Tuesday, October 20, 2009


In our Chinese class, we recently learned to say, "There are a lot of delicious foods in Taiwan."  Though Geneva disagrees, we've tried a lot of tasty foods and fruits here and I wanted to share them with you. 

To pronounce the above phrase, I'll provide a phonetic pronunciation (not be confused with pinyin!):
"Taiwan yo hen dwo how chi de dong chi"

We have eaten tons of pineapple here, especially a pale, less acidic variety called milk pineapple. It's awesome. Mangoes are out of season right now (bummer) but my favorite two new fruit discoveries so far have been the custard apple (top) and the dragon fruit (bottom). 

(thanks, sir, for the custard apple picture)

The custard apple is a truly bizarre fruit that reminds me less of an apple, but a little bit of a banana and a pear.  It's starchy, has big black seeds, and you scoop out the pulp and spit out the seeds.  It's AWESOME.   The dragon fruit reminds me a little bit of a kiwi, is not fuzzy, and is really refreshing when eaten cold.  The flavor is somewhat mild, but hello, isn't it gorgeous?

In addition to many delicious foods in Taiwan, there are many mysterious items that are oddly labeled in the stores that use English labels.  I really dig shopping at a store called Wellcome, specifically for that purpose (because I can read the shelf labels and actually KNOW what I am buying).  Behold, this strange packaged item:

And what is it, you might ask?  Well, let's look at the shelf label.

That settles that, I suppose.  Seriously, I have no idea what they meant, but it made me well up with tears of inappropriate laughter.  Taiwanderful. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Taipei for Beginners (Taipei 101)

We have an extended break this weekend for the moon festival and besides being beyond excited to have a few days off of work (work, we love you, but are EXHAUSTED), it was nice to have some extra time to see more of Taiwan.  After debating between Kenting and Taipei, we decided to hop the high-speed rail to Taiwan's capital city.  For about $35US one way, we grabbed two tickets at the Zuoying station and arrived in Taipei 90 minutes later.  We filmed a short video of ourselves on the train,  but spoke too quietly for our voices to get picked up by the mic.  Oops.  Here is a picture of E waiting for the HSR and contemplating a tea egg (the station in Kaohsiung is brand new sparkly-nice).

In Taipei, after E admired a new hairstyle, we  made it our mission to visit Taipei 101 (currently the tallest building in the world).  We walked for hours, keeping our sights set on 101- with breaks, of course, for bike shops, flower markets, lattes, etc.  As we finally got close, we were in awe of this cool building, and even more impressed with the way it was lit up at night.  We hopped a free shuttle, grabbed a teeny hotel room near city hall, and collapsed, happy and exhausted... only to be woken up at 1:30 by an earthquake!  It seems Taiwan is working double-time to give us new experiences, but we are thankful to be here together and safe.