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Taipei Tour with Mama Sin

TAIWAN | Friday, 29 February 2008 | Views [1334] | Comments [1]

Malaysia, and Singapore move over, because Taiwan is some stiff competition when it comes to culinary delights! It’s all about street eats here, and if you’re a little squeamish, or obsessive about cleanliness, this is not the trip for you.

Our last stop before H.K, and this time, the famous Mama Sin accompanied us! The awesome thing is that my mom speaks Mandarin, and knows what’s good to eat! ;) This was basically an eating tour … and good thing is that my mom knows her stuff!

First stop was Shilin Night Market. When we arrived, it immediately brought back memories of when I was in Taipei, almost 10 years ago. I have fond memories of the night market, and Maris with her freshly roasted squid, and Jaime bargaining for her grey pants, (that she still has TODAY!) I even saw the Starbucks that started Maris’s worldwide mug collection. (PS I got you Singapore!) Shilin was ranked one of the best markets that Felix has visited.

The day we arrived was Chinese Valentine’s Day, and wouldn’t you know it… it’s a much bigger deal then the Hallmark manufactured holiday! We arrived at Shilin Night Market to fireworks, and firecrackers…  all the stores were making offerings to Choy Sun, the God of fortune, and half naked men with body tattoos were dancing in a trancelike motion, over the crackling firecrackers. A bit insane if you ask me, I can’t exactly explain the whole ritual… but my mom said.. and please take this with a grain of salt, but she said they were possessed, something to do with the ritual of bringing luck to the stores. But then again, as many of you know my mama… she has this habit of feeding me stories that she makes up… all the time. Why do you think I turned out the way I did!

We were not disappointed at the market and had our share of Stinky Tofu, Deep Fried Chicken steaks, and the most expensive corn ever! It cost $4 USD, and my mom was sadly disappointed… it was turned on a spit for 5 minutes with a smorgasbord of sauces until it was bubbling. I also had my first authentic bubble tea, when my mom tried it, her first reaction was to scrunch up her face, and then relax and say “Not Bad!” (Family joke)

I also challenged my mom to a video game of beating the Japanese Taiko drums and would you believe that she actually BEAT me! ;p Alex…. I put you to shame!

The next morning, we went to the National Palace Museum… and this place has certainly come a long way since I last visited. I would have to say its one of the better museums that we have been to during our travels. We of course went to see the most popular exhibit.. the Jade Bok Choy, and the Jade Slab of Pork, but I think the most fun, my mom had was feeding the fish in the Royal garden. We went through 4-5 packs of fish food, cause she had was on a quest to feed the biggest fish… but couldn’t compete with the little ones cause he was so slow and bulky.

No visit to Taiwan is complete without visiting Circle K! Sadly all my favorite foods that I lived on when I was last in Taiwan, ie popsicles, were discontinued! However,… Maris, you will be happy to know… they still have fresh sushi! My mom went as far as to say I couldn’t walk down the street without going into a 7/11 … but I love these stores!

One thing I did not know when I was last in Taiwan was that it is famed for its bookstores. My dad raved about this new upscale bookstore called “Eslite,” where it is open for 24 hours, and carries anything and everything! We were not disappointed… Move over Chapters! because for book lovers, this book store is amazing! My mom didn’t want to leave, until her belly wouldn’t stop growling, and we had to go for some food. She left with 6 books, and she finished 3 of them before we left Taiwan. (PS the trip was only 4 days!) That is also where I get my bookwormish qualities from!

After staying on $15-20 USD hotels, it was nice to stay in a REAL hotel….with your own sheets and towels… BUT would you believe that for 2 nights in a row, we heard scratching in the walls. They were RATS! BIG FAT RATS were living in the ducts! Thankfully after 10 minutes they scampered to another duct and left us to sleep in peace.

I think this trip has taught me to “Let go”… after having rats eating at my feet, frisky neighbors, no bed sheets… I can sleep anywhere now… as long as there are no bed bugs! ;P

It was a really awesome trip to spend with my Moola… and of course you know she’s really comfortable with her new son in law… when they gang up on ME! Why oh why am I always the victim! =) I think my mother’s only complaint was that Felix and I liked to frequent the local restaurants. In local, I mean a hole in the wall, or literally a chair at a stall in the street!  But honestly, these are the places where you can get the BEST food!

The one and only restaurant we went to was the famed “Ting Tai Fung.” We have a Ting Tai Fung in T.O as well… but it is from Taiwan that this Siu Long Bao place originated from! It was the perfect consistency wrapper with hot pork broth and a succulent filling. YUM! Sadly… I thought after 6 months on the road, I would be svelte and slim… HOWEVER no one told me that all the countries we visited the food would be soooo GOOD! Body Combat full steam ahead when I come back!



Tags: Adventures




wish i went on that trip with u guys. i wanna eat like u guys.

hugs and kisses, see u a week from MONDAY! i cant believe u guys will be back SO SOON!

  AA Mar 1, 2008 5:04 AM

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