Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We're not in Kansas Anymore

Arriving in Taiwan

We’ve arrived in Taiwan. We blew in, like thieves in the dead of the night. For us this was a momentous thing. We’re Americans but as of this moment we are Americans living on foreign soil. I hope Taiwan is ready for us. We’ve tried to prepare ourselves for this moment. But even with the preparation, I think Asia has some surprises in store for us. In fact I’m sure of it.

But for now we’re here. We arrived at 5:25 am Monday morning after 13 hours on the plane. Fortunately, we slept through a lot of the flight. But it felt really good to get up and stretch a little as we went through customs.

One of the meal choices on the plane was a food called Congee. This is a type of rice soup. Only Emily was adventurous enough to try it. I have eaten it before and kind of liked it until I talked to Scott, who described it as “That rice that old Taiwanese women chewed and spit back into the bowl.” I was grossed out enough to never be willing to try it again. It’s really just rice, cooked until it is very soft, with some other ingredients added. But Scott ruined it for me. I’ll have to pay him back sometime.


We spent our first afternoon in Taipei, first at MOS Burgers, where I had an Octopus Burger. It was delicious and the tenderest Octopus I’ve ever eaten. Then we went to Costco.

Costco in Taiwan is the same as in the US. Even the layout of the store is the same. They have the same types and quality of items as in the store at home. But then they have some typically Chinese things as well. For example, look at these interesting Pizza Choices available at the Costco Kitchen:

Hawaiian Pizza – Pastrami with Pineapple (Pastrami…on Pizza?)
Seafood Pizza
And that old Italian favorite – Peking Duck Pizza

I like Pizza well enough and I like Peking Duck as much as the next guy. But I have a real issue with Peking Duck Pizza. It just seems so wrong. (I didn’t see anyone eating it either, which might say something.) I can’t imagine Don Corleone ordering a Peking Duck Pizza. It just wouldn’t fly in the old neighborhood.

All the signage at Costco was in English and Chinese. The shoppers were friendly and seemed eager to talk to foreigners. As I hung out, waiting for Brenda and Melissa, a number of people smiled and spoke to me in English. That never happens in So Cal, probably because hardly anyone speaks English in So Cal anymore.

I think the next thing on the agenda is to get my driver’s license and a scooter. I need to be able to get around and get some things done. Scott is working so I need to work it out to get around on my own. I need to be able to hop on my “bad motor scooter and ride.” So I’ll close on that reference to an old Rock ‘n’ Roll song. Who can name the band that sang that song?

1 comment:

  1. Chris, what's the matter with you, Ray says he's been eating Peking Duck pizza for years !

    Seriously, we're glad the trip went well. It's interesting to hear your first impressions of what it's like to be an an expat.
    Take care and keep giving us news of your adventure.
    Edie B.