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