Archive for August, 2013
It’s quite fitting that the last blog of the summer before entering NECO lands perfectly on the day before I head back to the US. I’ve been here four weeks and it has truly been awesome and somewhat painful. Painful in the sense that I don’t think I ever feel as sweaty and gross as I do when I visit Taiwan (anyone who’s visited East Asia during the summer can probably relate, right?). It’s a mix of feeling like I should shower as soon as I leave my front door and looking for the nearest convenience store to enjoy some A/C. It’s also painful because in the four weeks that I’ve been here, I’ve gotten 14 mosquito bites and 4 flea bites and they came in groups of 2-3 at a time. Itchy! I’m sure you all know the agony I speak of…that urgent life-or-death need to scratch, but the wisdom that it is bad for you to do so — ugh!
One of the greatest things I got to do was visit some friends and family I have not seen in a few years. I got to visit my great uncle and great aunt who used to babysit me in elementary school and it has literally been 10+ years since I last saw them! Not only is their house amazing, but they’ve got quite a view! Their house overlooks a panoramic view of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, and its surrounding hilltop ranges. It was breathtaking! (The picture is of my dad, great uncle, and great aunt on their rooftop balcony.) So despite getting 4 mosquito bites by staying with them, I must say it was worth it.
Another fun event was hitting the tiny island of Liuqiu Shiang with my dad. The island is about a 30 minute boat trip from the south of Taiwan with a population of only 13,000 and a size of only 4 km long and 2 km wide…which comes out to be about 2.5 miles long and 1.2 miles wide. Aside from amazing seafood, it also offered some great beach views and coral rock formation! While it was pretty much 95+ degrees the whole weekend I was there, looking back at the pictures, it was worth the sweat! Check out the unique coral rock formation. Can you spot the wild hog?? If you ever get a chance to visit Taiwan, not only are night markets and local delicacies like oyster pancakes and stinky tofu a must…I recommend checking out the island of Liuqiu Shiang (小琉球)!
On top of the above mentioned adventures, I was able to check out some awesome eateries. However, I’ve got minimal pictures of those as I was too busy eating! Food is one of the God-send things that I will miss the most once I leave. The taste is beyond delicious and the price can’t be beat! I’ve gotten a steak meal for $5, a bento box lunch for $3, and a boba (pearl) milk tea drink for about 80 cents. Lastly, the local tropical fruits are pretty much tiny tastebud miracles. If you’re partial to that sweet and slightly tart flavor like I am, I recommend the bell fruit, the star fruit, and the dragon fruit (which can actually now be found in most US Asian supermarkets!). I also got to check out this ice creamery that housed a whopping 99 flavors of ice cream. It made me crazy indecisive! Some fun options were unique house-blended tea flavored ice creams with creative names, like “Between Dreams and Life,” “Story of the Times,” and my personal favorite that was recommended by a friend of mine who said this flavor was especially uplifting after school exams, “Tomorrow Will Be Better”…HA!
So to wrap it up, a horde of eating and two wisdom teeth pulled later (yep, I also pulled teeth, and no puffy cheeks…dental work is also fabulous here!), I am settled and ready for what’s to come. I know I must say goodbye to all that is delicious and gear up for optometry school. Aside from missing my family and my old cat, I’m pretty amped up for this next adventure! I’m sure there will be more amazing food to try and even more scenic views to take in. I’m counting on the amazing views that the Charles River gives and the Boston Restaurant Week to bring my optometry experience to new heights and I hope I’ve got classmates that will join me! Here’s a disgruntled Candy to end the summer.