When Are You Going to Learn to Keep Your $%^&*#! Mouth Shut, Geoff!

Today was our second day in Tainan – and it was another hot one. I don’t understand this, but right now at 8:30pm it says it is 30° but feels like 37°. Today it was up to 34° (Ed. note: Who cares what it felt like – I was wet and hot) and tomorrow it is supposed to be 32° but feel like 40°.  We started off the day with Terry going off for some kind of spa treatment with a quartz rub or some other bizarre treatment. She came back with her skin going “Oh yeah, Baby!”

We left the hotel and headed for the Chikan Peddler’s Noodle House. This was a very interesting place. The decor leads you to believe it has been there for a long time. This is reinforced by Judy, the owner, a delightful woman who informed us that her family has been in the business in that spot for 100 years! The meal consisted of tastings of 8 traditional Taiwanese dishes – from oyster omelets to Tainan sticky rice. 7 of the 8 were very tasty. The big specialty, however is Danzi Noodles – a particular specialty of Tainan in general and the Chikan Peddler’s Noodle House in particular. Here is the description direct from their own website:

Originally the old days of traditional noodle pasta snack flavors Road, its delicious smell of urine and meat soup is a bowl of delicious decide the biggest player. Chikan noodle soup using pig large bones, onions and other vegetables boiled, replacing the traditional manual add MSG, let the soup even more delicious sweet nature. Meat smell of urine is the soul of noodle. From three different parts of the body temperature of pork, Taiwan red onion, shrimp, beans shade of pure oil, sugar, garlic Taiwan dozens of ingredients with different heat, stir fry just the right skills, gotta spend a full day of work before achievement pot pressing fragrant aroma of meat smell of urine. With concentrated garlic, white pepper, black vinegar seasoning five Indian, coupled with a handful of coriander Wando, rich layers of rich soup unforgettable.Reluctant to eat too fast, good taste, is Chihkan noodle wonderful place.

Ah yes the fragrant aroma of ‘meat smell of urine’. Who could not love it. (Ed. note: Maybe the fragrance was traditional – we had no sense of it – or maybe there was something lost in translation?)

Now Judy, I am confused. You say that your family has been in this spot since 1914 or so - but the internet research says you have been there since 2002. You wouldn't con an old guy, would you?

Now Judy, I am confused. You are certainly lovely and all and you said how beautiful Terry is, but you say that your family has been in this spot since 1914 or so – but the internet research I did says you have only been there since 2002. You wouldn’t con an old guy, would you?

From there it was a short walk to the Chikhan Temple – which was once the Dutch Fort Provintia in the 1600s.

Those Dutch built walls to last.

Those Dutch built walls to last.

Beautifully kept and manicured gardens.

Beautifully kept and manicured gardens. Check out the color of that sky – not like China’s sky just across the South China Sea.

Goldfish by the hundreds in the ponds surrounding the temple.

Goldfish by the hundreds in the ponds surrounding the temple.

I have a question. When is it okay to say “In Business Since XXXX”? Is it after 1 year, 5 years, 10 years? And everyone has to be the King of something, I guess. Me, I’m the King of Opening My Big Fat Mouth When I Should Keep It Closed!

The King of Thick Fish Soup Since 1988

“The King of Thick Fish Soup Since 1988” and darn proud of it too!

We then wandered through The Temple of Sacrificial Rites, followed by Tainan Confucius Temple and the highly over-rated Fuzhong Street. Maybe it was too hot for many of the vendors to open, but a street that came highly rated on a number of sites was a complete bust.

Okay. This morning Terry says to me “Put this in your memory bank – when we get back to the hotel, I want to Skype Salon 55 so I can make an appointment for next week. I desperately need a hair cut.” Okay, I can do that. As we are winding down our day, though, we pass by a salon which looks pretty hip and happening and I say “Hey, why not get it done here?” Terry thinks “You know they do look good and I could use an hour or so of sitting” so in we go. One guy speaks quite good English and translates exactly what Terry says (at least he seemed to). We were there for a good hour – hour and a half and lots of the women were getting really cute haircuts, so I’m thinking – Great. Then I look over just as Doris (Terry’s stylist) is finishing. I see her walk away for a bit and I see Terry fluffing up her hair – and I think Oh oh, I don’t think the customer should be fluffing when the stylist is “done”. Terry looks in the mirror and shakes her head at me. The stylist comes back and hands Terry a tissue since she can see my lovely wife is on the edge. She gets up and leaves – but in the you get what you pay for department, it was only $17.00 and that included a 20 minute shampoo and head massage. For the next half hour as we walk back to the hotel Terry uses many, many adjectives and adverbs to describe how her hair looks and what the “stylist” has done to her. (Ed. note: Including the fact that Doris felt the need to use all &^&*ing 10 pairs of the scissors she had in her little side pouch.)

Brilliantly, I keep my mouth firmly shut – for a change – UNTIL I make the mistake of saying that she has a nice bottle of cold white wine waiting for her at the hotel. We get back. Terry opens the wine. Terry tastes the wine. Terry thrusts the wine at Geoff and demands that Geoff tastes the wine. Geoff has mistakenly bought Terry a bottle of Moscato, which is quite, okay very, sweet and not one Terry enjoys at all. Aaahhh.

Next I hear the water running and see that she is washing her hair – then she has a shower and washes it again. I wonder if she thinks washing it will make it grow?  I say nothing because I have finally learned To Keep My $%^&*#! Mouth Shut – well, at least insofar as suggesting Terry get her hair cut in a foreign land. (Ed. note: Henceforth “Remember the Alamo” shall be “Remember Tainan”!)

Remember the fabulous Taipei Flower Market? Well after the hair debacle we decided to go to the Tainan Night Flower Market. Guess what – it is a misnomer, a lie, a complete falsehood – there was nary a flower to been seen. There were thousands of people,

One of the twenty or so aisles filled with hungry, but patient, people.

One of the twenty or so aisles filled with hungry, but patient, people.

there were hundreds of stalls selling stuff and maybe 50 to 60 stalls selling food. We had 2 beer, 7 large oysters and 12 large clams for $3.00.

There was something for everyone - from chicken to cicadas

There was something for everyone – from chicken to cicadas

You choose the prawns you want then she skewers them - alive - before they get grilled.

You choose the prawns you want then she skewers them – alive – before they get grilled – alive. I didn’t see this, but Terry tells me the guys at the top looking at me were actually fishing for the prawns with little hooks that had bait on them. Seems more sporting than just grabbing them out of 3″ of water…

Do you know the difference between the crap they sell in the Showmart building during the PNE and the crap they sell in night markets in Asia? None. I don’t know whether that is disconcerting or comforting.

This is for our friends Matthew and Zander. Get your parents to bring you to Tainan. You drop balls (bottom left) into a slot and it doesn’t matter it they land in the little cars or not – after you drop all the balls (about 20) into the slot, YOU GET A PRIZE! Pick anything you want from the wall!

Hey, it's not the Jiaxing way.

Hey, it’s not the Jiaxing way.

From there it was back to the wine store next to the hotel for Terry to choose her own wine and then off to 11 hours of sleep. Today’s activity is to find a salon to do a colour job to minimize yesterday’s damage – and no, don’t expect to see any photos of Terry on the rest of this trip!

The Shoe Blog

Last night at the market…

The mesh keeps your foot cool?

The mesh keeps your foot cool?

6 thoughts on “When Are You Going to Learn to Keep Your $%^&*#! Mouth Shut, Geoff!

  1. mary thomas

    Hey…Terry, is your hair bright Lucy Ball ORANGE ???????
    Dont worry… this hair raising incident will be good conversation for many years to come !!!!! Thank goodness, hair grows out and new do coming up in six weeks !!!! Cheers, Mary

  2. Dave

    I think Geoff deserves some sympathy, considering he has little hair to cut and so couldn’t really know the risks…right? I mean right? Well anyway…maybe not so much…. Terry, it’ll grow back. I hope.

  3. pkintzinger

    If it’s not too late, I would consider NOT trying to find someone to repair the damage in Taiwan – look what happened last time when you thought the place looked great? Perhaps a hat … ?

    Hardly any sleeps left before you’re home with your own hairdresser (well, for a while anyway)!

  4. Rob

    I will take the advice of the Blog and keep my mouth shut on the hair situation. (Although tempted to say Terry looks good no matter what she does to her hair!,)

    Xander and Matthew would be thrilled to know … prizes no matter what you do … this sounds so Taiwan! But how will this help them to survive in China where they need to learn to enjoy fishing for old fish-magnets in 2 inches of a leaky wading pool and don’t give any prices for their success 😉


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