Sunday, April 1, 2012

crappy tourguiding in taipei

Shirley, a friend whose teaching in Japan, came to Taiwan to visit! So I met her and Chance in Taipei to play at being a tour guide. Didn't actually do much but it was nice just walking around talking nonsense and eating. My friend Joci had recommended going to Chen San Ding saying that they served the best pearl milk tea in Taiwan. Hearing that it was the best pearl milk tea perked my interest since I LOVE pearl milk tea. Upon doing some research everyone was pretty much in agreement so why not introduce the supposedly best bubble tea to my friends. When we arrived at Chen San Ding there was a humongous line - another testament to how awesome the drink was gonna be. 

Chen San Ding's specialty is 青蛙撞奶 or "frog hitting milk" and isn't actually pearl milk tea since it doesn't have any tea in it. It's a combo of brown sugar, real milk and tapioca pearls. 

One cup cost $30 NT. Funny how the non-Asian person is the only one who could order the drinks. Chinese Fail! Now I have to say the drink was delicious but would I deliberately go out of my way to drink it again? No and I still think pearl milk tea is better. To each its own!

Afterwards we wandered the Gongguan Area to grab some grub where Shirley proceeded to bow Japanese style to all the vendor in thanks. It was funny to see the reverse happening with all her bowing compared to me saying xiexie to everyone in Japan. Then had to bring them to Liberty Square to absorb some culture and not just food. I've been her four times and I can't resist taking a picture everytime I'm here. Since it was almost on the hour we decided to wait to see the changing of the guards. What I didn't realize was that since it was almost closing time the changing of the guards would change to a leaving of the guards...

One of the guards positioned at the doorway was sweating so badly that a security guard or whatever was moping his face. What a crappy job to have especially in the summer where you can't even wipe your face! I would like to see one of them sneeze during their guard duty. Has anyone ever brought pepper or a feather to tickle the guards with? 

Leaving the sanctity of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall surrounded by tourists. I wonder what happens when they finish crossing the square? Do they enter into a van or take the MRT? They were going so slowly that I didn't have the patience to wait for them to hurry up so I just dashed around taking pictures before hustling the others to go. Made a stop at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall for a look at the giant statue over there and an awesome view of Taipei 101. 

Afterwards headed over to Shilin Night Market to get a big ass fried chicken steak. I think I've taken everyone whose visited me to eat this. It's so worth it $50 NT for a slab of meat bigger than my face and also tastes good. Shirley managed to drop off her luggage at one of the MRT lockers after dragging around with her all day. So much cheaper than the ones in Japan but there are a lot of instructions to keep in mind. The lockers don't give change and you only have a couple of minutes to close the door after inserting your money or you will have to add more money in order to close it. It cost around $26 but Shirley didn't close the door fast enough so we had to put more money in. Since none of us had change she put in $100 and then we didn't get any change. We really need to read the instructions more carefully before acting. 

Taiwan is all about eating food on the go. Rarely are there seats at eating establishments and everything can be boxed up. Totally the opposite of the Japanese where people don't walk and eat at the same time. I mentioned to Vinnie that I saw people microwaving their food at the supermarket and taking it out to eat, so they have to walk and eat at the same time. The response: they eat it outside the doors and then move. Haha makes sense since I don't recall seeing anyone munching food as they walked. Of course their food culture is so different with so many restaurants everywhere while in Taiwan food stalls are more common. So today was the first time I've ever sat down while eating at a night market. Since there weren't any seats, we sat with all the university students on some steps, trying to look cool and totally fitting in with our youthful looks.  

Shirley ended up crashing at my place a few days later to catch her early morning flight back to Japan and left me with a bag of snacks! Yay for awesome house guests and yummy Japanese snacks.

She even got me a charm from a temple! So cool I went to so many of those temples and never even got myself one. I keep it with me all times in my wallet so I can remain blessed in its power. Forgot what this one did so hopefully Shirley you'll be able to tell me when you read this post :P Some apparently new flavor of strawberry Hi-Chews, how many variations of strawberry can people come up with? Love those apple sours and the Cereal Pocky was definitely interesting... Only thing that could have made this day better was if Phil had joined us. Instead we laughed about his love of photographing children and our enablement as we stand by and watch not stopping him. 

The Details 
Chen San Ding
12 Lane 316, Section 3, Luósīfú Road, Jhongjheng District, Taiwan
directions: Exit 4 at Gonguan MRT station. Walk straight and then turn left on Luósīfú Road

1 comment:

  1. Haha you weren't a crappy tour guide! I really enjoyed visiting all those places that you and Chance took me to, especially the night market! That chicken steak thing was so delicious and I'm craving it now. I liked wandering around even though I was sleep-deprived and not used to walking everywhere while eating. Lol. I want to go back to that milk tea place again! Ah I hope I get to go back to Taiwan before you leave.

    The charm is for happiness. It's easily the coolest charm I've found since coming to Japan (from the shrine on Enoshima Island, which is a bit outside of Tokyo).

    Yeah I had such an issue with bowing and getting into the train gates (not double-sided like Japan) funny. I want to visit Taiwan again!