Moonwalking Taipei with Jenny
August 14, 2010 § 20 Comments
In the last post, I left you all hanging who I was meeting up today. Well, none other than the adorable Jenny! She’s here in Taiwan for the Fulbright program to teach English here. However, she is stationed in Yilan while I’m in Taipei. Thanks to the great mass transportation here, she was able to get to Taipei within an hour’s time via a bus that costed her about $3.00.
Before I headed out this morning, I had a new type of soymilk–matcha soymilk!!!
Although it’s only slightly sweetened, it was still a little bit too sweet for me. It was tasty nonetheless
What kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t bring some goodies? Aka food??? Of course I did!
These are blueberry jam roll-up cookies that I baked up this morning. My mom has these really nice packagings that I can put my cookies in to make them look store-bought. Not bad huh? šĀ Perhaps I should drop school and just start my own bakery. I kid.
The minute I met Jenny today, I was immediately charmed by her bubbly self. I knew this blogger meetup would come ever since I found her blog back in May. We hit it up right away because, well, I’m Taiwanese and she’s all curious about the country where she’ll be staying for 10 months.
Her bus dropped her off at Taipei City Hall, which is just way too convenient because it is right next to Taipei 101, one of the top tourist attractions.
Believe it or not, I have never gone to the top although it’s been completed since 2004. It lived a short life of being the tallest building in the world till the recent completion of Burj Khalifa in Dubai in January 2010. Finally, today, I got to see Taipei city through bird’s eye view.
It was a shame that the air quality today wasn’t at its greatest. Slightly smoggy, slightly foggy. I was trying to find where I live, but my poor geography intuition prevented me from spotting my home.
Despite the 360 view of Taipei City, I must say my favorite part was riding the elevator! We went from the 5th floor to the 89th floor (okay, so we’re not completely at the top) in a matter of 35 seconds. They claimed it to be the fastest elevator in the world.
Holy smokes! 1010 meters (~3313 ft)Ā per minute? It was surprisingly quiet and smooth as well–so fast that my ears popped a couple of times while going up and down.
Here’s a model of the elevator:
Once in the elevator, the lights dimmed and “stars” of all colors appeared on the ceiling of the elevator. For some reason, I felt so calm in there as I became captured and mesmerized by the colorful stars spreading across the ceiling. 35 seconds in the elevator was not enough time!
Because the structure was so tall and Taiwan is actually earthquake prone, the mechanics and engineers were smart enough to install a damper inside the building.
More specifically, this is a tuned-mass damper, which helps to reduce vibrations caused by intense motions, such as earthquakes (yuck, I know, why am I talking about physics again?). Anyways, this was pretty much a gigantic ball hanging from the top of the building.
We were really hungry by the time our feet landed back on ground level again, as it was a little after 1 pm. We took an MRT (mass rapid transit system), sort of like your average metro or subway, to Cha for Tea, a restaurant/tea house with tea, light meals, and desserts. If you remember from this post, there are actually a few Cha for Tea’s scattered in California. But of course, the original branches in Taiwan are much much better!
I love the inside decor!
When we got there, it was close to 2 o’clock, and yet we were the 7th in waiting. That shows how popular this place is! I told Jenny that I have a selection of restaurants that I must go to everytime I come back to Taiwan, and this is one of them. We spent our waiting time efficiently by perusing their extensive menu first and decided what each of us wanted to get. It wasn’t till a little after 2:30pm that we got seated, but we already knew what we wanted! It also helped that the food came lightning fast! Always good for two voracious explorers :mrgreen:.
First up, a small and light salad:
Then came a very mild-tasting soup with a variety of mushrooms and bean sprouts in there. Loved it!
Not soon after that, the rest of our food came. We weren’t even done with our salads! I had braised Jasmine tofu as my side dish, and Rice with savory mushrooms and green tea for my main dish.
Jenny got the Braise Mushrooms with Sweet Osmanthus. I have no idea what osmanthus are, but you can check out her blog for pictures of her food!
We both got different desserts. I got green tea jello while Jenny got the green tea mango mousse. She’s on the mango craze lately, which is absolutely understandable because Taiwan has some of the best mangoes!!! Okay, maybe Malaysia or Phillipines or Indonesia have even yummier ones, but I’ve never had them before so Taiwan mangoes are the best I’ve had by far.
It was 4 pm by the time we finished lunch (dinner?), and yet, there were still people filing into the restaurant!
Unfortunately, our day together had to end early. She had to head back home to finish some business for her Fulbright teaching program (Good luck Jenny!). Although it was a short get-together, I felt like we connected on multiple levels. I’m really excited as she begins exploring more and more of Taiwan and I know she’ll love this beautiful Formosa.
Next weekend will be my last weekend in Taiwan (!!!!!!!!). We may or may not be meeting up again next weekend, but I’ll definitely be back during the winter again! I feel like I just got here and just started my summer vacay, and here I am, almost closing in to my last days here. Ah well, I’ll just have to have more fun each and every day!!! You bet tomorrow will be another fun-filled day :D.
P.S. Jenny can do the moonwalk! I didn’t get to see her do it today, but she said she can actually teach me one day!
Have a great weekend!