The second week of Beth’s visit in Taiwan was just as exciting as the first: it consisted of trips to local cultural areas like Lotus Lake and Sandimen aboriginal village, eating more delicious local cuisine (and choosing her favorites to repeat!), watching movies just for fun, going shopping at the morning market, and it was even topped off with a small typhoon that rolled in just in time to delay Beth’s departure for a day. Here is a very brief look at the highlights of our second week together; it’s just enough to entice you to come for a visit too! P.S. I’m not filling this post with food pictures from the second week (though we took a bunch!) because I’m saving them for a special post all about my favorite foods in Taiwan. I know you’re on the edge of your seat now…
The first stop on our photo journey is Lotus Lake (also called Lotus Pond) in Kaohsiung. It’s a very picturesque spot complete with beautiful twin pagados (pictured below), temples, local vendors, and a great view of Kaohsiung city as the backdrop. We spent a leisurely afternoon snapping photos of each other and enjoying the wind in our hair on this gorgeous day.
Next stop, Sandimen aboriginal village. We didn’t spend a lot of time here because I was feeling a bit under the weather, but we at least had a chance to sample the “mountain meat” (that’s what we 外國人 “foreigners” call it) and grilled sweet potato, to catch a glimpse of some aboriginal women in their traditional dress, and to visit “the bead shop” where you can buy handmade glass beads and even see the beads being crafted by the local people.
We drove to Meinong, which is about 30 minutes away from Dashe where I live. Meinong is another area where there are a lot of aboriginal people. It was a beautiful drive through the country, but our destination was specifically to two little shops that sell handmade paper umbrellas. The shops are situated right next to each other, so we spent some time and bought some goodies at each shop. At one of the shops, there is a girl who is probably close to my age who speaks very good English. She told us that her grandmother is the only person in the area who can still make and paint the umbrellas–everyone else can do one or the other, but her grandmother has the talent for both. Because of this, her grandmother has been interviewed for documentaries and news stories about the paper umbrella craft in Taiwan. We had the privilege of meeting this talented lady and getting a photo with her holding a traditional Chinese scroll that she painted (and Beth bought!). This was an excellent little visit on our journey in Taiwan.
Other Memorable Moments
To wrap up our photo journey, I’ll mention just a few more fun moments with Beth. I took her to get a Taiwanese hair wash, which is a pleasurable 45 minutes of head massage, warm water rinse, hair styling, and just plain relaxation. We also saw a movie at the local E-Da theater in the VIP auditorium that has fully reclining comfy chairs–a real treat for less than $10 (including popcorn and drink). While Beth was here, my sisters joined us for several meals, and of course we continued to enjoy our favorite treats and beverages during this second week. Finally, Beth hit it off with my pup, Emi, so they made sure to get a photo together before our time was up.
Emi is now missing our house guest, and so am I. I am so thankful that Beth spent the time and money to come visit me here in Taiwan, and I will never forget our adventures together.
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To read about our first week together, check out my post entitled, Friends Overseas.
I almost forgot!
During our first meal together, we sat down at the table after I ordered dumplings. I brought over chopsticks and little dishes of soy sauce, and Beth looked at me very seriously and said, “I forgot to mention that I’ve never used chopsticks before.” I laughed and said, “Ummmm….I don’t know what to tell you. Stab the dumplings for now?” Here is a short video of Beth’s first attempt at using chopsticks; as you can see, it was rather difficult. I am happy to say though that by the end of our trip, Beth was a chopstick-using pro! I just wish I had gotten a second video to show her progress. Maybe she’ll practice at home and send me a video. In the meantime, I hope this assures you that you too can learn to use chopsticks when you come to visit me in Taiwan. =D