Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm a crispy critter

Sorry that I have not updated this recently, but we have not had internet access. We left Hualien on Friday (goodbye ants and cold water) and headed to Tainan - the oldest city in Taiwan. Nick is done with work, and we have the rest of our time here to travel. He had wonderful experiences at all three of the labs. I think that he is very pleased with the amount of work he was able to accomplish during his time here.

On Friday, we were on a train for approximately 10 hours! First, we headed back to Taipei to drop our luggage off at the hostel where Nick will be staying next Thursday and Friday night. I hope that it is still there when we go to claim it on Thursday. I would be very sad to lose all of our sourvenirs, not to mention our clothes! Then, we jumped on the train to Tainan, which took about 6 hours. When we reached our destination, we headed for the nearest McDonald's. It had been a very long day, and we were starving! Now, we will have to say that we succombed to greasy french fries and burgers twice during our stay here. Oh well....

Saturday was my 25th birthday, and we celebrated it by nearly killing ourselves with a 6 hour walking tour of the city. Let's just say we covered every temple in Tainan. It was well worth it, and we were able to see many of the famous sights in the city. That night, we went to what they call an "entertainment center". Basically, it was a 9 story building that housed shops, restaurants, and a movie theater. We had a lovely dinner, followed by three pieces of cake that we shared. They were having a special - buy 2 get 1 free - we just couldn't resist. Now keep in mind that we are not talking your typical American cake, but it sufficed for the occasion. We ended the night by watching the latest Batman movie. The people here in Taiwan must like their movies loud, because we held our ears during almost all of the fight scenes! We spent Sunday doing more walking and seeing more sights. We spent the night enjoying local food and checking out the shopping malls. I must say that our hotel was ridiculously cheap - $25 US dollars per night. Can't beat that huh? It was clean and was in an excellent location.

Today, we took a plane from Tainan to the Penghu Islands. We nearly had a disaster this morning and almost missed our flight, due to us riding around on the bus for an hour waiting for the airport stop! We made it to the airport just in time, and thankgoodness they let us on the plane. We are staying in Makung at the Penghu Sunrise B&B. The people here are very nice, and I am looking forward to their homecooked breakfast in the morning. We were also able to rent a scooter onsite, and we visited Sanshuei Beach today. We grabbed some pizza at the cafe/surf shop and then headed over to the beach. This spot is known to attract surfers, and we could instantly see why. The waves were pretty big and frequent. Of course we ventured into the water but we made sure to stay close to shore. We had a great time, but I got wayyyy too much sun. Let's just say that my husband called me a clown and then suggested that I title today's post "Crispy Critter". How endearing?

Tonight was another example of how I have fully embraced the Taiwan culture. My dinner of broiled shrimp were served with the heads attached! At first look, I refused to eat them. However, I learned that if you squeezed the head off first, they were easy to peel. Plus, they were quite tasty. I was desperate for food, ok?

We are nearly at the end of our amazing adventure. I cannot believe that it is time to come home, yet I feel that I have been here for a long time. We are looking forward to a few days of relaxation on the beach. I think I will take Nick's advice tomorrow and let the "umbrella be my friend". I will update our picture links. Enjoy!

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