I’m still a Taiwan rookie–it’s been just over a month–but there are already so many things I love about this amazing place. Here are five of them:
1. Milk Tea
It comes in a million flavors, usually for around NT$20-40, which equates to between 60 cents and a dollar and change. Oatmeal, caramel, and strawberry are just a few of the flavors available. And you can get it with bubbles. Super delicious, and so much cheaper (and more readily available) than home!
These guys are everywhere. Smell for the incense, turn the corner, and there you are. Many are open air. You just don’t see this with places of worship in the U.S. Let’s be honest…they’d get vandalized. There’s so much more trust and respect here.
Go down any street and you’ll see them in rows by the hundreds. They zip by, and daredevils squeeze between cars in the crazy dance that’s Taiwan traffic. Mind you, they also add to the air pollution, but they make getting around so convenient. You can actually drive your scooter into some corner restaurants. Plus, I want a strawberry helmet.
The weather here is erratic, with lots of rain, so umbrellas are de rigueur. Everyplace you go will have an umbrella stand AND people aren’t going to take your umbrella unless it’s an accident and it looks like theirs. That isn’t likely, considering how many colored/patterned ones you can buy. Fair-skinned ladies like myself (i.e. photophobes) can break them out parasol-style as soon as the sun comes back.
Obviously, the last one was going to be food. It is so good, and so cheap. As a vegetarian, I’m always delighted by the veggie options. Tofu is plentiful, and seasonal vegetables are always on the menu. Teppanyaki has become my favorite. For NT$50 ($1.70) I can get a full dinner with tea, soup, rice, a fried egg or tamagoyaki, and two kinds of vegetable. This time of year, it’s beansprouts and cabbage. I get mine “la” or spicy…and they mean spicy! The little red peppers are not for the weak-of-tongue.
I’m looking forward to more exploration, and many more additions to this list!!