Notes from Taiwan, Meetings from Last Week

I wanted to catch up today by writing about some of our meetings with Y’s friends and family here in Taiwan.

After seeing Ma and Ba after we first arrived in Taipei, Y introduced me to her sister Yoshan on our first train ride back to Taipei. We met up with her during her lunch break from work. After we rode the escalator up from the bowels of the subway, Yoshan was waiting for us in a very professional black suit. With her short hair and sharp glasses, Yoshan cuts a powerful image for someone who is also playful and fun to be around.

We all walked to a coffee shop near the insurance company where she works. The thing about coffee shops in Taiwan is that they all serve food, and I don’t mean Starbucks over priced foodstuff–I mean real sit down and eat food including noodles, rice, meats, soups, salads, etc. I had a pork plate with pumpkin soup. We only had an hour and a half to spend with Yoshan before she had to run back to work.

Two days later, we returned to Taipei to see more family and friends. First, we met Iris and her boyfriend Raymond for Japanese at the Sogo in downtown Taipei. This was fun, because each table has a flat grill for the staff to cook on. Unlike the humongous grills at Americanized Japanese hibachi, these grills are tiny–about 1 1/2′ x 2 1/2′.

A short while later, we met up with Yoshan and Y’s cousin Julia for afternoon tea. While we waited, Yoshan nearly killed me with a mega-massage. I had pulled something in my back, and she worked it out through my head and neck. I don’t know how she did it, but I slept much better that night. At afternoon tea, we had lots of coffee, tea, and cakes, and they were all very delicious.

After Julia left for a dinner date, Yoshan, Y and I met up with their Big Sister and her two children Peter and Annie and Yoshan’s girlfriend Jill for Thai food at the top of Sogo. We had a variety of spicy foods–shrimp pancakes, stirfry vegetables, chicken satay, stirfry pork, pepper shrimp, extremely thin sliced pork, rice noodles, and spring rolls. After dinner, we all went back to Yoshan and Jill’s place. Yoshan and Jill rode a scooter, and the rest of us squeezed into a taxi cab for an intensely TRON-like ride to their place. We hung out and played with their two dogs, little cat, and turtle. The little cat was particularly feisty, and continually play-fought with the oldest dog. Before we left, Yoshan let me take her scooter for a spin around the block. I have now resolved to get a scooter when I get back to the States.

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.