink, which Li Zheng agreed to immediately.

This episode is a bittersweet story for the young lovers.  Shao Xi was keeping a diary, unfortunately it was read loudly by the class bully.  It told all her secret longing for Li Zheng.

Li Zheng asked Shao Xi if he was the one she likes.  For her pride’s sake  Shao Xi denied that it was him after accidentally hearing him telling some guys that he sees Shao Xi not as a younger sister but as a little brother.  Shao Xi was upset and embarrassed.  She left without hearing the rest of what Li Zheng said that he will protect her from anyone.

There are funny moments when Shao Xi tried to forget Li Zheng, like trying to get herself a pretend boyfriend.

Li Zheng is showing a rather steely determination to protect Shao Xi.  This is developing quite nicely.

The end of the episode showed Shao Xi meeting Li Zheng for their date but the class bully was there.

A new face was also been just introduced!

Episode 7

It seems the attraction between Shao Xi and Li Zheng is mutual and gathering momentum.  How it can have 20 episodes is, at the moment, is beyond me.  Probably there will be a gargantuan misunderstanding lasting until episode 19 and resolved at episode 20.  LOL  Nevertheless, I do love this series.

Episode 8 

This episode is the sweetest yet,  They almost got it together until the Shao Xi’s dad intervened a little bit. Advising Li Zheng to really see how he feels as he has become part of the family and if the budding relationship between him and Shao Xi would not work out, the family would not want to lose him.  Poor Shao Xi, so confused of Li Zheng’s hot and cold treatment of her.  They did kiss a couple of times.

Episode 9

It is college time.  Though the university Shao Xi is near her home, she decided to move out.  But who does she find out her next door neighbour?  It was Li Zheng.  More characters are introduced into the series.  There is a new girl who was flirting with Li Zheng and Wang Jin Li is Shao Xi’s senior.  Li Zheng adviced Shao Xi to meet other people.

Episode 10

This episode tackles mainly bullying at a new school.  It was done well.

Episode 11 

Angelina set up a blind date for Shao Xi.  Wang Jin Li ruined it by telling the boy, who was on the same mold as Li Zheng, that he was Shao Xi boyfriend.

Episode 12

This is a very dramatic (sad) comedic and romantic episode in equal measure.  Shao Xi got a drunken confession and a kiss from Li Zheng.  But the next time he saw Li Zheng, he was about to kiss the conniving Bai Bai.  The scene between Ru Ping and Yu Bin was hilarious.

Episode 13

I love this episode and I love Wang Jin Li.  He has the purest motive of all.  He never let Shao Xi down.  The issues of Bai Bai with Li Zheng was enough to finally drive Shao Xi to despair but Wang Jin Li was there to untangle all the misunderstanding.  He even made a final good bye to Shao Xi as an end to his pursuit of her.  What a lovely boy.  He also showed that he truly loved her.  He was so unhappy and even the gorgeousity of Angelina cannot tempt him from his unhappiness.

Episode 14

Finally Shao Xi is now officially with Li Zheng.  And they are really kawaii too.  Poor Wang Jin Li is in despair though. Go go go Angelina!

Bai bai is not giving up too easily.  She is really determined to make Shao Xi’s life difficult in whatever means.

 

Episode 15 (Final)

It is such a cute and poignant episode.  Ts are crossed and Is are dotted.  Romance is aplenty, very satisfying conclusion but wondering why the main characters have not married, after finishing college and now both working.

 

 

The Masked Lover (Taiwanese Drama Review)

The Masked Lover

The Masked Lover (Taiwanese Drama Review)

After the end of the drama, Love ’til the End of Summer, I have decided to watch this drama next.

I have just watched the first episode and it is a cracking good hokum.

It is about a rather maverick police officer, Gu Lei Jun (played by Weber Young), who infiltrated a large corporation, Yi Qing Group, managed by a powerful Mafia boss, Wu Ping An (played Mini Tsai).

Wu Ping An met an accident that put her in a coma.

Her mother called Wu Ping An’s twin sister, Wu Ping Fan (also played by Mini Tsai), who lives an independent and rather innocent life in America to return back to take the place of her sister on an important deal – her sister’s pet project – a resort.  She has to act like a sister and will have battle of wills against another mafia overlord.  The meeting ended up in a fight and Gu Lei Jun was there, ready to save her.

As a reward Gu Lei Jun requested to work with her, which she granted.

Anyway, the first episode is full packed of action sequences and a bit of romance already.

Episode 2

They have just introduced the second male lead,Chao Tien-Hsing (played by Kurt Chau, and I must say he is drop dead gorgeous.  And his wooing of the nurse, Ku Ching-Hsuan (played by Genie Chen) is just the sweetest.

The drama became extra watchable because of these two.

…….

I have just binged watched up to 17 episodes of this drama, which is apparently ending towards the end of this month.

I have to admit that I have fast-forwarded a bit, concentrating mainly on the second lead characters, who have  a cuter, sweeter story line.

I love it and can’t wait for the next episode.

Must-See Taiwanese Dramas (TwDramas)

Love, Timeless poster

The Masked Lover

Must-See Taiwanese Dramas (TwDramas)

Taiwanese dramas are very dear to my heart 🙂

They make soap operas that are believable.  They are funny one moment then melodramatic the next.  They have also lovely stars.

My list is of course a work in progress and not in any order whatsoever 🙂 : –

  • Aim High
  • Attention, Love!
  • Apple In Your Eye
  • Big Red Riding Hood
  • Boysitter
  • Be With You
  • Behind your Smile
  • Bromance
  • Devil Beside You
  • Easy Fortune Happy Life
  • Fated To Love You
  • I Do, I Do (I Do 2)
  • Inborn Pair
  • In Time With You
  • It Started With A Kiss & They Kissed Again
  • In Between
  • Love, Timeless
  • Love 020
  • Love Me or Leave Me
  • Love By Design
  • Murphy’s Law of Love
  • Office Girls
  • Refresh Man
  • Swimming Battle
  • The Masked Lover
  • To The Dearest Intruder ( 🙁 cry, cry, cry)

Traditional Taiwanese Hand Made Noodles

An interesting article and video from Cindy Sui
BBC News, Taipei

Noodles have been around for thousands of years, but one of the oldest ways of making them is sadly dying out.

Traditional Taiwanese Hand Made Noodles

Hand-pulled string noodles, called mian xian in Mandarin, have been made for around 2,000 years.

Drying-hand-made-and-pulled-noodles-that-require-good-weather.

Drying hanging hand-made and-pulled noodles requires good weather.

Until the 1960s they were still made in the traditional way in Taiwan, being pulled by hand and then hung to dry like laundry in the sun, but now machines have largely taken over.

Today only about 50 noodle makers are thought to remain in Taiwan.

Handmade noodles taste better; they’re smoother and more chewy,” says Lin Zheng-yi, a man in his early 50s with a thin frame but whose arms have been toughened by pulling the stretchable strands every day.

The money we earn is earned in a hard way.”

Lin Zheng-yi says  “I’ve never thought about making noodles by machine. I wouldn’t know how and besides, machines cost money. But I don’t want my son to do this. It’s too much hard work and you can’t make much money.”

Noodles are not only an important staple food in Taiwan, but are also eaten on special occasions such as birthdays and weddings, because they symbolise something that is long-lasting.

Yet because the work is labour-intensive and hard, few young people want to go into this trade.

Having good weather is crucial if the noodles are to dry properly.  In Mr Lin’s village in Changhua county, central Taiwan, there used to be 10 families who made noodles the traditional way when he was growing up – now his family are one of only two left.

Long working hours
He grew up watching his grandparents and parents make noodles by hand and quit his job in the city more than a decade ago to come back to his home town to carry on this work.

His long working day begins at dawn and finishes in the early evening .

He begins  by mixing flour, salt and water – one of only two steps that involve machinery.

The hardest part is shaking the noodles before hanging them up to dry – it takes a toll on the back”

Lin Zheng-yi kneels to flatten the dough after it is taken out of the mixer, and patiently lets it rise.

Then he takes a knife and cuts big chunks, flings them one by one over his shoulder and slaps them hard on the floor, as if he is trying to kill a snake.

But the dough is still the width of a hand so he uses both hands to pull it from one end to the other to make it longer.

Then it is put through the slots of a machine, but it only gets the dough so thin – the crux of the work will need to be done by hand.

Mr Lin grabs the ends of six twirled-up ropes of dough thinned out by the machine and skilfully winds them in a figure-of-eight shape around two bamboo poles stuck horizontally into notches in the wall.

He then puts the noodles on a rack and leaves them to lengthen for about an hour; then they are ready to be pulled.

Lin Zheng-yi says he cannot imagine a world without handmade noodles

Putting one stick through handles attached to the wall, he grabs the other pole and pulls the noodles away from the wall, walking backwards.

He releases to keep them from breaking and pulls some more. This is repeated until the noodles are about 4m long.

After putting them back on the rack to lengthen for an hour, the noodles are taken outside, shaken in an up-and-down motion like bedsheets to make them thinner, and put up on frames to hang in the sun.

By now, they’re just a millimetre thick.

Having good weather is crucial.

It is best if there is some humidity to allow slower drying, but it can’t be too humid, because the noodles will take too long to dry.

Noodle masters also need to know exactly how much water and salt to add to the flour, based on the weather conditions each day.

The money we earn is earned in a hard way. We have to watch the weather,” says Mr Lin.

Handmade-noodles-taste-very-different-to-machine-made-noodles

If it looks like it’s going to rain, we have to quickly take the noodles inside – otherwise all our efforts are wasted.”

Every part of the process is hard. The hardest part is shaking the noodles before hanging them up to dry – it takes a toll on the back.

By midday, the courtyard is full of drying noodles. Mr Lin, his wife and mother are covered with flour on their face, hands and clothes. So is their home, including the furniture, radio and pictures.

When one set of noodles is nearly dry, they move it to a shadier part of the courtyard and bring out another set.

Although his family begin working around 05:00 each day and don’t finish till 19:00, they make only $100 (£61) a day. The noodles are sold for only $2 to $3 per bag.

Questionable future
Mr Lin says he cannot imagine a world without handmade noodles. He believes this ancient tradition will live on, somehow.

If my children want to do this, I won’t object,” Mr Lin says. But they express no interest.

After all their hard work, Mr Lin’s family sit down for a meal of oyster and noodles. The noodles are not mushy, like the machine-made ones, but flexible, chewy, and delicious.

But there is no telling whether this product of hard work and patience will survive the changing times.

%d bloggers like this: