Taipei


Photobucket

Alexander’s birthday is coming up and since we’ll be spending it in Hsinchu and it will be a work day we decided to head to Taipei for a weekend of some fun shopping, eating and just us. Visiting the world’s current tallest building, Taipei 101, was of course on the list of things to do.

Photobucket

Once we reached the top we found that you can buy postcards and stamps and mail them from the top of the world! Being a big fan of sending postcards while traveling I bought one and sent it to my grandmother while Alexander sent one to his parents.

The part that was most fun for me was the rubber stamps you could stamp onto the postcard to add a little fun touch. And once you’re ready to mail your postcard you can select to throw it in a mailbox for family, friends or lover.

Photobucket

Hopefully my postcard will make it all the way from the 98th floor of Taipei 101 to my grandmother’s small town mailbox back home.



When Alexander and I in met in Cape Town I was missing danbing (egg pancakes) and ranted about them on a daily basis. After my staple breakfast of muesli, yogurt and fresh fruit, danbing is my favorite breakfast and something I have not been able to find anywhere else I’ve been except Taiwan. So of course, our first breakfast in Taiwan had to be this!

Photobucket

I did not get the water-saving measure of putting a bag over the plate, but the danbing was fantastic. Been having lots since and have even tried my own. More about that another time though.

After breakfast we went to Longshan Temple, one of the most important temples in Taipei and quite a hive of religious activity with lots of offering, praying and incense burning going on.

Photobucket

The rest of the afternoon we spent in Ximending. A very trendy area of Taipei where youngsters head to on weekends to see and be seen in the latest street trends. I’ve always loved going there on weekends and I enjoyed going back. We had lunch at Ay-chung Flour-Rice Noodles. A stand where you order a bowl of thick stewy noodles and eat it standing up. The place is really popular and famous, I even read about it in a New Yorker article after we went. And rightly so, the noodles were delicious and I’d gladly go back for another bowl of stand-up-and-eat noodles.

Photobucket

After lunch we walked around some more, taking in the fun atmosphere, trying new sunglass styles and enjoying familiar sites like rows of scooters parked in cramped spaces.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I bow my head in shame for being such a lame blogger these past couple of weeks. Actually I cannot even claim that I was a lame blogger, I was just not blogging, period. But here is my attempt at getting back into the loop and updating you on what I’ve been up to since coming back to Taiwan.

Just over three weeks ago we arrived in Taiwan. As our plane approached Taoyuen International Airport we flew up along the west coast and I could see my old home town’s harbor, the spectacular blue mountains in the distance and welcoming green patches of rice paddies.

We hopped on a bus to Taipei where we decided to spend our first weekend. Right after checking into our dismal guest house we headed to Guangzhou Street Night Market near Longshan Temple for our first meal.

Photobucket

The market was noisy and overwhelming with the smell of stinky tofu and vendors trying to sell us bizarre ‘massaging’ instruments. After wandering around for a bit we found a restaurant selling boiled dumplings. With my very-very basic Mandarin I managed to order us a plate of dumplings and dumpling soup (the latter was supposed to be beef-noodle soup, but as I said, my Mandarin is basic).

Photobucket

I also had my first Taiwan beer again, from pink plastic cups of course! It’s most certainly not the best beer around, but it does satisfy and welcomes.

Photobucket