Monday, May 30, 2016

Bank Deposits

As part of my new work responsibilities, I have to deposit checks at the bank. For my personal checking account, I can take a photo of the check with my smartphone to "deposit" checks. Maybe because there are more checks and larger dollar amounts, there is no such option for our business bank accounts. In fact, everything seems slow and inefficient.

Since our office is not in the safest part of town, I'm taking incoming checks to deposit near home. The closest branch is actually a small kiosk inside a supermarket, so not sure if they get a lot of business customers. Hopefully I didn't surprise the teller by dropping a six digit deposit into a 9 digit checking account on a Saturday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Our company's controller is retiring in a few weeks. Instead of replacing him, we're divvying up his responsibilities. As a result, I am now the Treasurer of the company. I signed a signature card for our primary bank account today, and soon my signature will be printed on over 10,000 checks a month.

I've never worked in a Treasury department before...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Asia Trip Day 11 - Taipei (November 2015)

Wednesday 11/4

First morning in Taipei. I found a Chinese breakfast place on the way to our first destination. Eating... this is the main reason to visit Taiwan.

First stop was a tour of the Presidential Palace. I registered online and we got a private tour in English. Our tour guide looked an office worker. He went to the same military college as my dad.

Shin Kong Life Tower, the 2nd tallest building in Taiwan after Taipei 101. Our Airbnb is next door to the building.

I researched a lot of beef noodle places in Taipei before the trip. My dad suggested we come to this place for lunch.

Yongkang Beef Noodle: the building is kind of ghetto but the food was good.

After lunch, we got some shaved ice at Smoothie House down the street

Nest stop, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

The man himself

National Theater and Concert Hall

National Palace Museum. We had to meet my aunt for dinner so we were kind of rushed. We saw a few exhibits but didn't see the famous jade cabbage.

After dinner, we walked around Shilin night market

Asia Trip Day 10 - Osaka > Taipei (November 2015)

Tuesday 11/3

Another travel day, this time from Osaka to Taipei. Kansai airport is pretty far from Namba Station so we had to get up pretty early to catch our flight.

We took the 7am Rapit train to Kansai. It was designed to look like an anime character.

First ride in a 787 Dreamliner. The flight didn't feel any different but the large dimming windows were cool.

We arrived in Taipei and found our driver. I was going to take the high speed rail or an airport bus but decided on getting a van instead. Our driver's name was Double (as in 2x). We asked for an English-speaking driver but I ended up speaking Chinese the whole time. Like Japan, we stayed at an Airbnb near Taipei Station. The building was a commercial building so the "apartment" was kind of weird.

2/28 Peace Park

Longshan Temple

Waterfall inside temple grounds

The temple was pretty chaotic, very different from the temples in Kyoto

Afterwards, we walked several blocks to Modern Toilet, a bathroom themed restaurant. The food was so so but the kids wanted to eat here.

After dinner, we walked around Ximen for a bit, and bought some fresh shredded pork and pork jerky

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Asia Trip Day 9 - Kyoto (November 2015)

Monday 11/2

Our final full day in Japan was spend visiting Kyoto. I had planned 3 or 4 stops and dinner in Kyoto but we ended up only seeing two temples and ate dinner back in Osaka.

Train ride from Osaka to Kyoto took about 45 minutes. This is the rapid (rapid express?) train on Keihan Railroad.

First stop: Kendonya udon restaurant


Fushimi-Inari Shrine

Prayer gates

Deep-fried sweet potatos

Sanjusangendo Shrine. There were over 1000 buddha statues inside but we could not take any photos.

Dinner in a tiny one-man curry restaurant in Namba Station back in Osaka

Asia Trip Day 8 - Osaka (November 2015)

Sunday 11/1

We arrived in Osaka late Saturday night and was able to check-in to our Airbnb place without any problems. This apartment was a bit larger than the one in Tokyo, though it did not have a dinner table.

The next morning, we decided to skip Osaka Castle and headed to the Osaka Aquarium instead.

Hugh ferris wheel next to the aquarium

Aquarium exterior

Model of huge whale shark in the large tank inside the aquarium

We spent a long time in the aquarium. It was dark when we left. The ferris wheel was all lit up with animated lights.


Famous crab restaurant


We couldn't decide where to eat and ended up with take-out sushi, and some pork buns from a Chinese restaurant in Namba Staton

We also got some Portuguese egg tarts for dessert

Asia Trip Day 7 - Tokyo > Osaka (October 2015)

It's been six months since our Asia trip; time to finish posting trip photos.

Saturday 10/31

Today is a travel day. We are taking the bullet train (Shinkasen) from Tokyo to Osaka in the evening. Train tickets are actually pretty expensive. It would have been faster and cheaper to fly but the best fares were from Narita to Kansai which would add hours and lots of cost to the trip.

We checked out of our Airbnb this morning, placed our luggage in lockers at Tokyo Station, and went to see a few local sights.

Tokyo Station. It's our 3rd time through the station and I still got lost. It took forever for us to find enough empty lockers to store our luggage for the day.

Imperial Castle. After lunch, we went on a free tour of the East Garden given by volunteers in English. Here is their blog post for that day.

One of the tour groups. They broke us up into 4 groups. Their guide spoke perfect American English.

We left the tour after about an hour and took the train to Shibuya. There was a Starbucks nearby so we took a break. The workers kept coming over to tell us not to take pictures. I don't get why.

Shibuya scramble crossing. Lots of people crossing the street.

We then took the train one station to Harajuku Bridge. We were hoping to see people in crazy clothing but there was no one there. This is the Daiso on Takeshita Street (竹下通).

Fancy crepes

Heading back to Tokyo Station. Some had subway lines over 1km from each other.

Nozumi Shinkasen

Train interior. Top speed of the train was about 180 mph. Too bad it was dark so we could not see anything outside.