I went back to Taiwan for the first time in 12 years a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, the reason why I traveled back was for my grandfather's (my mom's dad) funeral. So though it was exciting, the trip was made with mixed feelings. I had 8 days there without Luke and the kids. It was amazing and lonely all at the same time. I can't wait to bring my little family back there someday.Ron made the trip with me, though he was only with me for 3 days because he had JUST taken his entire family back for Christmas the month before. Zeke would've LOVED to join us, however, work circumstances didn't allow it. So, Ron and I went by ourselves.
We took off 2/2, Thursday morning at 1am from Seatac airport. We arrived in Taiwan local time 5:15am Friday morning. There's a 16 hour time difference between Taiwan and here and the flight is approximately 12.5 hours. When we first arrived. Ron and I sat in the airport and emailed our families. We took about 45 minutes trying to figure out how to get to my aunt's house and when we should actually arrive since it was SO early. We ended up taking a taxi and arrived at their doorsteps around 7:15am. They were so hospitable! We arrived, they fed us breakfast and helped us get settled.
Ron and I had planned on going to the Taipei temple that morning to do a session. My aunt lives just a few blocks away from the temple so we changed and headed off for the first session that morning at 10am. The session, to our great delight and surprise, was completely packed! It was amazing! It was simply marvelous to be there since the Hsu family was sealed in this temple when I was four. I have never been back inside since then so it was awesome. We got to see the sealing room where we were sealed and it was an incredible feeling. After the session we went back to my aunt's house, changed yet again, and headed off to lunch.
I was simply AMAZED at the amount of little restaurants/eateries EVERYWHERE! There are streets lined full of what we call in the US, "hole in the walls." I was simply in awe. The food was incredible! After lunch we didn't have much time before we had to reorganize some luggage and take a train from Taipei to Taichong.
Ron and I headed to the station at 3:10pm and got to Taichong around 5:30pm. We checked in at our hotel there and then headed straight for my grandpa's old house. We wanted see if we could help with anything since the funeral would be the very next day. However, most things were taken care of so Ron and I went to a nearby restaurant and got some dinner. Can you believe you can get a main dish with 3 side dishes for just $1.50 USD?! Why would anyone ever cook?! After dinner we went back to my grandpa's again to confirm that Ron and I really were useless there, and headed off to the FengJia night market. We were determined to wear ourselves out so that we would suffer minimal jetleg. The night market was insanely huge. There's a central market, but it was surrounded by streets and streets of small shops. Ron and I were dropped off on the outskirt streets of the market and started walking. We purchased and ate "snacks" (for a lack of a better word) from the street stands and had a grand time. After walking for about 2 hours we were dead tired, but that's when we found the actual "market" itself. So, we trudged through another 30 minutes, and then hailed a taxi back to our hotel. We got in bed at about midnight and I was dreading the 5:45am wake up call in the morning since the preparation for the funeral starts at 6:30am. I thought I'd taken care of exhausting myself and hoped that I would sleep all the way through till 5:45, unfortunately for me, I woke up at 2, 3, 4 and 5am.... Oh well.