i’ve written a lot about april already, so i guess words are superfluous… here are the seconds!
speaking of travel journals, i tried my hand at making one for taiwan! i bought a small spiral notebook before leaving home, planning to just collect ticket stubs and souvenir stamps, maybe some drawings or thoughts that popped into my head during our time there. in the end, with the introduction of 7-11 pictures, it ended up becoming a whole different project, but i’m very happy at how it turned out. here are some pages:
i really enjoyed doing this, and will probably do it again in future trips! :)
supermarkets continue to be a favorite place to check out on holidays, their shelves filled with curious flavors, fancy packaging or just intriguing items. we checked out a few in taipei, and they did not disappoint! a million types of rice or instant noodles, drinks galore!
my absolute favorite though were convenience stores like 7-11 and family mart. it feels like there’s one every 100m, and they are truly convenient. lunch, snacks, drinks, gifts, stationery, kiosk services… it feels like you can do so much in there! we tried a bunch of different things over time, and i particularly enjoyed their onigiris. the pork floss one was so good!
at some point, a postcrosser showed me how you could print your own photos as postcards at 7-11 and i was hooked. so easy! i printed a bunch of mini pictures to use on my travel journal for this trip.
night markets are one thing taiwan is really famous for, and i was sooo looking forward to exploring them! they open around 6pm and offer an eclectic mix of street food and entertainment. sometimes they’re in a normal street that has traffic during the day and is closed at night, and other times they take place in purpose-made indoor markets. there’s a few in each city and they were always fun to walk: buzzing with people, arcade games lining the street and lots of food to try!
and the food is really good too — the variety is endless and some of the stalls even have michelin stars!
one of the gifts the boy gave me last christmas was a cooking class in taiwan, and i loved the experience! beforehand, i picked a few dishes and discussed them with the teacher, and we agreed on the plan. we met at the market to grab some ingredients, including eggs, which were in shortage on the island for some reason. ours were salted eggs — the yolks are firm and delicious!
the market tour was definitely a highlight of the experience — they had so many types of rice, and things like spice mixes and dried leaves for all sorts of things, fruits i’d never seen, and the cuttlefish was so fresh it changed color if you touched it!
back in her studio, we had tea, and then started cooking! we made wontons in chili oil (which was not as spicy as expected) and sweet steamed red bean and sesame buns…
… and shanghai zongzi! zongzi is a laborious affair of rice, pork and salted yolk wrapped in a huge bamboo leaf that is then pressure cooked. ivy was super patient with me though, showing me the right wrapping technique while i made a mess in her kitchen.
it was amazing experience, with delicious results — and i even got to bring the leftovers home for the boy! :D