HAPPY VALENTINES DAY !!!! and moving on…
So my last two weeks were quite an adventure. My main reason for heading back to Taiwan was to spend time with my extended family for Chinese New Year. During my stay, I spent most of my time residing at my grandmother’s place. There I lived a pretty simple, maybe even primitive, lifestyle. I’ll go even further by saying slightly less than comfortable. I’ll elaborate. First there was no Internet, for most typical young Americans, that’s essentially like being a fetus and having the umbilical cord cut while you’re still inside. It’s extremely isolating.
Second, I showered by means of buckets. It is exactly how it sounds: water is poured into a bucket, and then the bucket is poured onto me over and over again. The key to “showering” in this manner is to quickly and evenly pour water over your body so that no one side of your body gets too cold. I wasn’t very good at this because I’m usually used to slowly spinning around like a rotisserie chicken under a shower head.
Third, I sleep on a board that is a bed in disguise. Essentially, the board is the bed, and the sheet is the disguise. It’s on the very end of the spectrum where nice comfortable Tempurapedic mattresses are on the opposite end. Traditional Chinese people believe that it’s much better for your back, but I wonder why that is every time I have to crack my crooked back in the morning.
Fourth, if I somehow managed to find a comfortable position to sleep in, I still had to figure out a way to avoid detection by mosquitoes while pretending that I wasn’t bothered by the random startling noises of firecrackers popping in the middle of the night (because of Chinese New Year). On top of that, I shared a room with my father and uncle who both snore, so it was basically a racet to see who can sleep the fastest. The one who sleeps first is the ‘winner.” Since I stay up the latest, I almost always lose in that game.
In a nutshell, it was uncomfortable. But what made it all worth it was to see all my cousins, family, and friends. And of course, the food. Taiwan might be a small island, but it certainly has some of the best food in the world. All their food is fresh, and prepared with really fresh ingredients. It might not be clean, but it’s fresh And it’s amazing. Taiwan is what I call “food heaven.” My friend Eric said that the Taiwanese have “perfected the art of baking and frying,” and he couldn’t be more right. Their bread from their bakeries is world class, and you know what’s more amazing? It’s really, really cheap. There’s also fresh fish, shrimp, sashimi, lobster, crab, squid, duck, and chicken just to name a few. So glorious.
I took these photos with my iphone 4, I actually didn’t bring my SLR (big camera).