Having a cheap little 7-11 meal at the airport in Taoyuan I could scarcely realize that I would return to New England just in time for a record breaking winter. Both in terms of low temperatures and vast quantities of snow. Makes getting about a bit of a chore.
Returning to Taiwan after a three year absence there a couple things that really stood out. There are a lot of minor changes, some development and construction. Some of which is probably for the better, some not so much. But those are not the things that really struck me.
The first thing that struck me was that the bubble tea is catching up with them (Teacher said it would). The influx of sweet drinks and quick calories has had much the same affect as it has in the US. People, especially the young have, shall we say, expanded a tad.
Second, the number of Chinese tourists has ballooned. It is ironic that a few thousand Chinese tourists travel the island every day while China has a couple thousand missiles pointed at Taiwan. Not to mention tourism itself is always a double edged sword. Though, I actually would like to see more tourism from some nations, such as the US (especially US cyclist), since Taiwan has a lot to offer and would both sides would benefit from such tourism.
Beyond those two main concerns Taiwan is still a fascinating and wonderful place. With many creative and warm hearted people. A place that I hope not to wait so long to return to again, and a place that makes me realize that I need to spend more time practicing Mandarin (IF I ever wrap my head around that, then maybe we can think about Taiwanese, not going to happen). As for now, I have a few cookbooks to translate and recipes to practice in this year of the ram/goat/or sheep. If only I can shovel my way out and make it to the market. If that does not make me wish I were back in Taiwan nothing does.
Cheers for now 羊年快樂!
P.S. Oh and for some reason I can not seem to set foot in Taitung without my ugly mug ending up on their public television station. We just stopped by a Korean restaurant after a trip out to the Natural Museum of Prehistory and there we were, in front of a camera, again. Funny thing the restaurant owner remembered us…we went there once, three and a half years ago. Nice guy, good food. We will have to go back again. (The place is called 一品王 Yī Pǐn Wáng located at #205 Chang’an St. 長安路205號)