Day 2: BC Border

August 23, 2015

We spent most of the day driving from Seattle to the Canada border. Along the way, we traveled through the towns of Mount Vernon, Burlington, and Bellingham. Finally, we reached the border at noon! Here’s a picture of crossing the border:

  
 After checking into our hotel in Vancouver, all four of us relaxed from the exhausting car trip. At about seven in the evening, we found ourselves at the annual Richmond night market! Throwback to my Taiwan trip! The line was unbelievably long, and we waited for about thirty to forty minutes before we finally gained admittance. But it was worth it! First, I, starving girl that I was, found the ramen stand and ordered a delicious bowl of the Japanese noodles. 🍜 Yum. I was really pleased with both the food’s flavor and presentation. And that was just the beginning! We ate gluten BBQ skewers, deep fried, crispy mushrooms, deep fried tofu with tangy hot sauce, and fried Chinese noodles. For dessert, I decided to get a traditional winter-melon tea, like the one I had in Taiwan. Sadly, my expectations were crushed. The drink was way too sweet and it wasn’t cold enough. Good thing there was a backup: a mango shaved ice with ice cream in top! Besides the winter melon incident, it was a great dinner! 😉

And for all you avid shoppers, there is a variety of booths offering everything from the most adorable socks to clothes to stationery! It was definitely worth the wait and the money.
Had a great day!

Yours,
That Girl Over There~

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Bits of Taiwan — Just For You!

So I’m in Taiwan. A stranger from America. Although I’ve been here several times already to visit relatives, everything is still new and strange. On this trip, I determined to remember everything I saw. When I first arrived here two weeks ago, I was stunned by the pollution, the noise, the busyness! I live in a place where it’s peaceful, so it was a bit of a shock for me.

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Also, the weather captivated me. In sweat. For winter, it was extremely hot and humid! Much too hot to be comfortable. But enough of these (memorable) complaints. Here are several things that I absolutely love here: the food, the night market, and the convenience!
1. Convenience — restaurants can be reached on foot in less than five minutes. You could stroll the streets of your neighborhood and spend a day’s worth of shopping there. I LOVE THIS PART

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2. The food — Taiwan’s food is amazing. Everything tastes better here! The fruits are sweeter and juicier, the vegetables are more tender, and you can find dessert coordinated to your special taste. For me, it’s not much milk and egg taste and less sugar, thank you. The foods we have in America would cower before their versions here. Have any of you eaten shaved ice? Here, shaved ice comes with do hua, a kind of dessert tofu that’s soft and slippery. The taro and sweet beans are delicious!

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Ok, I could go on and on about food, but I guess I better stop now……
3. Lastly, the night market — basically you can find everything here. As you you can see from the name, it occurs at nighttime. At large markets, hundreds of booths, stalls, and tents are set up to display merchandise. And that merchandise can vary widely – from noodle soup to blankets. I especially like to buy shoes here. Young people at the night market sometimes stay till 1:00 A.M. However, my family and I retire before 11:00 P.M. The clamor and bustle makes us exhausted.
Well, this place is fun and exciting, but I miss our cozy home in America. One more month to go….I’ll keep you posted (no pun intended). See you!

— oceanwave12

Night Market Adventure

“COME BUY MY HANDBAGS!” A lady’s shrill market voice sliced through the air.
Not to be outdone, another vender yelled, also in Chinese, “Come buy my clothes! You can even try them on!!!”
The night market in Taiwan is bustling and as packed as sardines in a can.
I stayed close to Mom as we moved forward at the pace of one inch per second. Bright lights dazzled my eyes as they clashed with equally shining colors. Chinese characters shouted silently for customers to buy.

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“How about some food?” Mom joined the throng at a booth.
I sniffed the air. It all smelled strange to me. As an American-born Chinese with Taiwanese parents, I was unfamiliar with the culture of Taiwan. This visit of six weeks hopefully would help to immerse me into my parents’ homeland.

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Mom appeared with a paper bowl of deep-fried mushrooms. Normally, we don’t eat such things, but hey — its Taiwan! I popped a tasty, crispy oyster mushroom into my mouth as we moved from booth to booth, store to store. While shopping, we also munched on goodies like green onion pancake, a salty, fluffy dough studded with green onions. There are so many incredibly cute things there. Plus, everything is way cheaper than it would be in America!!!! As the night progressed, I purchased a pair of jeans and some adorable slip-on shoes to bring back to the U.S. It was amazing how I then became tired after only thee hours. I guess the crowds and heavy air was getting to me. Wearily, we waved for a taxi. Then, a large one pulled over to the side, and I fell asleep in its backseat as we zoomed back to my grandparents’ house.
I’ll definitely go back to the night market — later.