Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Taiwan Day 5 - Hualien: Taroko part II and the beach

Of course there was food to talk about at Taroko!  This was a "lunch special" at a really nice restaurant inside the national park for roughly $8 USD, so yes, really nice restaurant.  I took a picture of it because my rice came in a bamboo stick and all of it was quite delicious.  The bamboo makes the rice have a really nice aroma and the texture is a bit different from normal rice.
This "art work" was displayed on the roof/side of the public bathrooms.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.
 That's my big aunt sporting the V with me.  She looks an awful lot like my grandpa and totally freaked me out when I first saw her, but her smile sure does remind me of my dad.
 Many of you know that I have an issue with heights.  My grandma had no problems walking straight across this bridge.  I, on the other hand, barely made it.  The sides/rails of this suspension bridge drops down below my hips in the middle and I totally had a vertigo/queasy moment.  This picture pretty much sums up the two of us - grandma standing proud in the middle of the bridge and me holding on to the sides hunched down.

This whole day was actually quite cold and rainy, but my big aunt has always been an excellent hostess, and she must take you to see all the most important sights regardless of weather.  So, after Taroko we headed off to see the beach.  The wind was CRAZY at the beach!  I was super cold and therefore did not go down to the beach and pick up rocks, get better pictures, etc.  I pretty much jumped out, took a few pictures and jumped right back in the van.  I wish the weather was better that day.  My aunt tells me that when it's sunny, the water is a beautiful shade of blue.
After the beach we went to a little art museum.  The funny thing was, the purpose of going there for my aunt was to buy me things from the souvenir shop.  She's really an amazing hostess.  After that we finally headed to her home to drop off our bags.  My uncle is quite a famous neurosurgeon in Hualien and they own a 4 story building as their home.  We waited for him to get off work and headed to another restaurant for dinner.  The food was quite good and mostly vegetarian for my grandma's sake.  I have to say, this was the most intimate restaurant outing I've ever had with my big aunt.  Usually there are MANY more people with us (even at Taroko we had another family with us), but on this night there were only the 4 of us.  I sat right next to my aunt and my grandma.
Now, my aunt can be a very intimidating person.  She is wealthy and she does a lot of politicking in the high society of Taiwan, and you do what she says; that's the way it has always been.  For the first time in my life EVER, I was not intimidated by her.  She was talking to me about population control and about having children and how I should stop having children.  For the first time in my life, I was able to sit there and tell her, "you have some good points, but my husband and I have always wanted 4-5 kids, and we will have another if we can."  Not intimidated at all, and did not back down.  I felt like I was a grown, mature, smart, competent, capable woman at that very moment and was quite proud of myself.  She wasn't offended, she kept talking about it for a bit longer and then switched subjects.
We headed back to her house that evening at a decent hour, I unwound, got ready and went to bed at a decent hour and had the best sleep I had all trip long.

1 comment:

  1. Good job Eileen! Population control? She apparently needs to get out of Taiwan and visit the Tri-Cities :).