Every city we visit makes Huwei (where we currently live) feel smaller and smaller! Our friends Teresa and Josh, who also took us to Chiayi, kindly drove us to Taichung for the afternoon. We visited a 12 story department store first.
It’s very similar to an American mall, except that everything is squeezed together so you don’t have to walk a mile to get to the store you actually want to visit. The first few floors were the really fancy places: Tiffany, Chanel, Hermes, etc. We looked around and pretended like we could afford something from one of these places, and then headed up the escalators. Teresa and Josh had a dinner reservation, so Liz and I explored while they were busy. The top 2 floors are the food court, with a wide range of restaurants and snacks. We actually managed to find a sort of pub, hidden away in one corner on the top floor. It was here that we had our first really great beer while in Taiwan. Don’t get me wrong, there are much, much, worse beers than Taiwan Beer, but when that’s really all you can have, it kind of wears on you. So this place was some sort of Belgian beer bar, so we each picked out one and enjoyed it together. These Belgian beers weren’t your average Blue Moon..I’m thinking this must be what beer in Belgium is really like. Each of our beers were around 10.5%. So we had one, and didn’t move for a while.
But then we continued exploring, and managed to look at all 12 floors before bumping into Teresa and Josh again, after their dinner date. We didn’t buy much of anything, but it was fun looking around nonetheless! We saw the most foreign people in one place since arriving, I think it was five or six! Teresa’s sister and brother in law joined us, as they live in Taichung, and off we went to see more of the city. We must have been in the business district, there were high rises everywhere and a ton to look at. About a block away was the newly constructed opera house so we went over to check it out. There were a lot of people in the plaza, with fountains, and different experimental art exhibits and sculptures. The opera house itself reminded me of an ear canal, though I am not sure if that was what they intended. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taichung_Metropolitan_Opera_House Wow, after reading the Wiki page, the opera house has been open less than one month! Cool!
After walking around for a bit, we headed over to one of the big night markets in Taichung. This one put all the other night markets that we’ve visited to shame! So many food vendors, shops, and people! We ate a lot of great food. Josh’s brother in law runs a Japanese BBQ place. You pick out skewers of meat and they season and cook it, DELICIOUS! We also had the lazy man’s shrimp skewer. (The whole thing is crispy so you eat the shell and all) Also on the menu were fried squid (pictured below), guava for a healthy snack,and an egg that was hardboiled in black tea (pretty good!). I was stuffed.
Taichung is our new favorite city and we can’t wait to go back! There is a bus direct from Huwei to there so it won’t be long before we do!