Parting Ways at Taoyuan AirportOctober 19, 2017 in Taiwan
The flight to Taipei was comfortable. Thankfully, our seat mates have been settled and quiet throughout the duration of the trip. The meals have been comforting, Taiwanese cuisine is not too different from Filipino dishes. They have an affinity for sweet and salty tastes.
When we got to Taipei, I accompanied mom and dad to their gate for their flight back to Cebu and helped them through the transfer process. We just had enough time to complete everything, and was in their gate with a bit of time to spare to say our goodbyes properly.
And so there we were, finding ourselves again in each others' embraces, exchanging as much warmth and love to last us until our next reunion. As we waved to mom and dad goodbye I had to wear my sunglasses.
I then rushed to exit the immigration and try to join the morning free day tour. There was a very long queue with only a few counters manned by immigration officers and progress was slow. I was very lucky that I did manage to join the tour even though I got out of immigration a little after 8am (the supposed cut off time for enlisting).
It seemed like a private tour as there were only around 7 of us. Once more, I find myself on a rainy environment. We first went to the oldest street in Taiwan called Sanxia. There we glimpsed a Buddhist Temple filled with a lot of details from its walls, posts and through to its roofs. Plenty of devotees at the time of our visit. The red-bricked merchant houses surrounding the street felt like we were suddenly transported back in time. They still had functional water well, some still had the long-standing mailboxes from an era long gone.
Then we proceeded to Yingge, considered to be the "Pottery Capital of Taiwan." Its cobblestone street made it a very pretty subject for photography on this rainy day. We visited about three ceramics shops, and one of them, Tai Hwa Pottery, showed us how they craft their masterpieces in the different stages of production. We also got to see their skillful artists live in action as they deftly embellished the formed potteries with elaborate designs. It was an eye opening experience that made me appreciate potteries even more. Our tour in that place finished with some trivia quiz that we learned through the different talks our guide conducted, and I managed to bag a small token of Taiwan (a delicate saucer with the country's name printed on it.)
After that I had some snack as per recommendation of our tour guide. It was some silken tofu served with shaved ice and toffee syrup, and we were then asked to select from a selection of toppings, to which I selected sweet potato and red bean and thoroughly relished.
When we headed back to the airport, I still had about 9 hrs to spare, so I ended up availing the day use of Novotel hotel and got to use their pool for a few laps then sweated the chlorine off in their sauna, then rested for a few hours before heading back to the airport. To my surprise, there weren't much of a line on the immigration counters and I breezed through to the air side in no time.
I wanted to experience more of Taiwan so I opted for a dinner that allowed me to sample several dishes. In one of the stalls they offered a sweet potato porridge that had multiple toppings which I thought were all exquisite with the porridge. It made me yearn to try more of their dishes. Definitely, next time, someday.
An hour or so more of strolling amidst the different themed lounges and I am boarding the plane back to Brisbane, satieted with food and good memories of a wonderful holiday spent with my beloved family. Before napping, I must have said a silent prayer to our Good Lord for making all of it happen, for the safe journey and for the health that allowed us to experience all of it.
Where will life take us next time, I wonder?Read more