Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
"The water is so blue. I'll bet they came here last night and poured Jell-O mix into the stream."
A man in his seventies stands at the edge of a jetty and films the scenery at Taroko Gorge. Green hills and marble-walled cliffs. Black caverns like empty eye-sockets. At the mountain base, the almost ivory stone looks like stretched ligaments, disappearing into the Liwu river.
We meet eyes and smile. We will never run out of things that will amaze us, huh?
We're human so we look and see faces. We see humans. We see living things.
Our tour guide shows us the elephant, the alligator - "Don't worry, it's sleeping," she quips, - the Aboriginal head. She even shows us Obama.
"I've known this bear for a long time," she says as the bus slows near a protrusion of stone.
"I don't even need to go to the Taipei zoo," I tell Tina. "Where's the bear?"
"I see a rock."
Our guide is eager to show us "Mother Nature" - a set of green mountains arranged so that you might imagine that you are looking at a woman, from a gynecologist's point. The woman's bent legs. And the mountain is even peeing a small stream. I wouldn't have seen that. And seriously, who thought of that?
"And this," the guide says proudly and shows us a photo of a rock formation, "is Father Nature."
"Okay," I concede. "I see a penis."
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Our hero, Brandon.
What the girls ate. Brandon is still chewing his octopus.
National Geographic video about eating nakji, click here.
Go to a big fish market which is Noryangjin Soosan(fish) Sijang(Market) or Garak Sijang, and look for a stall that sells only octopus. They will have small ones.
1. Pick your octopus. 세발낙지 작은거 (Try to bargain.)
2. Go to a bistro or a small restaurant in the market. They cook what you purchased in the market for a fee (alcohol is separate). Ask them to cut the head and steam or boil. Rest of the part, u will have as it is: 머리는 삶아주시고 나머지는 통째로 주세요. 자르지 마세요.
3. Try with vinegarated hot sauce(초고추장) or seasame oil with salt(참기름장).
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
"Except that there's no baby. Just Yong Yin's junk."
"Hey, hey. Listen. Junk is back here."
Monday, November 9, 2009
"I told him that I liked fireworks."
Tina laughed. "You didn't say, 'Da pao' did you?"
"I like sex, sex sex!" Tina said, imitating my cheerleading moves.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
The former Democratic Progressive Party government withdrew the guards for a time.
It's only nice to share one's good fortune (rifle drill 5 p.m.).
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
"Mmm, Sophie did good," I say to Tina. "These are excellent. So soft!"
"The marshmallows here are really soft, softer than in Canada."
(I spend the following days eating all of the marshmallows I come across in Taipei.)
Photo: Imitation sanitary napkins, made out of marshmallows, 322 calories per 100 grams. One package, 95 NTD.
Translation: Sophie, soft, cotton experience. For all day use, dual colour. Super thick cotton layers.
Loving passionately hygienic marshmallows. You've never had it this clean!
Monday, November 2, 2009
A plate of six is 240 NTD or about $7.
The slice of salmon could wrap around the mound of rice twice, being the size of my hand. Tina lifts a piece to her face and I tell her she looks like the Phantom of the Opera.
After two pieces, it's kind of disgusting, I tell Tina. "It's just so much flesh," I say. "I feel like that pride of lions that we saw on TV."
(On the way back from the Confucius temple last month, Tina and I stopped at an electronics store to watch National Geographic.)
A moment later at the resto, Tina and I find something more disgusting. A couple sitting a few tables away floss their teeth. "I tell you, there's no social deviancy in this country. People just break the rules and everyone tolerates it," Tina says.
The man leans across the table and flosses his lady's teeth.
"We're in a zoo. We're lions. They're monkeys," I say. "Look at them picking at each other."
"Don't do that in public," Tina says. "You don't do that. You don't floss. You don't clip your nails on the MRT."
The couple leaves and Tina stands. "Where are you going?"
She goes to the empty table and returns. "They just left the floss on the table on a napkin," she says. "When I make wontons, I have the decency to take them with me!"
(She uses my expression "making wontons" which means filling kleenex with snot.)
"Who made you the social police?"
"I know that I'm not the social police but sometimes I have the urge to tell people, like that girl sitting with her underwear showing."
"I tell people. Once there was a guy on the MRT who had his fly open. I followed him to Taipei Main Station and then tapped him on the shoulder. I pointed at my crotch and mimed pulling up my zipper. He looked at me like I was nuts. Then I gestured at his crotch, which probably made it worse.
"When he finally got it, I ran away so he wouldn't be embarrassed."
See? We're not all animals. People have feelings.
A few items that we like to order. The resto (at 116 Guiyang Street, near Kunming Street, a 10-minute walk from Ximen MRT, exit 6) always has a line-up and is sometimes closed on Sundays or Mondays. No English menu is available.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
"What? No, don't tell me."
"Do you taste it?"
"No, I have a cold."
"My dad said that they used to soak the eggs in horse urine to preserve it. Now they just use chemicals that have similar properties."