Now, where was I? Oh yes, we left Chiang’s place and wandered over to Starbucks – there are many, many to choose from in Taipei.
On the way we spotted a number of high school students in their uniforms. This is notable because just above the pocket on the right breast their student number is embroidered on. It is good identification of any miscreants, I guess.
After mostly avoiding the daily monsoon (Ed. note: More on these later) we caught a cab out to Tamshui, which translates into “River”, according to the tourist information woman. It is quite a cool area of little shops and arcade games – kind of Playland meets Gastown. There were a ton of high school kids wandering around – guess it was the end of year party. I did not know that my lovely wife could be so cynical. We spotted these people in the midst of cleaning up after what was clearly a very recent fire. Admittedly they did seem happy and were smiling and laughing – but did Miss Terry have to suggest that it was “Insurance fraud happiness”? I was shocked and appalled!
After a cold beer we climbed the hill to Fort San Domingo. This has been the “home” to the consuls of the nine different countries that have ruled the island of Taiwan over the years.
William Morris was heavily involved in the decorating of the home which the British Consul used. Who is William Morris? Glad you asked. He invented the wallpaper. He used incredibly beautiful floral patterns in his fabrics and wallpapers. He was also a proponent of not renovating, refurbishing or knocking down and building new buildings, but rather just allowing them to decay through daily use. An interesting concept, even if it’s not feasible today.
Some of his patterns.
BTW: This was also the home to The Shoe Blog for this posting.
From there it was back through town to the train station to catch a cab back to town. However, as we approached the station it started to spit – really just three or four drops. Suddenly everyone around us was running quickly to get under cover. I was thinking what’s the hurry and about four seconds later we were in a monsoon. How they knew just by those few drops is beyond me – but they knew!
We had spotted a restaurant a couple of blocks from the hotel called ‘Really Good Seafood’. Now if you bill yourself that way you better be good so we asked the front desk if it was. Oh yes, they assured us, so off we went. Hmm, how to describe this place. When we walked in to the dining area I first thought of The Eight which we went to for Dim Sum in Macau. Then I opened the menu. They had about four set menus – all 8 courses each, ranging from $1660 to $4400 per person. Yes, that was my reaction too – until I remembered to do the math and slowed my heart down – $50 to $150 Cdn). The wine was similarly priced – except the top end was in the $20000 – $25000 range ($700 – $800 Cdn.) The maître d’ came over to help us with the menu and suggested that there was enough food in one order to satisfy both of us so we went for the $2300 or $70 meal to share. What do you get for $70?
- Sashimi – 5 incredibly fresh pieces
- Abalone Soup aka River Over the Waterfall – too much for us to finish
- Lobster Tail – Deliciously grilled
- Melange of Vegetables – vegetables are vegetables but these were good
- Filet of Beef – Melt in your mouth
- Crab Dim Sum – Creamy with great chunks of crab
- The maître d’ informed us that they would like to buy us an additional fruit plate and pudding so that we didn’t have to share the one.
- Fruit – see vegetables
- Pudding – vanilla custard with wildberry compote
We have been fortunate in Taipei having four fabulous dinners. They certainly equal anything we have had in China.
The Shoe Blog.
As you know Terry has feet which appear to be one size too big for Chinese stores to carry. Luckily, Taipei caters to bigger sizes.