Today was fantastic! We began our morning with a trip to a local Buddhist temple. It was very fascinating. I think the most interesting thing was seeing how many of them brought food and drink sacrifices. They offered incense offerings and stood in line for a monk's blessing. I had never been to a temple before so it was very very interesting. On the way to the bus station we passed a mortuary in the center of the city. Very odd. Also, next to the mortuary the city block was lined with stores selling caskets and urns. Even more odd.
We then took a taxi ride to a place called the Taipei tea promotion center. One of the goals of this week was to see a tea plantation and try some of the local tea varieties. Our taxi driver was so sweet and nice. Normally there is a Gondola that takes you from the Taipei Zoo to the tea plantations but last year a typhoon hit and damaged it. The taxi driver had never driven there before so it was an experience for all of us.
The tea promotion center was very lame. We decided its entire purpose was a city tax deduction. We walked along the road until we found a restaurant where we stopped to eat. Unbeknownst to us it turned it the eatery was exactly the place we had been hoping to find. In the same travel show about Taiwan that included the bee restaurant, it also included this one. The chef made up all of his own recipes and creations and cooked the food in tea and tea oil. It was sooooo good. We had a variety of foods. The chef was so sweet. Today was just a day of really awesome people.
Unfortunately the downside of today was that I was finally forced to either use a squat pot or wet my pants. I opted for the squat...very tramautizing. What a total pain. And then to add insult to injury when i came out of the GIRLS bathroom there was a man in the stall next to me with the door open zipping up his pants. He turned to look at me and I swear he acted like I was the freak. Hello....clearly the toilet next door had a Urinal. Good grief.
Later on after resting at home we left and had dinner at a very famous dumpling place. It too was fantastic. I know I will definitely miss the food here. Another interesting bathroom experience. This restaurant had toilets with automated bidets. You pushed the first button and it washed "inside"...then you pushed the second button and sprayed your outer bum off and the third button dried your bum. If that was'nt enough, the toilet had a music player on it for your listening pleasure as you did your business. :o)