22 Feb 2010 – Up at 1230 having slept nearly 9 hours, I started writing for the blog, reading email. After about an hour Tian woke up and we watched a couple of movies together with Mandarin subtitles.
By 730, Ellen was up and we got ready for and went down to breakfast a few floors below. A series of discoveries in palate delight awaited us – chestnut rolls, wonderful meaty bacon, a mint like jelly, fresh juices – squeezed much better than American 'fresh' juices.
After breakfast back to our hotel room to figure out what to do next. Around 11 we left on a walking tour of the streets around the hotel, going first back through the train station to get to the big circle we had traversed with luggage the day before.
We walked along various streets, sometimes in the street when the sidewalks were covered with mopeds. Sidewalks being a term loosely used as most were just pathways in front of buildings, building to building. Even the most narrow corridors have a sign on them with an address of this or that lane. Amazing to see in the nearly 80 degree heat was how many were walking around in heavy coats with fur lining.
Now the smells were another thing and thankfully it was no more warm than it was because much more and it would have been unbearable. We walked by many food stalls with who know what in them, some could be identified and others it was probably best not to know what it was we were looking at.
We saw one form of home on our trip – a Starbucks but at that time Ellen was not hungry so on we went coming shortly to the Chihkan Tower, historic for some reason. We did not stop but moved on after a few pictures.
Tian saw some wedding dresses she wanted to look at and they were fabulous and most likely pricey. Next she saw various items in gold or platinum – one being 35,000 NT or a bit over $1000. Tian does not like walking, would rather come halfway around the world to watch TV....
On we went taking pictures from time to time as things caught our eyes. We were again walking along a main road but in the land for mopeds, zipping past us as we dodged them. I was reminded of the time we walked out in the middle of Beijing traffic down lines of cars at rush hour to cross the street.
We turned a corner after several blocks to head back to the hotel passing Tainan Park. This is not a particularly large park but it does have beautiful flowers and a lake and pavilion in it. We saw a person who either had a lot of dogs or was a dog sitter bring about 10 dachshunds to the park and let them run around, cuter because many were wearing little sweaters of different colors.
Ellen had developed a blister on her foot so I scouted out what I thought was the best route that would eliminate going up and down stairs but alas I was wrong. We went down under the tracks again, meeting some poor soul trying to get up with his luggage.
The picture below is one I could not pass up taking of a moped along the road.
Getting back to the hotel Ellen found some relief for her foot by changing shoes. Then we went for home finding in the basement of the shopping area, a McDonald's, even if the menu had pictures for us to point at – still it was home. The ice tea left much to be desired but the rest was yummy. After supper we went to a grocery store nearby which offered Shrimp Chips as one item for sale.
Exhausted from a day of walking on uneven surfaces, by 730 Tian was already asleep in bed. I turned in shortly after leaving Ellen and the TV to share company.