Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tasteful & Truthful Taiwan

At the airport on our way to Taiwan it again took FOREVER to figure out the baby tickets etc- I guess they didn't have a lot of experience with baby twin travellers or something, we had problems everytime.  June had the most massive blow out of her life right on one of our bags as we were going to check it. Clean up was a mess to say the least, I'm glad it happened before the plane though! Our hotel was surprisingly nice (you can really get your money's worth in Taiwan!).  They even had an exersize machine just like the one in blast from the past:
We had yummy dumplings and took a train to Taipei. This super nice couple drove us all over Taipei, we saw the Taipei 101 "tallest green building in the world." We also saw the grand hotel.

I really wanted to go to the famous bridal street and take fake engagment pictures like they did on the bachelorette this season. Brad would have rocked Ames' blue sequined suit! There was just no stinking time, so yeah, if you were wondering these pics are doctored. I'm really good at editing pictures.
And I told Brad before the trip, I pretty much considered him my tour guide and did very little of my own research, just trusted in his expertise. Especially in Taiwan- I told him I would follow him around, eat what he ate, say hello to who he said ne-how to, and not complain. I knew we were there in the land of his mission for 2 reasons: people and food. And I was okay with that.
We went by the temple and met up with one of Brad's old companion's and his family. There was a big, beautiful stake center right next to the temple.  The church has grown a lot there!
After a quick glance of a few of Taipei's sights we headed to the night market. I hoped for good food from what Brad had said, but really had no clue what to expect. Brad also started to wonder if he'd talked it up too much and was hoping I'd like it. I assured him I'm no food snob, I can find yumminess anywhere and was excited to try Taiwanese street food!
There were tons of people and it was pretty hot. Not ideal baby conditions, but they seemed to be happily sleeping so we dove into the crowds.
My first Taiwanese delicacy....fried chicken. Um...I thought this is Taiwanese food? I wasn't super excited because I don't even like fried chicken. But after a wait in a crazy long line I expected something decent (similar fried chicken stands had no wait). One bite and...OH MY WORD. I shouldn't even write about it because it's impossible to understand, I know you're just thinking of KFC right now, but this wasn't just fried chicken. It was phenomenal, lots of delicious white meat that was easy to eat, but one end had bones that added to the moistness and the rich flavor. It was seasoned perfectly with some asian spices. Couldn't tell you what, but my tastebuds were dancing. The coating was perfect- crisp, light, and savory. It wasn't made with regular old flour- maybe rice flour or tapioca starch?  The outside was sprinkled with something black, like pepper, but it wasn't pepper. Anyways, my first taste of Taiwan blew me away if you couldn't tell.  We had some good fruit drinks, yummy sweet/salty fried sweet potatoes, and fried mystery thing that was also tasty. It was a little wild getting around the crowds with the babes, but the food was worth it. :)
On Sunday we got breakfast...wait for it...a Taiwanese breakfast hamburger! Now you're thinking McDonalds. I know the food isn't sounding that special, but it seriously was awesome! It was a thin, fried pork patty with yummy seasonings, a fried egg, some sweet/tangy sauce, and kind of picked cucumbers all on a soft bun. Everything is so fresh from little neighborhood breakfast stores there- it doesn't even resemble the fast food chain cardboard stuff you might be imagining.  We also ate dan bing, it was yummy.  Brad had raved about taiwanese breakfasts for a long time, and it totally didn't dissapoint! We drank it with soy milk, but Asian soy milk is different too- it's yummy!
I also visited a bread shop and it was so hard to pick out what to get since I was just guessing what things might taste like and what I might find inside!
As we hurried through the streets to get food and catch trains we made an effort to appreciate at least one of the many temples we saw.
We took a train to Taichung, on the train rides we got some views of rice feilds and the coutryside.
 In Taichung we got to the chapel in time to see some people getting out of church, Brad saw some people he knew and visited with them while I fed babies.
We ran over to an outdoor market and got naiyou bings, which were like Taiwanese Aebelskievers, and you know that can't be wrong! We also got fried chicken again, which was very good, but not as good as our first night's chicken. That was special. 
Next we took a taxi to Chi Hu which is a smaller city/country area where Brad and Cam both served. Brad was there for a long time and had a lot of great experiences with a lot of neat people, so I know it was really special for him to visit them and show off our babies to them. Most of the people didn't speak any English so I smiled at them a lot and kept my eyes on the girls as they were passed around.
We met in a HUGE chapel they built there recently, Brad was blown away.
We gave out some pictures of the temple and of our girls to people and then we ate dinner at some ward members house who lived outside the city. 
After a long day we called it a night. I was again impressed by how nice the hotel was since this was supposedly out in "the sticks"
Brad went around with Cam on a scooter that night to relive some mission memories. (not that they were ever on scooters!) :)   In the morning Brad got us breakfast, it was awesome. I wanted to see some of the kid's clothing stores and learned that since we were in Taiwan (where pretty much everything is made) and we weren't in a touristy area that the shopping was AWESOME. They seriously had the CUTEST kids clothes for so stinking cheap. I had fun very quickly picking outfits for the girls. A lady in the ward took us around and roumor quickly spread through the ward that I'd purchased over 20 items at a store (it sounds like a lot, but just one outfit for the girls is 4 pieces) :)
We got ice cream at this place Brad used to go on the misison and another ward member mentioned she'd heard I bought 20 pieces of clothes. haha... they all think Brad married a manic shopping addict! We ate some yummy fruit including mangos and Chirimoya!!! My favorite fruit from MY mission days in Chile. That was a nice treat.
 Then we headed to the airport and on our way home.  Even though we hardly did any sight seeing in Taiwan I loved it. I thought the people seemed really cool- they seemed more religious and more into families that in China, and not just the members who Brad knew. Everyone was friendly and cool. It wasn't as touristy and seemed more authentic than the places we visited in China. From the little taste I got I thought Taiwan had a very intriguing culture, delicious food, and great people. I'd love to go back and see more of the sights- the beautiful landscapes I've heard about...
I also never got to see the floating lanterns, I told Brad I wanted to see those because it blew my mind when I learned they were a real thing. The first time I'd ever heard of them was on Enchanted and I thought they were a magical made-up thing just like her glow-in-the-dark hair. They're real people! (of course, everyone on pinterest already knows that)
So we've got some good reasons to go back to Taiwan one day!
Although I'm sure the girls will get harder and harder to travel with...(well, till they get easier & easier when they're like 8) We were already pushing it putting them in the baby bassinet on the flights. In fact, at one point on the flight home me and Brad were zonked, I had Lyla on me in the baby bjorn and a flight attendant woke us up because June was awake and looked like she was going to crawl out of the bassinett! Luckily there were no falls.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails