I’m back and jet lagged. I have lots of stories to tell, but as not to completely waste your day away, I will break things down into a couple, more manageable posts. They’re still going to be long, so don’t start unless you’ve got some time to kill.
This trip was planned originally, because of my brother. He got married a month ago, and his in-laws live in Taipei. Well, a dinner reception was planned for him. I figured I might as well make a trip of it and invited Michelle along to experience Taiwan.
The island of Taiwan does have some things to see, but we were in Taipei most of the time, and it’s a city like you would think of any major city in the world. It’s got shops, restaurants, and a few landmarks. Knowing that I wasn’t going to see a lot of tourist sites, I was determined to at least be adventurous in my dining while I was in Taiwan. That’s a lot to ask of me, a very picky eater.
This was my first impression of Taipei. Very clean.
Our transportation to the hotel, my second impression of Taiwan. Kind of weird.
Our room. I wrapped that bed cover around my shoulders and pretended to be the emperor.
Our first view of the streets of Taipei. How exciting!
These scooters put out so much pollution. They’re everywhere.
Our first meal in Taiwan. We ordered it by pointing, not really knowing what was in it. It had something squishy in it.
First lunch in Taipei, also ordered by pointing. This meal was delicious.
For all I know, this button could release the hounds.
Yes, I visited a fish store. Their fish are better quality, even the fish that come from South America.
The dinner settings at my brother’s reception.
Which one of these is not like the others? Which one of these just isn’t the same?
Nothing says class like swan ice sculptures.
Waiting around for everyone to show up so we can pretend to understand what they’re saying.
Michelle getting her Internet fix.
Howard Plaza Hotel.
7-11 is a full meal stop for busy people on the go. We saw a guy eating a lunch in a box and asked him where he got it. 7-11 was his response.
Mister Donut. These are delicious. They’re not overly sweet like American donuts, but the way they’re baked makes them perfectly chewy.
Din Tai Fung! It’s just like in Shanghai, but this was the original restaurant.
Taiwanese. More than meets the eye.
The Modern Toilet Restaurant. Does the decor make you want to eat?
Consumerism seems much more active in Taiwan. Everyone seems to be constantly shopping. This is a designer t-shirt store with prices close to what shirts like this would sell for in America.
All the fruit is so much sweeter in Taiwan. Cherry tomatoes are no exception.
The streets of Taipei are like this for pretty much the whole day and night.
Kicking my feet up and relaxing at the boardwalk.
Sun setting on a cloudy coastline.
Night markets are awesome. Imagine a county fair coming to town, but instead of once a year, it’s every single night! There are dozens upon dozens of vendors selling their foods. A lot of the locals would choose a booth and have dinner there on their way home. It makes you feel so alive to be elbow to elbow with the locals, doing what they do, eating the same food cooked by the same chef behind he counter, smoking his cigarette. Being on vacation, we decided we wanted to eat everything. We would eat from four or five different vendors’ booths in one night.
Every culture has fried stuff on a stick. How can you beat that?
Imagine a piece of fried chicken the size of your face. Pretty sweet, huh?
All the school kids are in uniform, holding out their bags as if begging for their piece.
I’m not holding the chicken out of the bag. It goes right to the bottom of that bag.
You’ve met your match, chicken! Prepare to be eaten!
The flash cards Alice made for us worked out well. Beef noodle soup, please!
That’s two and a half days of my vacation, summarized so far. What will happen next? Will we get out of the city? Will we get sick from the food we eat? Will we make the venture to the night market known for hookers and seedier elements of life? Will we learn enough Chinese to get around or be doomed to pointing at food to order? Stay tuned. Same m@ time. Same m@ channel.