My birthday: Danshui, Taipei 101, People
July 12, 2009 § 1 Comment
July 10 was my birthday (yes, I am still very behind on my posts) and I had a really fun and action packed day.
It started with a trip to Danshui (the north part of Taipei) with three girls from my hostel.
I met them my first night here but it was my first time going out with them. They are from Hong Kong and so young! Ages 18, 17, and 14. Two of them are high school friends while the 14 year old is the younger sister of the 18 year old. I can’t imagine traveling alone with friends to another country at that age. They are very mature though and seem to know what they are doing. Anyway, the whole day was fun but slightly frustrating because of the language barrier. We mostly communicated in broken Mandarin. Coby and Sherry(the older girls) told me that they learned Mandarin from watching tv! When they would talk to each other they would speak in Cantonese so I could not understand any of it. They taught me a few phrases but I know I will forget them in a few days.
Danshui was really fun and is basically an outdoor market. I tried some deep fried mushrooms, oyster omelet, rice noodles, and shaved ice. There was also this really random and weird museum that had snakes, parrots, posters, statues, turtles, and bugs. It was so strange and was slightly confusing to me but here are some pictures so you can see for yourself.
The food was really yummy and it was my first time trying an oyster omelet. Ever since I watched this Taiwanese drama called Corner With Love, I have wanted to try this dish! It’s not like an omelet in the States made with egg, but instead uses a type of gelatinous rice substance.
After shopping and browing Danshui, we went to Taipei 101! It is one of the tallest buildings in the world. I think that it was the tallest at one point in time but there is a tower in Dubai that has surpassed it.
Then… I received the most wonderful birthday present of all. I think God felt a little sorry for me that all my close friends and family were far away so he made up with it by revealing to me my FAVORITE food in the universe!!!
MOVENPICK ICE CREAM!! I tried this for the first time when I was studying in Switzerland. I liked it so much that I e-mailed their customer service reps, asking if they were planning to expand to the United States. At that time they were focusing on the European market and could only be found in a few European countries. I don’t know when they expanded to Taiwan (and apparently Hong Kong) but I was so overjoyed to see this stand! Movenpick is expensive but I didn’t mind spending my money on the most delicious ice cream in the world. Honestly. I have tried some good ice cream in my day and Movenpick is still my number one. This event seriously made my day and I can’t wait to go back and get more ice cream. Chocolate is my favorite (it comes with real chocolate flakes inside) but their citrus flavors (especially passion fruit) are also really yummy.
After discovering Movenpick in the Taipei 101 building, I met up with two Berkeley peeps and visited the Shida night market and a quiet bar called People before heading home. People is one of those places that you need to know about before going. The place is designed in a way so only insiders can come in. There is no doorknob or button to open the door and you have to figure it out to get in (I don’t want to give it anyway in case some of you decide to go there). There is a People in Shanghai too that doesn’t even have a street sign so people just need to know where it is to go. In Taiwan it is considered pretty exclusive and upscale but the prices were the same as any bar in America (I think). The only time I went to a bar was in Arcadia though and I don’t think those really count so I wouldn’t trust my word on the prices. I liked how it was quiet and the service was good so we could just sit there and chat and catch up. It was so refreshing to speak in English at the end of the day but at the same time I shared a lot of laughs with the girls from Hong Kong because we had so many obstacles.
I’m thankful for my new friends who I spent my 22nd birthday with as well as my loved ones at home who sent me birthday wishes on this day. Don’t feel bad if you forgot or didn’t know because I know there are lots of people I know and actually care about whose birthdays I don’t know. I know people usually use Facebook but I took it off my profile a while ago for a reason I don’t remember now and never put it back. All in all, it was such an amazing day, topped off with the best birthday present I could have gotten here in Taiwan: new friends, Movenpick chocolate ice cream, and knowing that I have so many people who love me at home. =)