Ni Hao Taipei

We’ve settled back into our daily life after a very exciting week in Taipei, Taiwan. We traveled to see Bailey & her school compete in FOBISEA Sports Competion (Federation of British Schools in Asia). That’s a mouthful don’t you think? They compete in Swimming, Athletics, Football (soccer for our American friends) and Basketball.

I’m not going to talk about it too much because I know that Bailey wants to give you all a recap of the experience.

So…that leaves me to tell you all about Taipei. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what to expect. Will it be a big city like Bangkok or Hong Kong? Will it be completely un-navigatable because I can’t read or speak Mandarin? Will I be able to find anything to eat?

To answer those questions, it’s big but in a different way from other large citys. Not a lot of skyscrapers that I was expecting. We got around just fine because taxi’s are literally everywhere and will stop in the middle of the street for you plus they have a great subway system. Eating…never a problem for us.

Oh the food!

                      Oh the food!

Of course we had dumplings (several kinds) plus lots of local specialties like scallion pancakes, fried squid, taro bowls and these crazy sugar covered strawberries. Ask Tony about the sugar covered tomato!  You really couldn’t eat more than 2 at the most. Our first night, we hit up a night market where I don’t think I’ve ever eaten as much in one sitting. Sausages, oyster omelette, a (huge) steamed spring roll, dumplings and the most amazing fried chicken. We ate everything so fast, we didn’t even get pictures! I’ve discovered that the American South has nothing on Asia when it comes to fried chicken! Still dreaming of the night market fried chicken.

Our first couple of days were cold and rainy. It was a shock to the system. It felt good to wear sweaters but I’ve forgotten how much I dislike being cold. Sitting out watching Bailey compete in the cold brought back many memories of previous track seasons.

We had lots of time to visit many of the major sites but weren’t able to hit them all. We missed the big Shilin Night Market because it was just too cold and rainy. We couldn’t fathom being outside in it without coats (which we didn’t bring-oops!).

Taiwan sightseeing

We had a chance to see the Martyr’s Shrine and the changing of the guard, the President’s palace, the National Palace Museum and of course the 101 Building. Our lovely friend Caroline was in town visiting her family so she graciously showed us around. It was really fun having the insider’s view and helped with that whole no speaking Mandarin problem. We even had a chance to visit outside of the city, places we wouldn’t have gotten to without someone in the know. We went to Grass Mountain to have tea at the president’s summer house and see the hot springs. The next day we had a chance to visit Jiufeng and Pinghsi, where we got to write wishes on and release a sky lantern.

jaifen

DSC_0243

Even without knowledge of the language, we know this says to watch for falling coconuts!

I’m glad that we had a chance to go and would put it on my list for future visits if the opportunity comes up.

Until next time…April, Tony & Bailey

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