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TW: Taipei & Taoyuan

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The morning started with us taking the shared cab back up to Kaohsiung to drop my sister off with her friend. They were going to meet up and go do girl stuff or whatever. My dad and I decided to grab lunch at Mos Burger which is a Japanese version of a fast food burger joint. I tried the beef burger which is wrapped in lettuce leaf and had rice buns. A very interesting and delicious combination.

My dad got off at Tainan to head back to work and I rode the High Speed Rail back up to Taipei by myself. My Aunt #2 told me to drop my stuff off at her office and the explore Taipei while she had to finish her things at work. This gave me a few solid hours to explore the city and re-familiarize myself with one of the coolest cities in the world. Also, I love riding the MRT which is Taipei’s subway system.

Johnny and Taipei reunited.

So many things in Taipei have such attention to detail.

I used my Taiwan Easycard which is similar to London’s Oyster Card where you can just tap and go through the MRT. I visit the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and Botanical Gardens areas before it got dark. Then Aunt #2 took me to grab dinner at DinTaiFung at the SOGO shopping center.

After dinner, I went back to their apartment only to discover that I had the entire place to myself. They own an apartment on the second floor and Aunt #2 and Uncle stayed at the apartment on the third floor which they also owned. Sweetness. Nothing says more fun than minimal adult supervision.

The next morning I took the train down to the neighboring rural county of Taoyuan for the day to visit my relatives and see my grandma. I spent the day catching up with them on five to ten years worth of news…the whole day seemed very surreal as I was revisiting a ton of places that I explored during a few of my childhood summers. While I did not take a lot of pictures…I did snap a few good shots of some delicious food.

The first restaurant we ate at was one of the best places to eat in Northern Taiwan to grab some authentic Taiwanese cuisine. They made the food really fast and it was really cheap and it was so very good. It was so good in fact that when my parents took my grandpa to a very expensive restaurant in Taipei earlier this year and dropped $100 USD per person, my grandpa complained that the food was not as good as that one small, dirty place in Taoyuan.

My older cousin drove us around. He’s still single. I wonder why…

I finally had my first cup of boba milk tea pearl milk tea. If you order and ask for “boba milk tea” in Taiwan, it’s the equivalent of asking for “boobies milk tea.”

KFC’s are crazy here…this is one of the smaller ones we saw

…they also sell egg tarts, and this was one of the best I’ve ever had.

We finished the day with dinner at a famous hole in the wall. Lo gen mien. I haven’t had this stuff in over ten years! So delicious…

And I’ll finish this post with two childhood memories/stories:

This is the plaza area of where my relatives used to live. The building where I’m standing is where they stayed, the building with the yellow and red block lettering is the manufacturing center and the building in front of me is the sleeping quarters for the employees. What is the significance of telling you this? I have no idea.

But we used to play baseball here and smash so many windows. My two cousins would take turns batting and I would be full time pitcher because they were eight years older and would not let me bat. I actually became a pretty darn good pitcher and probably could have played in high school if not for the resentment I feel towards pitching a ball. Anyway, we kept score by where you hit the ball. If you hit the ball over the employees dorms or smashed a window, it was considered a home run. If you smashed a window to the factory, you were considered dead. A few occasions, the ball would ricochet backwards and smash through grandma’s kitchen window. If that happened, we would not be allowed to play baseball for an entire week and I would hear loud spanking and crying from my cousins that same night.

In third grade, I finished classes in early May to come back to Taiwan for four months. Part of the deal for finishing school a month early was that I had to attend school in Taiwan. They wanted me to learn how to read and write Chinese so I tried. And failed.

I quickly learned that they had a buddy accountability system in elementary school here. There were two kids per desk and if one person misbehaves, the teacher busts out the reed stick and slaps both of their hands. I never got punished because the teacher was too scared to hit an American kid, but my buddy got smacked a lot and I remember thinking, “man, my desk buddy sure does get into a lot of trouble.” I later found out that prior to my arrival, he was the least punished kid in class and he was such a good student in fact that his award was to get paired up to the visiting American student which everybody wanted. I guess that reward did not turn out to be as good as he expected. He must have hated my guts.

…when I showed up late every single day while they were away at the school wide morning assembly and drew amazing looking dinosaurs all over the chalk board for their viewing pleasure…2 hand slaps were given to my desk buddy to start his day for wasting the teachers time to clean the board.

…when I broke the broom during classroom cleaning time. 3 hand slaps.

…whenever I had a question and asked him while the teacher was talking. 1 hand slap.

…when I thought that the milk cartons in the crate were for whenever I felt like having milk when they were actually for passing out during snack time. He received 1 hand slap for every missing milk carton that I satisfied my thirst with. The girls in the class slowly started a “milk for Johnny” pile and I got five to seven everyday. What a pimp. I mean, how sweet of them.

…when I didn’t realize my desk buddy’s name was, “niew kai ping,” and thought it was, “niew nai ping,” which means milk bottle, he couldn’t take it anymore one day and said outloud, “my name is not Niew Nai Ping!” Oh man…he got a thrashing for interrupting the teacher that day. How rude of him.

Needless to say, we didn’t really keep in contact after I left that summer.


Written by jonewantsm3

December 16, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Posted in Travel

One Response

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  1. I miss Mos Burger! ><

    London Caller

    December 17, 2011 at 1:54 pm

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