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Monday, September 18, 2006

A stroll(er) in the rain

Actually, it was more like drizzle. We didn't even need to open the umbrella. And it soon stopped, the sun came out and the rest of the afternoon turned into a nice day. Thus was our excursion today with Amber into Taichung.

Beginning at the Taichung Municipal Cultural Center 台中市文化中心, we walked along the parkway to People's Park, and then further on to the entrance of the science museum. Between the cultural center and People's Park, there are a number of objets d'art:

The one on the right is obviously about filial piety, but it looks more like a father and son trying to push granddad over a ledge

But of course it can't all be about art. Here's a sign for a "special" business that we passed along the way. Even in the nicest of neighborhoods in Taiwan, you can find certain...ahem...entertainment establishments:

Amber enjoyed the stroll, despite the drizzle:

Not of all of the artwork on display was officially approved:

Taoist temples are numerous in Taiwan:

Upon reaching People's Park, we stopped off at a chicken-and-rice joint for lunch. Chijoufan (Jiroufan) is one of my favorite dishes in Taiwan. Check out the following spread - two bowls of chicken on top of rice, with side orders of turkey, green vegetable, tofu, egg and miso soup みそ汁:

and all for only 160 NT for two, or $4.85 or 570円.

Amber had her own lunch:

Afterwards, we continued with our walk to the end of the park, at the entrance to the science museum. By this time, the weather had cleared up. On the way, we passed more art:

To celebrate reaching the end of the pathway, we treated ourselves to chocolate ice cream. Daddy enjoyed teasing his daughter, tempting her with something indescribably delicious that she is too young to enjoy:

After the ice cream break, it was time to head back. But first we stopped off at SOGO to shop for some winter clothes for Amber. The SOGO building is an oppressive structure that looms over Chunggang (Jhonggang 中港) Road:


but as can be seen from the banner on the outside of the building, MUJI is coming at the end of this month. For those who are not familiar with MUJI, here are links to its Wikipedia writeup and to its English website. This brings back memories as there was a MUJI store in the basement of the Kintetsu Department Store 近鉄デパート in Yokkaichi 四日市.

When we were finished at SOGO, it was time to leave. After first taking a tea break near SOGO, then briefly meeting up with Steve at People's Park (thanks again for the toys Steve!), we made it back to the cultural center and the car. On the way back to Fengyuan, we stopped at a Sushi Express on Chungte (Chongde) Road. Sushi Express is a chain of kaitenzushi 回転寿司 restaurants, and the sushi is pretty good for the price - 13 plates of sushi for two came to 390 NT, or a little bit less than $12, or about 1390円. Amber looked on longingly the whole time:

It isn't easy being almost eight months old, but at least she got to play with the menu.

The section of Chungte Road where the Sushi Express is located is in an upscale area, home to my favorite Japanese supermarket in Taichung, Capitan's, as well as Uncle Jimmy's, a great place for American foods. Even the local KTV (karaoke カラオケ box) is a legitimate establishment:

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend. Hope yours was good too.

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