Thursday, March 29, 2012

week 76-80_Falling Off the Horse - Back in the Saddle

Well, weeks 76 - 80... you may have given up on my blog by now!
I've been around, but let's just say that I fell off the horse (quite literally fell on some stairs during week 76) and am finally getting back in the saddle again - with the blog - now that March is coming to a close!

I've been so swamped this past month. Busy with work, busy with my personal life, busy keeping up with other people's personal lives as well! I am hoping that it is finally settling back down to some sort of "normal" here in the next few weeks.

I've especially been noticing recently all of the things about Taiwan that I have yet to blog about after all this time. Shockingly enough, after a year and a half in Taipei, I am still observing the subtle cultural differences on a daily basis that make this city different than the previous one... and still realizing there is so much more I could be sharing! But I guess, suffice it to say - at least for the past month - I've mostly just been soaking it in. :)

Anyways, here's a taste of the city from the last few weeks... Just the little things that amuse me.

Statue near Dunhua South Road, just past Eslite Bookstore
"Mantis Captures the Toad" (as titled below)
... and what about the bird under his foot as well?

New "California" style cuisine near my hubby's office
BLACKSHEEP is just north of MRT Minquan W Road Station,
It's cute and... they have bread bowl soups!
(I sure do miss Panera...!)
The man himself, as cute as ever.  :)
Taking a break from work to have dinner with the wife!

Some art on the side of a city bus that caught me off guard. Just seemed strange on a Chinese bus!

Beautiful park near my office ~ spent a Sunday afternoon here recently,
snacking on a bowl of red bean dessert soup
Sculptures in the park - just behind Taiwan Adventist Hospital 

Signage at the local park near our apartment.
You may notice that the signage almost always includes English...
but sometimes the translation is just amusing ;)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

weeks 74 & 75_Visitors from Australia

As alluded to in previous post ~ We enjoyed a nice visit with the Gerocks mid-February for their second visit to Taipei. Because they had made a previous visit to Taipei this past September, we had less sight-seeing and tourist-ing on our agenda and mostly spent our time enjoying each other's company.

Yay! They made it!
Arriving at Taoyuan Airport, greeted by Jason :)
Most of our time was spent chatting and catching up, as well as eating WAY TOO MUCH! Now that the in-laws have settled in a remote Australian town, they especially enjoy visiting "the big city" and the variety of amenities that we have here at our finger tips. From steak dinner at Ruth's Chris to delicious Taiwanese cuisine at Din Tai Fung, we left no delicious food uneaten! Ha. It is fun to compare our stories with one another over dinner ~ our tales about living in a foreign land with a foreign language, and their stories of living in a modern day boom town reminiscent of Deadwood!

I really hope that Jason & I get the chance to visit Australia at some point while his folks are still living there. It seems it would be a shame to miss out on that opportunity! I guess we'll see. Surprisingly enough, it takes almost the same amount of time to fly from Taipei to where his folks now live in eastern Australia as we spend flying from Taipei to Oklahoma City in the US. Who knew???

View from the Gerocks' apartment in Australia, overlooking the Pioneer River
It seems that the good pictures of the Taipei visit were on the Gerocks' camera - will have to see if I can snag some of those for a future post maybe... The time together flew by, of course, but we are looking forward to a brief visit with Jason's Mom later this week as she flies back through Taipei on her way home to Australia from another trip. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

week 73_Between Visitors

For the Chinese New Year, our landlady was very kind and gifted us a large basket of fruits, crackers, cookies and goodies. One of the items in the basket I had never tried before... a 'sugar apple'. I'm not sure where the name comes from; it tastes nothing like an apple. The exterior is a thick green peel, and the interior is filled with soft white flesh and large black seeds. Each pocket contains one seed (so there are a lot) and the fruit is so soft, some people even describe the texture as 'pudding-like'. I did enjoy the fruits, but there were very sweet (and the Taiwanese always try to tell Americans that our foods are too sweet...). I probably won't be buying these too often, but it was very interesting to try - and tasty.
"Sugar Apple" Fruit
After all of the time with my Mom, Sister, and Grandpa in January ~ I enjoyed a few days of solace  and catching up on chores in preparation for our next visitors ~ Jason's parents! 

It seems that after living in Taiwan for about a year and a half, people have finally found the time and money to visit all of a sudden! 2012 is the year for visitors...

Poster on the MRT. Everything is cute here - even the adds about not elbowing strangers in the face!