My final view of the jungle I call home. It’s always hard to say see you later to Taipei. Until next time…

My final view of the jungle I call home. It’s always hard to say see you later to Taipei. Until next time…

Last lunch before heading back to New York at my favorite Shanghainese restaurant. Mom and I went into the mountains with Fox the day before.

Oh sweet, sweet, boba milk tea shaved ice. There is a heaven on Earth after all, a sanctuary I seek in the midst of this sauna called Taipei, and it appears in the form of Ice Monster. To be honest, I almost thought I wouldn’t get my Ice Monster fix this time around because their portions are rather monstrous even for someone with an appetite like mine. Their shaved ice means business, and by business I mean it takes at the very minimum two to do the job. Which of my friends besotted with this “clean eating” BS would join me on my quest to taste only the creamiest milk tea flavored shaved ice topped with panna cotta and the only bobas that I consume? Well, not one, and that was my problem. 
Thankfully, I have a mother who doesn’t buy into this salad only nonsense and was more than willing to accompany me to Ice Monster post-dinner. I did my usual hack of just getting it to go—I’ll take the additional 10% off and lack of a wait, thank you very much—and couldn’t wait to start eating as we headed home. Dad was appalled, “Stop eating while you’re walking!” 
Sigh - shaved ice roundup now complete. 

Oh sweet, sweet, boba milk tea shaved ice. There is a heaven on Earth after all, a sanctuary I seek in the midst of this sauna called Taipei, and it appears in the form of Ice Monster. To be honest, I almost thought I wouldn’t get my Ice Monster fix this time around because their portions are rather monstrous even for someone with an appetite like mine. Their shaved ice means business, and by business I mean it takes at the very minimum two to do the job. Which of my friends besotted with this “clean eating” BS would join me on my quest to taste only the creamiest milk tea flavored shaved ice topped with panna cotta and the only bobas that I consume? Well, not one, and that was my problem. 

Thankfully, I have a mother who doesn’t buy into this salad only nonsense and was more than willing to accompany me to Ice Monster post-dinner. I did my usual hack of just getting it to go—I’ll take the additional 10% off and lack of a wait, thank you very much—and couldn’t wait to start eating as we headed home. Dad was appalled, “Stop eating while you’re walking!” 

Sigh - shaved ice roundup now complete. 

On our way home from AAD, we stopped by the old site of Taipei’s Flower Exhibit. The space is really beautiful! It’s too bad Taipei hasn’t made much use of it since the exhibit ended. 

Today was an exceedingly humid day. I felt as if I could wring out the air I walked through. After a week of minimal exercise—my post-10k/work out break of 2014—I decided to get off my lazy ass and go on a run. Actually, my body starts to itch after not working out for a while, and it feels out of sorts. I’ve also been reading Once a Runner now which has the most accurate description of the pre-race jitters and overall experience I have ever encountered. Reading it makes me feel as if I were running a race. Although, I do not envy nor do I wish to replicate the protagonist’s training regimen. These days, I run for clarity. 

Okay I guess my point is that after a painful run in sauna like weather, I was ready to escape the heat. Dad has been quite curious about the take out food from Aquatic Addiction Development, so we drove all the way there and got some of the hot, already prepared foods. Everyone around us was ordering sushi or sashimi to go. Even dad remarked, “Hmm, it seems like you should get sushi if you come here.” Yup. Too bad neither dad nor LY eats raw fish! The bottom photo features some live lobsters for sale. 

We did get two delicious panna cottas, matcha green tea and sesame flavored. The texture was exceedingly fine and the custard was rich with the flavors without being overwhelming or too sweet.

A wholesale fruit market neighbors the fish market, so we stopped by and purchased our second box of mangoes for the week, bringing the grand total to 33 mangoes!

Last night we went to Ji Wo for dinner. I finally got some delicious red bean pancake. The one we got in Tian Mu with SO and his family was such a disappointment, I knew I had to get the real deal at least once before I left. After dinner, mom and I walked through the night market, and I got some Zhuang Yuan Gao to go from the old woman who has been making these by hand for years. I love these “Asian” flavors: black sesame, matcha green tea, peanut, and red bean. Can’t get enough of it! It’s weird. I haven’t craved chocolate at all since being back in Taiwan! I just have a completely different palate when I’m here. 

On Friday night, ML, CL, LH, and I went to Trio which was absolutely packed. We ordered a round and even after we finished, there still weren’t any available seats. We decided to head to Nox and snagged the last available table. These were probably the two bars I frequented the most last year, and it was my second time back at Nox this visit. Man, I wish I lived within walking distance to some cooler bars in Manhattan. 

On Friday night, ML, CL, LH, and I went to Trio which was absolutely packed. We ordered a round and even after we finished, there still weren’t any available seats. We decided to head to Nox and snagged the last available table. These were probably the two bars I frequented the most last year, and it was my second time back at Nox this visit. Man, I wish I lived within walking distance to some cooler bars in Manhattan. 

The photo on top features one of my favorite snacks from the night market: da bing filled with ground peanut or sesame! I’ve already gotten it twice since being back in Taipei. I was disappointed to discover that several of my old favorites are no longer there, including the waffle stand and the only sausage stand that I liked. During the day, I’ve gone to the fresh market with mom a lot. I can’t get enough of all the fruit in Taiwan! I’ve been gorging on mangoes, lychee, water pears, and watermelon. None of that frozen Trader Joe’s stuff!