Wednesday, February 21, 2007

lucky day

If I had to plan a perfect vacation day in Taiwan, I could not have done a better job than the day we had today. This was the only day in Tainan that we spent just the four of us(meaning we could speak English all the time), touring around on scooter. Oh, the scooters. Loved them. My mom was hesitant about my dad’s ability to safely navigate through the traffic of Tainan, so she road with Somebody and I put my life in my dad’s hands. The beauty of taking the scooters is that you don’t have to find a parking space, and, believe me, you don’t want to have to find a parking space in Taiwan. You can drive your scooter pretty much right up to the door of any building, hang your helmet on the handlebars, and walk away. The other great thing was the breeze when riding the scooters.

We visited Chihkan Towers and Taiwan’s oldest Confucian temple before lunch. And lunch was the highlight of the day.

Across the street from the Confucius Temple was an alley-way with a street market where we shopped for a little and purchased our lunch. I can’t remember what we ate for the main course, but for dessert I was introduced to shaved ice. How I lived happily before that time is a mystery. So delicious. We had found a little table on one side of the alley and the store/stand with the shaved ice was on the other side. While Somebody was standing in line placing our order a little parade came down the street. Leading the parade was a wise man and two dragons. The wise man was handing out red “good luck” envelopes. He spotted us and made a beeline for our table.

The entire parade came to a halt while he handed us our envelopes and posed for pictures. It started out with just my dad taking pictures, but it only took a moment before dozens of strangers were also taking pictures of us. A small crowd formed around us and just over their heads I could see Somebody watching us and shaking his head with embarrassment/amusement. He just can’t take us anywhere.

Things I want to always remember:
* How easy it was to smile all day.
* The feel of the breeze on the scooters.
* How perfect the weather was.
* Finding everything more beautiful because of how happy we were.
* Shaved ice. Why don’t we have that here?
* The gardens at the Koxinga Shrine.

Things I will never forget:
* How McDonald’s hamburgers in Tainan don’t taste like the McDonald’s hamburgers I know.
* The traffic.

1 comment:

Karla said...

What pretty pictures. So are you ready for another trip?