January 1, 2018

Travels: Taiwan 2017 Day 7: Departure And Arrival

Day 1 & 2 *

Well, finally it was the day to depart. I really love Taiwan – all the sights, sounds, smells… But I definitely was really missing my wife and kids. That was the hardest part of the trip. Being a stay at home dad is so rewarding – not seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces was really killing me.I packed everything up and met Kyle to go out for some dim sum.

Okay, I gotta say  this place was awesome. I also have to say that I really need to find a decent dim sum place near me in the states because this just blows everything at home away. The best was the duck – I loved the duck I’ve has in Asia, but Taiwan’s offerings blew away what I’ve tried in Thailand and Malaysia. This was just – there’s no way to describe.

Kyle had to go and deal with business again so I ended up kicking it in the hotel lobby for a couple of hours. Had a chance to catch up with my friend Matt on the phone. I also attempted a walk to the nearest convenience store but my eyes were being a pain. I did see this interesting little sign – no clue what it was trying to tell me, but shortly after I passed it, I walked back to the hotel to enjoy a couple bottles of orange juice.

We then visited this interesting little place – The Miniatures Museum of Taiwan. Tiny little detailed buildings and room and o ther things. It was kind of creepy to be honest. Kind of blew me away that we only spent an hour or so here but some of these things took years to be created.

Time for my last meal in Taipei. We went out to this place – Karen Teppanyaki. So teppan is the name for the surface used to cook and yaki just means fried – as in yakisoba just means fried soba noodles. The food was extremely good – I could have eaten it all day. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time.

Kyle hailed me a cab and we said our goodbyes. Was such a good  trip – didn’t have the chance to meet Kyle’s family last time so it was really nice to have the chance this time. To be honest, I was a little worried about the trip back, mainly navigating the airport. I’d done it a year before, but my sister had accompanied me – this time it was legally blind guy in the foreign airport. But it was easy and I was able to get through security and everything easily. There was time to kill and so I was able to hit the Hello Kitty shop and grab my wife something nice. The flight was great – had an aisle seat with a space between me and the guy sitting next to the window so room to stretch out a little bit. I listened to some music, took a few catnaps. Walked around a bit. I did get stuck in the bathroom blowing my nose and then we had the turbulence over southern Japan – that was interesting! Wasn’t too bad. Turned out the guy next to me was coming to the United States from the Philippines. His mother had petitioned for him to become a citizen 15 years ago and finally he was able to move. That’s a long time! Speaking of time, so my flight took off on the 21st at 11:30pm from Taiwan – and arrived on the 21st at around 7pm in the United States. Definitely messed with my head a little – bring on the jet lag!

Well, now it was the moment of truth. I got stopped coming back from Malaysia by the USDA to look through my stuff in 2014 and they took out a bunch of noodles. That sucked. This time, no problem. They’d been asking everyone in front of me ‘did you bring any food items with you?’ but they just asked me ‘where’d you go?’ ‘was it a good trip?’ I think I looked beat and they just sent me onward. ‘Welcome to the United Sates.’ Was good to be home! I did the above video a couple days after I got back. I want to say thank you to the Taiwan International Food Expo for inviting me and Howsler Foods for sponsoring my trip – it was an amazing experience and I can’t stress enough how much fun it is to visit a foreign country. Definitely put it on your bucket list!

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