foooood in taiwan postcards postcrossing

chu entry time (postcard café)

someone on the postcrossing forum mentioned there was “postcard café” in taipei, so of course we had to go and check it out! :)

the fun starts outside, even before you get in, because the menu is all written in illustrated postcards! you pick the cards featuring the food or drinks you’d like to have, and then take them to your waiter inside. they’ll be gifted to you when the food comes, which is a nice touch.

the special thing about chu entry time is that you can mail postcards to someone in the future! basically, you write, address and stamp your postcards, pay the fee and then put them on the box of the week you want it to be mailed. and they’ll mail it for you when the time comes! so in theory, you can pre-send all your friend’s birthday cards for the whole year, or even a few years in advance.

it’s not the first time we hear of something like this, but it was the first time we saw one in real life, which was pretty cool. while we were waiting, the boy was browsing some magazines they had there, and stumbled on one that mentioned postcrossing, eheh :)

there was also a really nice selection of illustrated postcards and other crafts that you could buy, and a table with rubberstamps for anyone to just use. it was lovely, and i wish there were more of these around.

nice café food and drinks + postcards = perfection!

foooood in taiwan

taiwan breakfasts

speaking of eggs, breakfasts in taiwan are so good… though sometimes a little tricky. often the food is served in roadside stalls or makeshift shops with a couple of tables on the sidewalk, and you order by telling the auntie or uncle what you’d like to eat, or ticking the boxes in a sheet of paper that is fully written in chinese. 😅 my vocabulary for food is severely lacking, but with a bit of pointing and google translate, we got around to trying quite a few different things.  it helps that we’re not very picky and could probably eat anything! 

some of the meals we had included egg pancakes with different fillings, turnip cake, youtiao (fried dough sticks), scallion pancakes, warm soy milk, youtiao wrapped in rice and egg, a kind of youtiao sandwich, glutinous meatballs…

i think the scallion pancakes (with cheese) were probably our #1 though. the taiwanese version of them is a bit different from the chinese one, as here they are more fluffed up and not crispy, but they were delicious still.  

we had so many of these that it’s amazing i’m not sick of them yet! 😅

eggeusia foooood in taiwan

century eggs

i don’t know why we never bothered to try century eggs while we lived in china. truth be told, i feel like we missed out on exploring a lot of chinese food while we lived there… and now, 15 years later, i regret not having made a more comprehensive study of it. anyway, clay-preserved duck eggs were something we’d never tasted before — but they are awesome, despite the strange look!

the eggs are coated in alkaline clay for some time, to let it dry around the egg and let the chemistry do its magic. it gives them this funky color, with a smooth, gooey center.

in taiwan, they’re eaten alongside tofu, accompanied by some sauce. i could not get enough and ordered some every time they were available as a side dish. definitely made up for lost time!

in taiwan

desire path

you know when you when you’re walking along a path in a garden or forest and you see a shortcut that people have walked on over and over again, so much that it became a new, more convenient path? it’s probably a straight line, an efficient way to cut a corner. we actually have one of these really close to our place: the “official” sidewalk goes around the space, but there’s an “unofficial” shortcut that goes right through the middle.

these paths are called desire paths. i don’t even remember how i came across this expression, but i’ve known it for many years and always remembered it because of the quirky, endearing name. i had never heard anyone use it before though, until our walk in yangmingshan:

the proper cobbled path goes around the corner for a bit longer, and over time, people have created a shortcut through the middle, to save some steps. it’s a silly thing, but it was the first time i saw the expression being used and it made me look and smile. :)

in taiwan

yangmingshan national park

we saw the the blue magpie while on a hike in yangmingshan, the national park to the north of taipei. it’s a beautiful place, with hills and mountains carpeted in green, water buffalos roaming around, remnants of the japanese military, lakes and hot water. getting there was its own adventure though! we caught a mini-bus that drove all the way uphill like it was being chased by rockets, or like the driver was afraid the bus would roll down the hill if it stalled. because the number of seats was limited (and there were lots of elderly people going to the thermal baths), we stood the whole trip and held on to dear life. what a ride! 

after we stepped off the bus, the surroundings were so green and beautiful… everything was quickly forgotten!

we started our hike in a small circular trail around qingtiangang grassland, and then took the path to lengshuikeng, while the water buffalos watched us from afar. there were stakes on the ground in certain spots, so that you could hide behind them if they decided to attack, which apparently happens sometimes! 😱 they were super well-behaved though.

calling this a hike might be a bit of a stretch, as the path was always paved with stones and well-kept. more like a nice walk in the forest, to take in the sights. everything is so vivid green up here, i enjoyed it a lot.

and at the end, there was this thermal bath place, the water of which drained through some pools where you could sit and have a little foot bath. it was so good… what a perfect ending to a hike!