After Bali, we came back to Taipei, and went to Mao Kong, a tea growing district in the mountains in Taipei. I’ve wanted to come here probably the last three times I’ve been in Taipei, but the damn gondola is always malfunctioning. This was apparently our lucky day. We enjoyed the beautiful view (see Taipei 101 in the distance?) riding in the gondola with the glass floors, and then had some tea at the top.
Taipei is one of my favorite cities, probably because I have been here many times and have such fond memories. I love the way the city smells and sounds. I always revamp my wardrobe with accessories from cheap street vendors, and stuff my luggage full of new clothes from cheap-o night markets. I love buying warm cakes filled with red bean paste and custard off of carts, and having beef noodle soup for dinner. I love buying buying beers from 7-11 and drinking them on the street.
I miss daily visits to 7-11 and other convenience stores stocked with good snacks, drinks, and foods. I like the annoying little jingle the sliding glass doors sing when they open and close at Family Mart, and how the metro announces the stations in three different dialects of Chinese, and English. I love the hybrid feeling of being at home and on vacation at the same time. I wonder if a little piece of my soul stays behind here when I am back in California, and lives a separate, secret existence while awaiting my eventual return.