Saturday, September 5, 2009

Xi'an Gets New Passport

Took the day off Friday to travel to Taipei's U.S. Embassy to renew Xi'an's passport, then spent the next two days touring the massive capital city of Taiwan. Hit the Ximen shopping area and was assaulted by "Mondopop" culture complete with trucker hats, tattooed hipsters, and statuesque models in 8 inch heels dressed like the Bride of Frankenstein passing out coupons for mango tea. Sat on a dirty street corner rocking Rebekah to sleep for an hour while passersby thought I was a begger and dropped coins at my feet. Then we hit Longshan Taoist Temple at dusk in the rain where I danced barefoot in puddles with my five year old. That night we wandered Huaxi Street's "Snake Alley" where I was first introduced to Asian culture twenty years ago. On Saturday we strolled the amazing National Palace Museum grounds, but let's face it, Japanese tourists are much more interesting to gawk at than 5th century celadon vases, and so we spent the afternoon twenty kilometers outside the capital at Danshui, riding ferries to Bali village beach, lugging two toddlers around in search of public toilets, and reading funny t-shirt slogans in markets crammed to the armpits with smelly silk worm stalls, rancid grilled octopus stands, and men with megaphones selling inflatable Sponge Bob hammers. At night we taxied to Shinlin Market for street eats, but grew claustophobic, and ended up fine dining at the Riviera Hotel upon smooth white table clothes and violin music. The whole time I kept thinking, look at these awesome kids of mine. Little World Travelers. I couldn't be prouder. (See travel pics on flickr account to right.)

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