June 7: Taiwan

So far, the trip has been lovely. I have been here for a couple of days, and even the supermarkets fascinate me. I think I have to learn Chinese if only to order food at restaurants. Bubble tea hasn’t happened yet, but I am confident it will happen soon.

It is very hot here, leaving me feeling very lethargic. So far I’ve gone grocery shopping with my grandmother, gone stationery shopping, and bought a 3 dollar teakettle, and ate a lot. Air conditioning has become my new best friend, and I miss wifi. The weather has been very interesting, too. This is my first time visiting Taiwan in the summer as I always used to visit during Chinese New Year, in the winter. Right now, it’s not unusual to see everyone walking around in loose clothing carrying umbrellas, even if it isn’t raining. Today has fluctuated between sun and hard rain (it’s raining right now as I type this). Today it was around 91 Fahrenheit.

On the left is a picture of some coffee things I saw while grocery shopping. I’m kind of tempted to buy one just to see how it tastes. Each costs about a dollar, and it’s the equivalent of a cup of coffee. It’s sold in the refrigerated section, and I’ve seen it at 7-11s (the 7-11s here are very nice in comparison to those in America, and sell much better food stuff too) for around the same price. I feel that whenever I set foot in any store of any sort, my bearing shouts out “American tourist!” Makes me self-conscious but unrepentant.

I’m very tempted to try out some of the coffee places in my area. If it were cooler, it would be a must-visit. I live next to a small coffee shop called “36 Coffee.” There’s another place some blocks away called “Cantata Coffee,” and is inspired by Bach’s Coffee Cantata. I am very curious to visit.

My grandmother’s cooking is quite delicious! On the right is a picture of my lunch from yesterday. She boiled some mussels, cooked some tofu, vegetables, and other small dishes and served it with rice. She doesn’t own a microwave so leftovers are served cold. I have to get used to that.

Other things I did:

1. Visited an open air market type of thing (sold lots of food, clothes, and jewelry

2. Visited a park called 228 Peace Park. It memorializes the victims of the massacre of 1947. There was an anti-government uprising that was brutally put down. February 28 was the starting point of the massacre, and deaths number anywhere between 10,000 and 30,000. The park itself is beautiful. There is a museum that I’ve been to (but didn’t go this time) along with a nice pond with turtles and some fish.

I died and went to heaven

3. Ate some wonton noodle soup at a small restaurant today while shopping. First time eating out in Taiwan in years!

4. Went to a shopping district to look for some clothes. In that regard it was unsuccessful, but was a fun trip.

A lot of these things were done with various relatives. Tonight I am going to dinner with one of my uncles and his family, and I am looking forward to that too.


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