October 10 is a national holiday for China and it’s territories. It is sort of the same as our Independence Day. I don’t know a whole lot about it besides that we got off for the day! So we made the most of it. Liz and I started walking towards our favorite park to relax at, have a coffee, and maybe do a devotional or write in our journals. On the way, we noticed how much crazier today was going to be. Kids were everywhere, and the traffic had increased a lot too. (Not too big a deal when you are on foot.) So we walked a little bit of a different way and ran smack into
a performance by some junior high aged kids doing a street performance! There were 2 dancing dragons with 2 kids each in them, and the rest of the kids were either banging on a drum, or crashing cymbals together. They were sort of on beat with each other, but definitely doing much better than I could have. Overall it was very cool, up until some guy decided to start popping fireworks around 5 feet away from where we were standing and watching. So we decided to head on our way before somebody got hurt (him, not me). In the photo you can see the kid that is the front legs and head of the dragon, standing on the rear end’s legs. Not bad for some 8th graders!
So after arriving at our favorite park, (we named it Good Morning Gardens, and the little pond is now Hungry Fish Pond) we relaxed for a bit, and decided to go check out a few stores. We have been planning what we will buy with our first check (Nov. 10th can’t come quick enough!) After looking around a few stores; a book store, pet store, bedding store, hardware store. We made a few mental notes: large map of Taiwan to hang on our wall, the pet store is gross, we need sheets and a blanket, and also a mop and a broom.
On our way home we decided to take the scenic route. So we were walking along, taking in the sights, but after about 30 minutes, we really didn’t have the slightest clue which way to go to get back! We could have backtracked, but we really didn’t want to do that, so we kept walking. And walking, and walking, and walking…
We found a few new places, including the city library, some new temples, and the high school. What we didn’t find was the way back. But onward we went! Obviously we made it back okay, but not until we sat down, hot and frustrated in the shade for 20 minutes or so. We finally waved down a passing bicyclist who didn’t know English. Luckily he knew the word Huwei, and pointed us in the right direction. On our way back to civilization we discovered a new park, and also how dang close we were to our apartment! It was just kind of unsettling to see farmland all around you without the city visible at all. Then you walk 10 more minutes down the road and BAM! there it is. We weren’t quite expecting an adventure before lunch time, but hey, sometimes these things aren’t planned.
So after we got home we rested for a bit and then started to get ready to go to the Night Market with some coworkers of ours, Nico and Joanne. They arrived on their scooters and then Nico hopped off and let me drive her scooter with Liz on the back. It was a little scary, but really fun. We made it there in one piece, and yes, we were wearing helmets! The night market was packed, but it was a holiday after all. We made the rounds, checked everything out, played a few games. I made it a point to try different things from last week’s market (really wasn’t that hard considering we had stinky tofu last week.) So this time we tried: fried octopus on a stick, fried quail eggs on a stick, mongolian vegetables, (they give you an empty bowl and you make as big of a pile in it as you can, then they grill it), and a papaya milk drink (kind of like a milkshake). All together it was $230 Taiwan Dollars, so before you freak out, here is how you figure out the USD. Multiply the Taiwan number by .033, so $7.60. Can you even get a hotdog at a fair for that much? I LOVE TAIWAN.
As we were walking around the market, there were free samples everywhere. We got to try many different things. As we passed a table of meats, I saw one that looked like pork and had some kind of chili paste on it, so I popped it in my mouth.
‘Oh,’ Nico said to me then. ‘You like that?’
‘Uh, what is it?’
‘It’s pig kidney.’
It actually tasted fine, until I found that out, but I swallowed it anyway. Kind of gritty. So yeah, I was right, it was pork.
On our way out the gate we stopped at the bakery table. This table was surrounded by people waving money at the lady working the counter. They were cleaning up. Everything looked amazing! We got the tray above, 6 different things, for 3 dollars US. Pretty sweet. Oh, and on the way home, the scooter I was driving stalled while we were idling at a stop, so we blocked traffic for a minute until we figure out how to start it again. Not a single person honked.
All in all a good holiday.