Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Bubble: Tastes of Taiwan ~ Day #3

There was a little panic that morning when lo kong and Uncle Chew was getting ready to head out for the No, 4 Freeway Marathon. We had arrangement with the taxi driver from the day before to pick us up at the hotel but regretfully he never turn up!

The hotel front-desk was very helpful by describing the destination to another taxi driver waiting outside the hotel. On the way, there was almost another panic when this unsure taxi driver almost stopped short of the race site! Luckily, we had the organiser's contact number handy and arrived perfectly as scheduled, thanks to the additional 15 minutes lead-time we had allocated.

After the marathon was flagged off, I explored the nearby area just to kill off some waiting time and found a cute little eatery 'Morning Kitchen' for breakfast. Without Aunty Elaine around and being an illiterate in Mandarin, I had to use my finger and my jumbled-up Hokkien & Mandarin to get my order through. It was a great light breakfast with Taiwanese Goyza and a cuppa coffee.

Along the way I was so delighted to have found a fruit shop offering the giant Custard Apple as well as the Pineapple Shijia. If I could I would have bought more home because the price was so so much cheaper compared to what we found earlier at one of the supermarkets in Taipei that was selling at NT$199 each.

Looking for a taxi and taking one back to our hotel proved to be another challenge again. We were in a big rush to get back to the hotel as we needed to check out as soon as possible and head on down to Kaohsiung for the second marathon the next morning. I find it very odd that the taxi drivers in Taiwan are not familiar with roads including a 3-star Holiday Inn Express. The taxi driver had to make several calls to his peers in order to get us back.

Anyway, all ended well as we arrived into Kaohsiung late afternoon and checked into the lousiest hotel on our itinerary. From the outside it looked alright plus it was located just right opposite the MRT Station, Koahsiung Train Station and a short distance from the bus terminal. The interior of the hotel was so rundown with an overpowering musty smell even before entered our room. Well, for a rate of NT$1000 per night plus the convenience in location, we can't really complain much can we???

That night we had Taiwan's popular Pork Rib Rice for dinner before we headed to Kaohsiung's Liuhe Night Market at the nearby Formosa Boulevard Station minus lo kong who wasn't up to walking before his next marathon the next morning. Again, it was a continuation on street snack exploration ... food, glorious food again! This time, apart from pork pork pork ... there was plenty of seafood too. If you are curious at what this night market has to offer and most of the street snacks we tried there, it'll be pretty neat to check out my 'kwai lo friend' Nino's blog at My Kafkaesque Life.

2 Bubbles:

It would be nice to pick up that fruit shop and relocate it to your hometown.

I'm glad everything worked out in the end on making connections. I don't remember the last time I had such uninformed taxi drivers.

We did had the fortunate experience with some taxis where the drivers doubled as tour guides there and were very informative about where to go and what to eat.