Now that Chinese New Years is mostly over, people are starting to go back to work and stores are starting to open up again. Traditionally, however, the celebration is to last for 2 weeks until the end of the 2nd week of the 1st Lunar month. For us this year, that means February 15th.
So far I've been in Taiwan for about two and a half months and am anticipating staying for another several months until going to Peru in July. It's been an interesting and worthwhile trip so far. There is a whole side of my family that I never met. Of course, they are more distantly related, but they are family none-the-less and it's a priviledge to get to know them. My greatest discovery here is a 2nd cousin in my destination country of Argentina! Though I would go anywhere alone, it's comforting to know there is someone who can be called upon should the need arise.
Now, on to more important matters...FOOD!!! I once told my mom that I wanted a pizza. I know. I'm in a country with so much good food around everyday, why would I want to jones after some plain ol' pizza? Quite simply because I can't easily get it! Sure, there is Pizza Hut practically everywhere, and also the other fast food chains as well as copy cat shops. But the menu items are somehow different. The taste is slightly off. Not bad, mind you, just slightly off.
See, the thing about dining in the states is that you can choose anything taste or flavor you want, any day of the week. Feel like Mexican tonight? Or, maybe, Italian? How about Slovenian? Indian? French? Polish? Chinese? Ethiopian? Morroccan? You have a world of flavors to pick from. Here, in Taiwan, it's a little harder. That is not to say that you can't get international foods here, you can. It's a bit more expensive and a bit harder to find. So, when I find them, it's a cherished meal indeed.
Recently, I've started taking matters into my own hands. I splurged on a small oven and some spices, cheeses, etc. I made my first lasagne here in Taipei and it wasn't half bad. Of course, I feel like I spent a fortune, but let's call it an investment. It's an investment into my food sanity! I'm hoping to move into pies and cookies too. But since the oven is so small, that will have to wait for a day when I have more patience!