Taipei Recap

This entry comes more than a month since our return from Taipei (oops). But better late than never I guess.

We must be the only people I know that didn’t come back raving about Taipei. Everyone else I know seem to love it loads…I guess we are just not everyone else. I mean, it was ok… but just not somewhere that I would be dying to go back to. Tokyo of course is a different story altogether. =)

After touching down, I was trying hard to put a finger to which city Taipei reminded me of. Eventually, I settled on Bangkok, but with Chinese people. =)

Highlights of the trip include tracking down the humongous Eslite bookstore which had 8 stories worth of Chinese books and lifestyle goods. I was hoping to stock up on craft books but unfortunately couldn’t find any that I liked. However, I still thought it was an amazing bookstore and had loads of fun checking out the knick knacks that were on sale. They even had several cute cafes and posh restaurants within the same complex.

We also made our way down to the famous Shilin Night Market. Even though we knew it was a tourist trap, we went anyway. =P And you know that it is a tourist trap when every other street stall sells stinky fried tofu and oyster omelette, just like how every other stall at Newton Circus sells BBQ Seafood and Chicken Wings. We had quite a good time anyway and discovered my now favourite Taiwanese streetside snack, 大肠包小肠, a kind of grilled taiwanese sausage wrapped up in glutinous rice. I also found out that stinky tofu doesn’t taste any different from normal tofu, so you wonder why they make it stinky in the first place.

Unexpectedly, I discovered that Taipei is a shoe lover’s paradise. I hauled about 4 pairs of shoes back home with each pair costing only $18. For shoes so cheap, I thought they would bite me at least for the first few times of wearing them. But I was wrong, they are so comfy and I really regret not buying more home. My Taipei shoe loot was one of the best thing I got out of the trip.





A Taiwanese Wedding

About 2 weeks ago, we made a whistle stop trip (4D3N) to Taipei for the husband’s JC classmate’s wedding. XE has been working in London for several years now and met a lovely Taiwanese girl while living there. He set aside time and brought us around London for each night that we were there several years back, so we thought we’d return that favour by turning up for his big day.

I was curious to see how a Taiwanese wedding banquet would be different from a Singaporean one. Not much actually, except that the banquet starts on time!! They were also extremely generous with their food servings (scallops and abalone abound!) and with THREE rounds of dessert to end the night! We were most in love with the deep fried mochi balls (pictured on extreme right). I had originally thought they were some kind of salty rice crackers and was about to give them a miss. Luckily we decided to try some, and ended up scooping lots of piping hot chewy sweet balls on to our plates.

It was also in Taiwan that I learnt a new phrase 归宁, it basically means “a bride’s homecoming”. So instead of just calling it a 宴会 (banquet), the event was called 杨府归宁, Yang Family Bride’s Homecoming. I thought it was meaningful and beautifully put since the bride’s family hadn’t gathered together as a complete family of 5 for at least 3 years. You learn something new everyday and reminded me again why I love the Chinese language.