Anyway, back to Taiwan.
Paul and I met up with his cousin, and she showed us around Danshui where she had gone to college (Aletheia University). We first had lunch at a restaurant called the three sisters. The food looked strange, but it was so good! It was basically thin glass noodles wrapped in tofu and covered with a pink sauce.
The Three Sisters
After lunch we walked over to the college and toured the grounds. It's a beautiful campus, we had fun taking pictures everywhere. They had several replicas of old-style Taiwanese houses. We also ducked into the college's coffeeshop to take a rest from the heat.
Paul and an old-fashioned house made of flat rocks.
Inside the sweet cafe. I liked all the flowers.
When we had snapped a million pictures, we went to see George Mackey's first church. He was the first Presbyterian missionary to Taiwan and an important influence of Taiwan's Christian community. In fact, he was the one who started the college we visited. Paul and (most of?) his family are part of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan.
A window in the cloister.
They had some really awesome trees there.
The head of George Mackay. We actually hadn't planned on being twins that day, but neither of us wanted to change.
Then we took a boat to see a famous bridge. It's very big and pink and interesting. Paul and I enjoyed eating some "metal eggs." I was leery at first, considering they're black and have a somewhat hard, leathery texture, but I ended up enjoying them. It was so hot so we were thankful for the wind that was blowing off of the bay. That, along with the shaved ice we bought, helped us stay somewhat cool. We were thinking of going up on the bridge, but it was too hot so we just pretended we had.
The famous bridge.
The Three Musketeers!
Me and the metal eggs. You can't really see it, but I was trying to show that I had an egg in my mouth. They're actually a little addictive.
This helped cool us down.
For some reason this didn't help cool us down at all.
We had fun playing some carnival games, and each of us won a small porcelain pig. Yes. We missed our boat by just a few seconds, so we wandered back to an arcade. We bought some tokens and tried to play a game but it wouldn't work or give us back our tokens! To make matters worse, the arcade guy wouldn't believe us that the machine ate our tokens. Finally, we found our token stuck in the back of the machine and he grudgingly gave us our tokens back. Then we tried to do DDR (which I'm terrible at) but it froze in the middle! The guy saw what happened and gave us another free game, so at least that was nice. Then we realized we were almost going to miss another boat, so we ran back to the dock and caught it.
View from the boat.
That evening we drove to another town to stay with another cousin and his family. We met them for dinner at a Japanese restaurant. Paul's little second cousins are so cute! We went to their house after dinner and watched some home videos/picture reels. Always fun. Later that night we had a midnight snack! I don't remember what everything was, but there was at least french fries, fried chicken bits, chicken feet, fried cartilage, squid and chicken feet. Paul's relatives seemed surprised that I would eat all of those things (a common theme during the trip).
To top it all off, his cousin's wife went out and got some durian! She found out that I hadn't tried it and wanted to. Usually her husband and father-in-law don't like it to be in the house (it does have a funky smell) but for a guest... I tried it, and I have mixed feelings about it. I like the overall taste, but I don't really like the aftertaste. The texture is a bit strange, but not unpleasant. It did taste much better when it was frozen, kind of like durian ice cream! My students later told me that if I'm not averse to it, then I'll like it if I eat it a few more times.
I'll have to give it a try a few more times. Maybe I'll turn into a durian addict too.