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Taiwan Part 3: Hanging out with Dad

Being in Taiwan over the holidays gave me a chance to hang out with my Dad, since he was in the country to help with some university research in Tainan. In the past, we've always traveled as a family. I've spent some time with just my mom, when we went to visit universities and when she's come out to Seattle by herself. Not so much alone time with my dad. I think the 10 hour drives between Seattle and Glacier National Park last year was the longest time we'd spent together, ever. So this handful of days was really cool. I definitely have more in common with my dad than I thought as a child (ever wondered why I'm so messy? hah...). And apparently we do have more to talk about than my lack of desire to get an MBA.

We had some time in Tainan, so my dad excitedly took me around to show me the sites, including the Confucius Temple and the Chihkan Towers. The grounds at the temple were peaceful and a lot of people were sitting around, enjoying the outdoors. We noticed a group of people with cameras clustered around something, so I had to go see what it was: A SQUIRREL. Ah, Taiwan. For one of our dinners, we had the Taiwanese version of teppanyaki, a half dozen small grilled dishes fixed right before our eyes. Tasty, and not expensive at all.

When we went back to Taipei, my dad had a little downtime in between his business dinners, so I insisted on dragging him to Keelung, a spot that Sandy, Jenni, and I hadn't had time to hit before. He grumbled a bit, asking what there was to do in Keelung, and he grumbled a lot more when we arrived at a train station and it was pouring rain outside, with no indication of where anything interesting to see might be.

But I was prepared! I knew there was an information center right next to the train station, so we located it, and my dad's mood began to improve. It went down slightly when I suggested that we catch a bus to the Heping Bridge to walk down to the Heping Island park, but we managed to get there alright, thanks to my sharp eyes and ability to read the words "park" in Chinese. Despite the rain, which is supposedly a constant presence in Keelung, the park was really cool -- a beautiful pagoda, and waves crashing against weird, otherworldly rock formations.

After that, we did things my dad's way and took a cab to the Temple Mouth Night Market, a famous market of hawker stands named for its location right outside of a temple. I guess it's busier at night, but lots of food stands were still open. They're set up well for tourists, with numbered signs stating the main items the stand offered in both Chinese and English. We went for a crab soup with a bowl of sticky rice... mmmmm...

And that's it for the Taiwan updates! It was a really fun trip, and hopefully I get to return soon (and eat more food). Still haven't seen Alishan, Sun Moon Lake, or Kenting...


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 29, 2009 12:03 AM.

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