Monday, July 16, 2007

Taiwan Day 1

Oh the trip to Taiwan from Japan was only about three hours, but oh hell! It really sucked. As we were leaving Japan, typhoon "Man-Yi" was heading for it and it caused some mighty fine turbulence. I almost lost everything residing in my body at that point. We finally made it to the airport safely where our relatives swooped us away to our abode while we are here and some much needed rest ensued.

We are residing at my grandfather's house which he has lived in for I am not sure how long, but longer than I have been alive. He actually lives in the province of Sinshin, which is located in the city of Tainan. Tainan city is located about 30 minutes away from Kaihsiung which is one the largest cities in Taiwan, besides the capital of Taipe, which resides about 4 hours north.

The weather here is a tropical climate which is currently in the rainy season. I've seen it literally rain, between here, Tokyo, and Oklahoma everyday for about a month and a half now! So the heat and the rain means HUMID weather. You biatches complaining about the humidity don't know jack. As soon as I get out of a COLD shower, I instantly start sweating again, and air conditioning isn't "common" in this little village (kinda like my apartment back home). The timing is similar to that of Japan. Take your Central time and set it one hour ahead and reverse the am to pm or vice versa.

The next day my mother awoke me to accompany her to the local daily market. What a fun place for a foodie to visit. Whether you feel like fish, fresh vegetables (or pre made salads), chicken feet (and heads, gizzards, etc..), noodles, fruit, or tofu (yeah baby!), it could be found. With prices already marked low to compete with neighboring vendors, with a little or no haggling one can receive a meal for about two - four dollars, one that even I (the human trash compactor) could split into two meals. HHHHmmmmm mmmmmmm!

Later that night, we attended one of the many traveling markets that rotate their nights in various cities and/or parts of cities. This night being one the biggest and most crowded nights to attend in the neighboring Kaihsiung area.Items ranged from games, to many varities of food vendors for whatever craving you might be having (sweet, spicy, sweet and spicy). Endless tea stands were abound, ranging in all flavors of fruit, root and herbal varities. Clothing and accesories could also be purchased. The cheap prices and festive atmosphere are some of the main draws for people to attend such outdoor markets. It is like going to the mall on Sat, except cheaper and there are more Asians.

Seafood heaven at the local morning market.

Meeaaattttt! No it is dog, strays are everywhere here. But now that I think about it, I have only seen one cat in the week I've been here!

Fish balls, and the balls of other creatures as well. I promise they taste better than they look.

I am not even a fan of them when they are alive. I don't mind snakes or turtles, but I just don't like slimy things. Bleah!

Just two of the local peasants indebted to the Lin/Brown family making dumplings to pay us. They were forced to skip lunch as they happened to forgot my veggie and shrimp dumplings. Timmy don't eat pork!! Just kidding people.

This is how they roll in Taiwan. This is pimpin' Taiwanese style. Its so cute.

Sushi stand at the night market.

Pretty cool stand. "Catch" your own shrimp and then you cook them yourself. At least you know its fresh.

One vantage point from the Outdoor Traveling Night Market. Asians love crowds, except me. I am claustrophobic, very much so.

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