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August 9, 2012 / windlessly

Taiwan Travels: Day 28 (part 2)

So my aunt came to pick me up today, which was really nice of her. We took a taxi to the station and pulled my luggage along. Joseph, my cousin, had class to go to and took my luggage along with him while my aunt took me to eat this awesome rice ball and tea egg from 7-Eleven. Then we met up with my other aunt and my grandma, who took me through one of the malls.

Already I was getting used to the taste of Taiwan… people streaming by, pastry shops and bakeries everywhere…. we stopped by to taste a cake sample, and ran into none other than… my cousin that I haven’t seen in 12 years!

Kinda shocked when I saw her… it’s been a LONG time

It was funny that neither my grandma or my cousin planned to be there at the same time. It was a purely coincidental meeting, and I couldn’t tell who was more embarrassed, my 24-year-old cousin, or her boyfriend that my grandmother claims the family hasn’t even met yet! I took a quick picture with my cousin before she dragged her boyfriend away and said bye.

I took a quick picture at the subway with my aunt at my grandma. =]

 

Then we met up with my uncle, my other aunt, and their daughter Minnie. It was really good to see everyone again. My uncle’s the coolest… he was so chill about seeing me again. And I love my Aunt- she’s ridiculously nice and fun to hang out with. I don’t give that compliment to many adults, but I feel as if she still has an inner child within her. She plays with Minnie and took us to the arcade before lunch. I went to the basketball shooting game with Minnie and had a lot of fun! And then came the second coincidental meeting of the day: Minnie just happened to run into her first and best friend, who was there with her mother and younger brother. I never saw Minnie so happy, but it was cute.

 

I was not prepared at all for the lunch that day. And when I say not prepared, I mean I was not going in on an empty stomach like I should’ve. It was a really high class buffet, at least in my eyes. Fried shrimp, baby corn, drinks, mango ice cream, cakes of all kinds, roasted beef, soups, appetizers, sushi… gosh I’m getting hungry just imaging all the food. There was this awesome Japanesese-styled mushroom soup that you pour from teapots and sip from these small plates.

 

 

Steamed egg and plum vinegar:

 

And I FINALLY understand where canned baby corn is from- they’re actual miniature corn stalks!

And on top of that, mango ice cream!

Basically, too many good foods for me to eat all at once. I had to try a tiny bit of each and just marvel at the quality of food there. It was delicious. I wish I could take along spare stomachs and just eat and eat and eat.

Once I was thoroughly stuffed, we headed back to my uncle’s place. Minnie played some piano for me before we did our tradition of playing the Heart and Soul duet.

I had some amazing Taiwanese pineapple. A thousand times sweeter than anything in the US, with a much more tender texture. Same goes for mangoes here. So much riper! All the fruit here is delicious.

Before I knew it, dinner had arrived and my aunt took me to see one of my family’s good friends, the Kuo’s. Tiffany and Jessica were long ago childhood friends but they had not changed a bit since I last saw them. It was great. We had a traditional dinner, and I even had my first glass of wine ever. Yup, the drinking age here in Taiwan is 18. I felt so privileged, even though I didn’t like the wine that much xD.

 

Childhood friends from Syracuse =D

Tiffany left after the soup arrived because she needed to rehearse for worship for her church tomorrow, so I chatted with Jessica about what she was doing. It’s so good to hear from them again. The more I think about it, the more contacts I realize I have in Taiwan. Especially family- I can tell my aunt and grandma only want the best for me. They want to feed me like none other and have me experience everything I possibly can in the few days that I have. I have never appreciated family more- from picking me up to letting me stay at their house, they endlessly and wordlessly take care of my every need. My aunt has thought of everything I could possibly want- and more- in the past few days.

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