Different views but still friends

I have been pondering about friendships – those that have been built for many years but shaken due to differences in beliefs or perhaps, less time spent together due to different priorities, work commitments… the list is endless.

How easy it is for relationships to have cracks, and eventually, broken. As I write this, I sense heaviness in my heart.

It is sad to see friendships experiencing tensions, especially due to differences in views. When we were all young, we had no views about the world because we all see it in the same way – bleak due to exam stress and peer pressure, and happy when we were allowed to play and hang out together. But as we grow up, no longer are we limited to simple dichotomies of bleak/happy.

We see things in different shades now.

However heavy this issue feels, I will make an effort to remind myself that despite the differences in views we may hold in our convictions and beliefs, when all these are stripped away, what will remain are the simple dichotomies we use to share and hold true – things that will keep the friendship going.

Food in Taiwan omnomnom

For every overseas trip we go to as a couple, it will be considered a honeymoon. So I look forward to many more honeymoon holidays!

Aaannnnd, the second honeymoon trip was to Taiwan in winter.

It was food, food and more food! We needed to eat to keep ourselves warm when the temperatures hovered at around 10-14 degree Celsius.  On the second day, the temperature dropped from 22 to 7 degree Celcius. We were totally caught unaware and did not prepare winter clothing.. But that’s another story to tell. I will not digress as this a post on FOOD, glorious Taiwanese street food.

DR exceptionally loved the night markets in Taipei and Taichung which surprised me as I thought he didn’t like crowds. I enjoyed the night markets too and of course, the company. Thinking back, we made rather good travel buddies.

Here are some pictures of food places uploaded from my iPad mini:

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This is yong tau foo, in braised sauce, Taiwanese-style. After selecting the items on display, the uncle would cook it in a pot of braised goodness before serving it to you with the braised sauce and some salted vegetables thingy. We had it without chilli which they would usually dribble over the plate of 卤味 (loosely translated as braised food). Must try: Prince noodles (wang zi mian), bai cai, bunch of Taiwanese veggies (they call it 台湾菜) and for the more adventurous, duck blood cubes and pig intestines. Be sure to look out for this stall as there are two of such stalls and both of us think this is better.

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Fruit galore at Shihlin Night Market – stop at Jiantan (剑潭) Metro Station

The fruit were marvelously sweet. The rock melon, sweet, juicy pear…. I got too carried away and in the end bought SGD$12 worth of fruit! Heh.

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Hot Star Fried Chicken at Shih Lin Night Market

We queued for about 20 – 30 minutes for this. Really no biggie leh. It costs TWD$55 (about SGD$2.50). Suggest to skip it.

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Fresh, succulent oysters on the grill at Rao He (饶河)Night Market

 

This is definitely worth trying. For a plate of eight BIG, fresh oysters, the price of TWD$100 (slightly above SGD$4) is simply unbelievable.

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大大粒的蚝

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The one in yellow signboard – KOI is known as that in Taiwan (picture is of outlet at Rui Fang Railway Station)

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Fishball vermicelli at Jiufen (九份)

We had these bowls of fishball vermicelli just to get out of the maddening crowd at Jiufen. It is not bad… But wished I had more time to enjoy instead of rush to get to the other side of Jiufen.

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The other Lu Wei stall at Shi Da Night Market

Yes, we went back to Shi Da again (on two separate nights) as we wanted to shop and eat lu wei again. This guy at the stall is cheeky.

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What a plate of (卤味)Lu Wei looked like.

After eating this one, we both agreed that Deng Long Lu Wei has a much better braised sauce. This one we had had sauce too herbal and a  little thick.

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Green tea specialty shop at Shi Da Night Market – this shop is nearer to Taipower Metro Station

We had warm matcha with azuki beans for that night at Shi Da. It was lovely as the matcha was warm, milky and had a strong hint of freshly grinded green tea leaves. DR loved it!

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Guan Zhi Ling 大肠包小肠 at Fengjia Night Market, Taichung

Some people said not to waste stomach space for this. But I really enjoyed it. The outside was some sort of glutinous rice and the inside, wrapped with different fillings and a huge sausage. Nice leh…

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The different fillings you get for 大肠包小肠

I tried the original-flavoured one. Look at the huge sausages on display. This costs slightly under SGD$2.

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猪宝盒 at Fengjia Night Market – a play at the word “jewelry box” in Mandarin

For this Pork Box, a fried breaded pork chop is dribbled over with cheese sauce. We had half of it and threw the rest away as we wanted to save stomach space for more food 😛

AND NOW MY FAVOURITE HOTPOT BUFFET PLACE!!! This is 马辣鸳鸯火锅 at Ximending. For about SGD$25, you get free-flow Haagen Daz (had a lot strawberry cheesecake and green tea), Movenpick ice-cream (surprisingly some flavours are better than Haagen Daz), Taiwan beer, desserts, Angus beef, pork collar slices… Most value-for-money meal!

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The buffet place. Thankfully we were early

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The different soup bases

We chose ma la and gong ting hua diao ji (first and last in this list) soup bases.

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ANGUS BEEF SLICES! and some random crab

Ma La Yuan Yang Hotpot has a few outlets in Taipei. Their official website is: http://mala-1.com.tw/en/index.html. The one at Ximending is located at the 2nd floor of a building. So look out for their signboard!

I am salivating just looking at the all these food pictures…..