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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Fourth of July アメリカ独立記念日

As you can tell from the subject heading, today is Independence Day, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Taichung (Taichū) 台中 held an event to celebrate the occasion at a large park next to the Taichung Costco コストコ branch. I normally wouldn't bother much with such things, but Amber is reaching the age where she needs to made aware that she has an American side to her as well as her Taiwanese heritage. Unfortunately, today's celebration of the USA's most enjoyable holiday wasn't anywhere near as "American" as I was expecting. There were hardly any flags flying, and instead of introducing Amber to summertime fare like hamburgers and hot dogs cooking on the grill, the food on offer could be safely summed up as Taiwan Generic for the most part. In fact, the event itself differed little from any of the small community gatherings held in local parks that you can see on most weekends in Taiwan. What saved the day for me, however, was the Gordon Biersch booth. Gordon Biersch is an American brewery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Biersch) that operates a brewery/restaurant in Taichung. Their Golden Export went down very well on this very humid afternoon. I guess Taiwan Beer was too afraid to show up!

 
"No problem, honey. I'll watch the kid (burp!)"

Hopefully, Amber will one day get to experience a Fourth of July that involves going to baseball games, watching parades, having BBQ's in the park and seeing fireworks shows at night.

On the way home, we stopped at one of Taichung's Carrefour カルフォール outlets, where a limited range of American goods were being featured as part of an "America Week" promotion. To my great joy, several craft beers from the North Coast Brewing Company of Fort Bragg, California (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Coast_Brewing_Company) were among the products being highlighted, and I ended up purchasing the Red Seal Ale, the Old No. 38 Stout and the Pranqster Belgian Style Golden Ale. Leave it to the French to better celebrate the Fourth of July than Amcham!

Oh, and have I ever mentioned that Taiwan Beer sucks?

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