March 23rd, 2009

warning: self-replicating device

Day Three

Spent the day in Danshui today, northwest of Taipei where the Danshui River (more or less the biggest river that more or less passes through Taipei) meets the sea. An interesting place, lots of history (although approximately on the timescale of colonial America -- even the Chinese are relatively recent colonists here, much less the subsequent waves of European traders, Japanese occupation, and the retreating ROC). It's been a fortress town occupied at various times by the Dutch, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and finally the early days of the current government, although now it's more of a weekend date destination, with a lot of street shopping.

Saw lots of interesting historic stuff, off course. Watched the sunset at the shore -- not very good, too much haze. Got a foot massage, which was tremendously painful, but I think the result was somewhat good. Not worth it, though, I think -- but my feet didn't really hurt that much to start with, and they just felt slightly better after. I guess it was the same sort of somewhat equivocal result I got from acupuncture way back when.

Various interesting food -- stinky tofu is stinky. Didn't like it, but it's not nearly as bad as it smells. About equivalent to natto, I guess, which is to say, not tasty (to me), but not nearly the worst thing I've ever had (I dislike most fish more, actually, I've actually gagged trying to eat sushi). Also had friend chicken, Taiwan-style (pretty good), some sort of pork sausage on a stick (good, but really greasy), and some local Danshui specialty (stolen from the Japanese and improved, probably after the Japanese stole it from the Chinese and improved it themselves), some sort of fried tofu with noodles and stuff in it, in a spicy sauce. That was really tasty.

A good day overall; (very, very) slightly burned, but no big deal, it'll darken into a tan in a couple days. Also over jet lag for all practical purposes.

B-day today.
  • Current Mood
    calm calm

Day Four

Last full day in Taiwan. Birthday.

Didn't actually do that much today (decided to be lazy and rest my feet), wandered around to 2-28 Peace Park and the Chiang Kai Shek Memoral Hall -- it's pretty ugly, I think, although the guards are kind of cool. Makes me wonder what they think about while they stand there motionless for hours. And what a happy looking dictator he was, judging by the statue. The National Theater and National Concert Hall aren't nearly as tacky. Although honestly I'm not really a fan of the somewhat garish traditional Chinese style, either.

Had beef noodle bowl for lunch, was tasty. Had Thai food for dinner -- slightly different style than you get in the U.S. (more authentic I'm told), but excellent (I do like it both ways). Gives me some ideas for how to modify my own personal curry recipe.

The Taiwanese really do like their food greasy -- I really do too, but it's actually a bit too much after a while.

Tomorrow I fly to Narita -- hopefully today's plane crash (which shut down the main runway for a significant amount of time, apparently) won't screw up my flight. It doesn't seem to have canceled too many flights from Taipei today, so I'm optimistic.

Hopefully this cold I seem to be developing won't be too bad, either.
  • Current Mood
    satisfied satisfied