the flight to taipei was uneventful, thank the goddesses. derek dropped me off at the marina market wednesday night, where i caught the china airlines shuttle to sfo. what a wonderful service! the only drag was that i sat next to an older gentleman that either eat severe amounts of garlic, or had a raging sinus infection of some sort. and then, he sat in front of me on the flight and i could still smell him! yikes!
after meeting fu and his childhood friend ben at the airport, the first order of business was a typical taiwanese breakfast. after dodging traffic for about thirty mins, we were in the outskits of chung li, where all sorts of little eatery places make california dives look like five star yelp joints. but i know deep in my heart that this food i’m about to indulge in is will be better than anything i’ve eaten in awhile, santa clara county health inspectors be damned!
while ben and fu dined on soy milk soup, i opted for the peanut soup which was heavenly. along side them we ate chinese donuts and sesame flatbreads. a bit carby, but i’m on vacation!
after a quick power nap in chung li, we were back on the road, headed to ‘Best01 Tea Garden” somewhere in the hills of taiwan. it was pouring so hard, but the trek is worth it. some shots are at https://plus.google.com/photos/107447059918137032967/albums/5816741659875824881/5816741659143318642.
after the tea garden, we roamed around the country side and found a gourmet coffee shop. the roastmaster is an accomplished roaster and has won many awards around taiwan. it is a family operation and had a lot of young hipsters dropping by.
after coffee we went to a couple of buddhist and hakka temples, then to a hakka village called bei pu. we listened to this young woman talk about tea passionately for a couple of hours, and learned all about the nuisances of brewing different types of tea. it was the experience of a lifetime.