Thursday, April 8, 2010

Taipei Day 2 - Morning

The hotel I stayed in had "chinese breakfast" - I conjured up all sorts of tasty possibilities, like congee. Instead, we had a bunch of dishes that were on the tad oily side and a heaven for flies/gnats. I poked the serving spoon into a dish of pickled vegetables and a swarm of surprised little buggers flew out. Yikes! So I decided to sample some of the other dishes. The braised gluten strips were particularly tasty:

After that grease-fest I decided a nice walk was in order. Wearing flipflops, sunglasses, and a tank top (woo hoo, warm weather!) I headed to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. Although it is accessible by MRT, I was still operating in Korea-mode and assumed that two metro stops is a normal walking distance. Later in the day I would find this to be true. And also false.

On the way there you run into the back of the Presidential Office:

Or, according to my very cheap iPhone app, the "centre of powers."

And a random park:

From this park you can see the front of the Presidential Office:

Nearby is a very large public library:

And finally, Liberty Square! Through the middle arch you can see the CKS Memorial Hall.

To prove I was actually in Taipei and didn't just send my doppelganger, I attempted to take a selca. The wind made it a little difficult.

The swarm of people coming down the steps alerted me to the fact that I had just missed the changing of the guards. I wonder though, if my flipflops would have been considered "slippers":

So I cautiously took pictures from the opening:

By this time it was considerably hot. I decided to walk through Da'an Park on the way to lunch:

Here is a "foot massage path" - even while wearing shoes I found this pretty painful. I wimped out halfway through:

And finally lunch!

Er, so, unless any of the characters for numbers, "gold", "mountain", or "door" appear on a menu, I can't really read it. Luckily I had my friend 효천 say some things into my iPhone so that I could practice hearing/saying them before ordering. I chickened out at the last minute though, and just played the recordings to the very helpful man at the shop.

I was, however, able to request that my soymilk be cold. ("Bing!")

I've always been iffy on soymilk. I'll drink it, but it's always just been kind of meh to me. Until this soymilk. Oh my. I had to refrain from squealing "OH MY GOD THIS SOYMILK IS AMAZING!" lest the other shop patrons decided to lock up the crazy foreigner. Seriously, the minute I left this shop I began to wonder how long before I could find my next fix.

And this sandwich. Whoa. That's a fried donut stick (not sweet) inside a salty, flaky bread "roll" - yes, a BREAD sandwich. Understandably, I was in heaven.

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