Sat., Sept. 10: Jet lag, sesame noodles, and lots and lots of walking. Plus street performers!
– Tried the Taiwanese deep-fried donut dipped in soy milk for breakfast that I’ve heard so much about. Underwhelmed. The warm soy milk was yummy, but the fried donut was really, really heavy and didn’t have much flavor on its own.
– Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Plaza is very big and impressive. The museum exhibit upstairs was showcasing “creative needlework” from around Taiwan – essentially paintings done in thread. AMAZING. It took me a full minute before I realized they weren’t done with paint. Unfortunately there was no photography or video allowed. This was not your grandma’s cross-stitch.
– Also went to see the 2-28 Peace Park, where there is some calligraphy done by B’s grandfather. A pleasant stroll.
– Then we had lunch at a pretty famous place called 鼎泰豐(Din Tai Fung) where we supped on really good chicken soup in a clear, yummy broth, noodles in an AMAZING sesame -based sauce (had to be one of the top-3 things I ate all week), and pork-truffle soup dumplings (really expensive and TOTALLY worth it). (In case anyone is concerned with inconsistencies in blogging – I decided I was suspending all food rules in Taiwan, in the name of cultural exploration).
– Then to see the Taipei 101, the tallest building in Taiwan, and for a while, the tallest building in the world. Saw some great street performers on the way. Much prettier than the Empire State Building. Strolled around the shops for a bit and then went to the Observatory. The Damper Ball display is worth investigating, if you ever go (it’s about the engineering of the building).
Here’s the 8-minute video of Day 1. It would have been only 2 and half minutes, but the girl-troupe of acrobats we saw at the end was so good, I could only stand to cut them down to 6 minutes (from nearly 20):