Taiwan Day 38 - Dim Sum in Taipei
With the lunch plans at noon that gave me about 3 hours to ride because we needed to do a few things before we left. I've said it a few times, I'm pretty tired. I've ridden my legs into the ground but I need to get my time in now. It ended up being 73 degrees and sunny today, so I need to take advantage of it. Coupled with the fact our house currently looks like this and I have to get out there when I can:
Rolling down the hill this morning I have to admit that I think this thing may disintegrate at any moment. I really just need to make a few more rides then I can hide it in a corner and deal with it when we come back, maybe next summer or the one after that. The rims of the wheels must be about ready to buckle and collapse from the constant grinding away of the surface. I think that's what I would replace for the next trip. That and maybe the frame and all the components.
Went up to the close hill with views in both directions and the wild dogs were out in full force this morning. I wonder if people are being extra generous this week and they're just everywhere because of it. Where I might normally see 5, I saw probably a dozen today. Until I got to the bike path this was the theme of the ride. Lots of dogs.
The view was ok. The haze was pretty solid so you couldn't really see a whole lot. Here's my token iPhone pic from the river paths:
That was my ride, up & over the hill, down the river paths around a small island, then back home up and over the hill again because I didn't feel like dealing with too much traffic and that's the best way to avoid it. The day was nice, I was tired, and that was the best way to enjoy it and get back home. Many people were out today, people up at the peak looking out, people climbing that hill on their bikes and on foot, and many people out on the river paths. It was a good day to be out.
Back at the house I eat another protein bar, a steam bun, soft guava, and a coffee for recovery. I'm not eating enough of the guavas, which isn't smart since I love them and I just can't get them in the states. Well, you may be able to get the hard ones which I also really like. But the soft ones you can't. When I get home I'm going to eat nothing but fruit & veggies for 2 weeks straight. My diet here has gone to crap.
After much discussion about what we should bring for the lunch cousins, we set sail and quickly hit the Starbucks to pick up some gift boxes for the 4 cousins that are going to be there. Key number there is 4, some of which are vegetarian which is what the discussion was about. The vegetarians here tend to be Buddhist vegetarians, which means that in addition to the standard of not eating cow, pig, and monkey, they also don't eat any dairy, eggs, garlic, leek, scallions, and so on. They key here was dairy and/or eggs, which is in like everything.
So anyway, we stopped to get 4 of these things in a tin with gift bags, and made it to lunch at 12 but the parking lot was full so we ended up being 10 minutes late. When we walked in and sat down, the first thing Nat says to me is, "There's 6, not 4."
We kinda got lucky though, as there just happened to be a Starbucks right outside the door of the hotel where we were eating. So I went out with Julia under the pretense that we were going to do some speedballs and get her lunch (which we did, a glazed donut), and at the same time I grabbed 2 more tins to make 6. I'm sure some of them caught the make-up, but it was the best we could do.
It was a long lunch, and by the time we got out it was about 2:30. All Julia had to eat was a glazed donut (and a bottle of anything, to go, naturally). So we took a pit stop at the McDonald's to grab some fries and a coffee. Here she is posing for a pic with her new kicks. I love these shoes:
After McD's we started towards the car and saw Hooters, where I had to try and do Terren justice with a pic. I took 3 in all but this one is the winner:
Right next door to the girl was a wine shop, where we stopped in to get some wine for Calvin and Grace since I've been drinking all theirs. One advantage we have here is that, while most people speak some English, most people can't understand it well enough to follow what we're saying. So Nat would talk to him and she would talk to me. At some point, he chimed in, and said a few words in English, and Nat called his bluff. Turns out Dude Man worked in Manhattan for 17 years.
Julia was bored but she did pose for a pic. Still loving the kicks:
We then found some shopping, where we stumbled upon the Taipei City Mall which is underground. I got more looks than usual, which is odd for Taipei, so I have to imagine that this particular area is not a real common place for white people to hang out. On that note, I did see a white dude with a kid outside when we were going to Starbucks and the look on his face was priceless. I nodded to him and he looked away. I'm still puzzled by this white-hate by other white people. Sorry man, none of us are really that special. Well I am because I ride a bike faster than you. As a side note, I'm not doing this recap under the influence of beer. Really.
We did find a bong shop back out in the daylight. When I walked in I got a sly smile and a knowing nod from the girl working there. Those days are 15 years gone for me but I still enjoy going into these places and checking them out. Yes, my mom reads this blog.
We met up with Calvin & Company real quick but many of the shops were closed so we grabbed a scallion pancake (decent, not great) and hit up the mall real quick one more time then took off. Calvin gave me directions on how to get out so we didn't ride around in circles all night.
On the way back we stopped to get some chicken and Grace cooked 2 veggies and the pork/bamboo/egg leftovers. They were still awesome. We need to get the recipe for this.
Ok I'm too far behind to proofread this. So I'm just posting it.
Full picture set of the day here: Flickr set or slideshow.