Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Family Time in Taiwan

Mangoes brought by my uncle and aunt - these were freshly plucked from their relative's yard! 
I am so grateful that I had the chance to go to Taiwan this past weekend to see my relatives and also see my mom before she headed back to the US.   I left late Friday night after work and returned Monday morning before work.

The nice thing about traveling to Taiwan is its proximity to Hong Kong - my plane took off at 7:50 AM, I landed at 9:20 AM, and I was at my desk by 10:20 AM.

I stayed with my aunt and mom in Tianmu, a more residential neighborhood in Taipei, and for two days basically just relaxed, shopped, and ate a lot of Taiwanese specialties and fresh fruit.

My aunt and mom walking the streets of Tianmu
Lessons learned from the trip?  When you think you're full, you usually can eat a little more (yikes). And, just like with beets, if you eat too much purple dragonfruit, your pee turns red (yikes again).

On Saturday morning, I spent some time with my mom at a spa getting a facial and massage. 

Then we went to eat individualized hotpot at a hotpot bar. 

I guess my mom knows my food preferences...
This cost NT198, which is US$6.50.  And I didn't even take a picture of the meat platter.

After hotpot, we relaxed at home for a bit, then proceeded to eat an epic family-style meal with my aunt and two uncles.  This is literally the first time I can remember, ever(!), that I shared a meal with all of my mom's siblings.  And almost all of my cousins were there too (although we were missing two).  It was such a rare occasion, I couldn't stop marveling at it throughout dinner.  We went to a Taiwanese restaurant.

Here is what we ate:
Watercress sautéed with shredded wood ear mushrooms
Sweet potato leaves sautéed with garlic
Tender chicken with chili soy dip
Fish vermicelli soup
Breaded pork ribs
Steamed fish, eyeballs included
Marinated fish skin
Tofu, slightly spicy

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