Saturday, February 24, 2007

pain, rain, go away

We knew that we couldn’t go to Taiwan and not take some time to visit the temple in Taipei. It was a fantastic way to spend the morning. I had never before been through a session where my language was in the minority and I had to wear the head set. Amazing. Wonderful. You know what can make a morning like that even better? More shaved ice. Which we ate but I didn’t get a picture.
We spent the afternoon at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and gardens. The grounds and memorial are very similar to the Lincoln Memorial in DC. They were setting up for the New Year festival of lights so we got to see some of the exhibits in advance.

We were also there for the changing of the guards around the memorial
The gardens around the memorial were full of various green plants, flowers, trees, and, because of the celebrations, lanterns of all shapes.

For dinner we met up with some of Somebody’s high school friends. They chose a BBQ place that was nothing like a BBQ I was used to. We took over the entire basement of the restaurant were there were three long tables with three small grills on each table. There were serving platters all around the tables with every type of meat and seafood imaginable. You chose your piece of meat (most in bite-size portions) and grilled it on the grill closest to you. Frightening at first, but it was new and delicious. Somebody had a fantastic time visiting and laughing with his friends, and my parents and I enjoyed grilling the meat we recognized and taking advantage of the all-you-can-eat Haagen Daas ice cream. We used the ice cream as a beverage because, typical, the only beverage option was a hot tea. They offered us a wheat tea, but it just didn’t hit the spot like some melted strawberry ice cream. Apparently one of his friends commented that we sure ate a lot of ice cream, but, hey, it’s the American way.

Rita picked us up after the acupressure and took us up to a famous look-out point on the edge of the city so we could see the lights of Taipei. It was raining lightly but that didn’t stop us from taking advantage of the great view.

Things I want to always remember:
* The peaceful feeling of the temple and the temple grounds.
* Watching Somebody be so at home and casual with his friends—I rarely see that side of him because we are never surrounded by people who only know him and don’t know me.
Things I will never forget:
* The incredible pain of the acupressure. A bad pain. And a good pain. In the end, though, a helpful pain.
* The yummy, yummy BBQ dinner.


Karla said...

I liked the colors on everyone for how they dressed this day. Was that proper English at all? That is what happens when you stay up late. The lanterns were all so pretty. The dinner seems like it was a lot of fun! Was it costly compared to your typical restaurant here?

Karla said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that one of those pictures looked a lot like someone's wedding! :)