… Or how I ate my way through Taipei and lived to tell the tale. Or, how I learned sharing is caring. (Second of multiple parts)
Crab legs and claws, snails, shrimp and other drool-inducing delicacies at the Keelung Maiokau Night Market
Taiwan is not a good place for dieters. There is just too much delicious food. Our first afternoon alone, in the first three hours in Taipei, we have managed to eat mee sua, which is thin rice flour noodles in a thick broth/gravy with pieces of meat in it and flavored with soy sauce and vinegar. It was mouthwatering. Before that, someone bought a packet of fried chicken nuggets that were out of this world, which our group all sampled. I must say, the Taiwanese really know their street food. And almost anything can be considered street food, as I would later see as we visited the night markets — the first of which, I would be introduced to that first night.
I love traveling by myself and getting lost in a new place. But I must admit, for this first trip to Taipei, I’m glad that I had colleagues who have been here several times and can just guide us as to where to go. I suppose finding the night markets would be easy, for a newcomer. But finding the little stalls and carts that sell the best buns, for instance, is going to be a problem for newbies. There’s also the language problem. More people now speak English, especially among the young university students, but non-Mandarin speakers may still have a hard time getting understood. Still, that’s part of the beauty of travel, isn’t it? On this trip, though, we had a guide who knew her way around. That saved time figuring out how to get to the different places. And of course, the company had hired a van to take us to the more far-flung areas we wanted to go to, which again, saved us valuable time.
Paper lanterns in the courtyard of Anggun Boutique Hotel, in Kuala Lumpur, where B and I stayed October 2012. Anggun is a small boutique hotel just a street away from Jalan Alor, KL’s vibrant hawker street
Looking through my photographs one time, I noticed that I tended to take a lot of photos of windows, lamps, light, etc… aside of course, from the usual food, drink and scenery shots. I’ve never deleted the photos because, well, they’re part of the journey and I figured I could use them somehow one day… In Remembrance of Things Past, Proust gets transported back to a memory just on the taste of a madeleine. And so it is with these pictures. One look and they take me back to when I was there, living the moment.
It’s my second day of purging my room of all the crap that accumulated for the past year or so. Yesterday, I started with my closets and now, on to my books, accessories, old cosmetics/toiletries, etc… I guess it’s also my version of a renewal. Tomorrow is Easter, after all.
And Easter always makes me think of summer. And summer book lists. And the beach or the pool. And warm weather (not that we don’t have that here in Singapore!). And vacations. And fun. And not doing anything…. and it’s making me homesick.
Friendship is born at that moment one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'” — author C.S. Lewis
That’s Carrie, me and Isa off to the zoo last week. Missing here is Karen who couldn’t make it to Singapore. This is three-fourths of the Coven, so called because a friend once noticed that we wore black all the time — and because back then, if you see one, chances are the other three were not far behind. The name stuck. That was several wardrobe incarnations and lifetimes ago. Since then, there’s been a wedding and a marriage; a birth; lots of shopping expeditions and midnight madness sales; movies shared; libraries-full of books bought and exchanged and gushed over; authors discovered; TV shows discussed to death; weekend afternoons spent just listening to CDs (CDs!); serious lifestuff conversations over late-night coffees/martinis/screwdrivers/beer; several graduate degrees started and abandoned; a law degree seen through; bus rides, car rides, trips and sleepovers. Lots of laughter and craziness; guys found and lost; heartaches; lessons learned and unlearned; countries travelled to; several changes of addresses, including two abroad. Some health scares, increases in clothing sizes and weight fluctuations… Life, has obviously happened. In years, we’ve been friends for almost two decades; measured in lifestuff, we’ve known each other forever.