We make holes in teeth!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Taiwan Day 43 - YingGe and Winding Down

Breakfast shop again this morning - rice ball, scallion pancake with egg, and soymilk. This is too much food but I like it so much that I need to get my fill in. Plus, they say something about eating like a king for breakfast is best. I guess they also maybe say to eat like a king for lunch and dinner too?

The morning is the first official day of Calvin's office opening after the holiday, so we go over there and they do the traditional burning of ghost money and lighting of fireworks and setting up the table with offerings to the gods. Like I said before, religion is just part of the culture here, though something like this is as much a "thing to do" as anything. How can you not agree to stand on the sidewalk and feed a fire?

After this we hit the road and head to YingGe one last time. This is the pottery village where we need to pick up a few more things, including a teapot I ordered to go with the set I bought last time we were there. I'll probably go home and put it away and never use it, which is what I seem to do every trip here. I also got a teapot from my man Darin, which I had forgotten about until it was time to start packing. I probably have 10 teapots at this point.

The traffic was bad, but we didn't have too much to do so it didn't disrupt our day too much. We had stopped at a photo place to print out some 12x18's for Nat's dad but they said it would take 3 days, which seems a little heavy to me but whatever. So we scrapped it and headed to YingGe and found it this time with no problem.

Here we ended up buying like 40 more pounds of shit but at this point my back isn't going to notice the difference between 14,443 pounds and 14,483. Nat liked this and I thought it was cool, but we weren't sure what it meant and we didn't want to bring evil spirits into our house:

After a generally crappy lunch of rice noodles, soup, and turnip cake (which was the 1 good thing) we drove to Taipei to pick up some pineapple cakes at some place which is famous for this stuff. This is the general script here. In the last few days you run to the food & snack shops and buy food that you can't get in the states. Of course, it has to be very good to lug it all the way back home. Once you get home, you'll eat 1/4 of it and let the rest go stale. But much like burning ghost money, it's part of the ceremony of the vacation.

One last look:

We never made it up but I've been there before and I was up on so many mountains with cloudy views that I didn't need to pay for a view of the clouds with 100 other people and a line. Maybe next time we can make it, maybe not. It was cool but I don't feel I missed out on anything.

We made a few stops on the way back for more odds and ends (14,489) and then Nat finished off by making dinner, which was pulled pork on top of mashed potatoes and candied carrots. It was really good, even though it was ultra simple. I topped it off with my last hurrah of beer drinking, what I would consider the best of the mediocre beers, Asahi Black:

Much of the night was spent packing. We have a lot of stuff, somehow we bought more than I thought.

Full picture set of the day here: Flickr set or slideshow.



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