Sunday, November 15, 2009

Taiwan I: Salad Ice Cream

Getting to Taiwan from China is a bit weird, because it’s a quasi-international flight. Obviously China and Taiwan have differed views of Taiwanese sovereignty. We took off out of the domestic terminal in Shanghai, but we had to go through customs. We landed in the international terminal in Taipei, but though we went through customs, we didn’t have to fill out any declaration forms. We ere checked for swine flu and there was a produce sniffing dog, though.

We were met at the luggage claim by our hosts from NCCU and then changed money and bought SIM cards. The situation is so “one country” that you can’t change RMB to TND in the mainland, so we had to do it here. And the Chinese cell phones don’t work. And it was way complicated for the Chinese nationals to get permits to come here. Nuts.

Then we checked into our hotel and went to dinner. This city has a great vibe. Laid back, modern, stylish. I know that sounds contradictory, but whatever. People have been so friendly – the restaurant gave us gifts when they heard it was our first time in Taiwan. They also devised a special, and beautifully presented, menu for me, even though we ate at a steakhouse. For desert I had vanilla ice cream in a chocolate bag. Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds, but no, it wasn’t Chinglish as suspected. This is a salad:

Unfortunately, I’m a bit too full now to go out snacking. Huge disappointment as all of my research tells of Taiwan being a nation of night markets and xiaochi. And you know how I feel about eating my way through ravel. Food + travel – culinary tourism as the secret to happiness.

So, while I’m disappointed at missing Obama’s visit, and challenged by the traditional characters, I’m really optimistic for this week and this city.

No comments:

Post a Comment