Saturday, March 17, 2012
Taiwan Day 6 Hualien
We first went to a "charcoal bamboo" exhibit. I didn't take any photos because the whole thing screamed "Nikken" at me, but looking back, I probably should have taken a few photos to at least document the experience. So, if you don't know what "Nikken" is, it's basically a company that believes in the healing powers of magnets, purifying water with mineral rocks, fancy food supplements, etc. Anyway, Charcoal bamboo apparently has amazing water purification capabilities. I saw them demonstrate purification of water with it and it was quite amazing - yellow yucky water turning pure right before my eyes as it goes through a giant tube filled with charcoal bamboo. They also had people try some sake with a charcoal bamboo cup after it's been sitting there for 2-3 minutes because it apparently takes the "burn" off of alcohol and produces a "better flavor." Anyway, so we were there for a while and my aunt bought my siblings and I each a little charcoal bamboo cup. :o) They also sold nuts laced with charcoal bamboo and coffee beans laced with charcoal bamboo... now I feel like it's a drug using the word "lace." I tried the nut, it tasted like a nut covered in charcoal... not terribly disgusting charcoal, but charcoal nonetheless. My grandma apparently rather liked the coffee so we got her some of that too.
Afterwards my aunt apparently decided that I must be hungry again and went and bought me veggie buns unique to Hualien. This was only after an hour maybe two after breakfast. Any wonder how I put on 10-12 lbs in 8 days?
Anyway, we next went to a wood carving place. This wood is special because it has quite the amazing, sweet, wood scent. It is also amazingly beautiful. Unfortunately, I don't know the name of this wood in English. They actually sell pieces of this wood for people to hang in their house or put in their drawers to make things smell wonderful, but they were nice enough to just pick up some scraps from their carvings and gave it to my grandma and I.
Anyway, after dinner my uncle took us to the train station and we headed back to Taipei. We arrived in Taipei Songshan station at around 10:15pm. It was actually FREEZING when we got off the train and we couldn't find a taxi for 15-20 minutes. I felt awful because I knew my grandma was cold but I didn't have a way of keeping her warm. I figured that in Taiwan you could find a taxi anywhere at anytime! That was apparently true only at the Taipei City Main station and we should have gotten off there instead, but we didn't know. We got to Gina's fairly late - 11:00-ish, I showered and headed off to my little makeshift bed on the floor.