Taiwan 2012: Day 6 (Taipei 101 and Wu Fen Pu shopping district)

It's going to be a big day today... we're going to Taipei 101!   Gotta fuel up on a hearty breakfast :)

... which consists of one 燒餅, Shao Bing bread stuffed with an egg with green onions

and a sticky concoction of rice milk!  Omgahh, so sticky and sweet @_@

The parents went out to play, so I shoved Connie outside and we went on our way to the once-tallest-in-the-world-before-Dubai-existed-darn building in the city.  Thankfully, my memory didn't fail us, so we found our way to the MRT station and rode to the Tapei101 stop.  After taking one of the free buses servicing the station, we were shuttled to Taipei 101!

*looks up*  Wooooooooooahhhhhh~~  Where's the top? :O

Lots of tourists! :D *blends right in*

Unfortunately, I don't think people are allowed to ride up to the tip-top of the building, but the shopping mall area is open at the bottom.  And that's where we went to explore!  Connie hadn't been in 7 years or so, so I was super excited to immerse herself in nostalgic splendor :D  Haha, I definitely was more excited that she was ^_^''

There's a book store at the top floor of the shopping area (7th floor?), but Connie was in the mood for nom noming instead of browsing :(  I like walking, window-shopping, and taking the world in!!  Why do my travel companions never want to walk?  ._.

That's the book store immersed in the architectural elements :)

Taipei101 is not somewhere I would shop.  Well, if I had the money, I would!  ;)  The stores inside are all the fancy, posh shops like Hugo Boss, Prada, and the like.  All the workers wore suits or skirts; they all looked super nice ^^  *admires from afar in my comfy, worn out Vans and shorts*  haha~

Heyyy my Cybershot can sort of do a fish-eye! :3  I think that's the Prada store!

Shopping, shopping, everywhere~

And where there are malls, there are food courts!  Well, a better way to put it is... and where there are food courts, I will find them!  :D  And of course, Taipei101 has an immense, awesome food court at the bottom floor.  Connie and I walked around the whole court, which took almost ten minutes, before we decided where to eat.

Woo-whee, it's tough finding a table here!

Yes, they serve this type of stuff in a food court!  *laughs at the shop's name*

They even have a Ding Tai Feng!  They are world-famous for their soup dumplings!

The line was huge, so there was a mass of people outside for their buzzing thingies to go off to signal that a seat was available.

There was a stand selling crazy cute and pretty mochi  ^^

I bought a few to bring back for our parents.  I wonder what the huge poofy ones are?  They look like snow-skin mooncake material, but I was too afraid to buy them :P  I wanted to eat "real" food as well, and these were so large that they looked like they could fill up my tummy!

So what "real" food did we end up eating?  Connie had this meat soup with a glutinous meatball... okay, someone needs to come up with better English names for these!  Meat soup can designate anything, but this soup has the meat battered and fried and then cooked back in the soup, so the texture is really unique.  Also, the word "glutinous" reminds me of... mochi!!  But for those that don't know what that is, they probably just think of slugs or something :P  Glutinous is just the sticky rice stuff, so glutinous meat ball is a meat mixture wrapped up in a chewy casing made from sticky rice.  It's one of my mommy's favorites :3

I had stewed pork on rice with veggies.  Haha, it's like Taiwanese fast food :D


BAD TABLE MANNERS!  *slap slap!*  That's right, youuu!  Haha XD

Juuuust kidding, we ate and were pretty full... I forget if we were starving and then a little bit of food stuffed us, or if we were saving our stomach for the night market later in the evening.  I think it was the latter :)

After lunch, we entered the grocery store in the food court.  Yes, there is a grocery store in the food court... @_@  It was one of those classy groceries, so think of Whole Foods Market.  I loved browsing every aisle and exclaiming at everything with Connie :D  She saw the durian fruit in real life for the first time, and we bought bottles of fresh and pure watermelon juice and kiwi juice.  Each sip was like tasting the essence of each fruit!  So amahhhzing!~

I also was tempted again to buy a few boxes of cereals that aren't available back in the US.  In high school, I was trying to make these cookies that included a cereal called "Koko Krunch," and I couldn't find it *anywhere*!  Eventually I figured out that my recipe source comes from Singapore, so the cereal was only available in Asian countries.  The next time I went to Taiwan, I immediately bought a box and ate some for breakfast the next day :D  I saw them again at the grocery store but resisted the urge to snatch a few boxes and throw them into our basket ^_^''

We waltzed out of the grocery and into the bakery also located in the food court.  It's called Yamazaki, and apparently there is a branch in Chicago (as well as other US cities) O_O  Anyhow, Connie and I sampled quite a few breads (all outrageously delicious) and pretty much bought one of every single bread in the store to take back to our family.  Haha!  We looked crazy lugging around several big Yamazaki bags around Taipei ;)

Extremely hot and tired from the Taiwanese heat, Connie and I found our way back to our aunt's place and collapsed into a napping session (haha, everyone in my family loves their naps!) ;)

Our cousins came back from work and wanted to take us to the Wu Fen Pu night market to just look around.  I've heard of it once before back in the States when a family friend said the place had *TONS* of clothes.  O_O 

Our youngest cousin, Michael, drove us around the busy streets of Taipei.  It's crazy here, not only are the drivers aggressive (but skilled!), but the regulations are all wonky.  If you miss a turn, it takes forever to come back to the same place :O  Michael and Connie chatted and rocked out to Pitbull in the front seats, while I squished my face against the windows to sight see :D  And yes, Pitbull is very popular in Taiwan. "Mr. Worldwide," right?  :P

Zoom, zoom, zoom~

We met up with Michael's sister, Angel, and her group of friends before proceeding to amble along the alleys of Wu Fen Pu night market.  And the WHOLE PLACE IS CLOTHES!!  Not sure if my grammar teacher was just offended or not, but the district was made entirely of clothing shops tempting passerby with shoes, scarves, bags, jackets, and everything you would want to show off on your body.  If I were here by myself, I would totally take my time and take a look at almost every single darn shop  XD  We passed by quite a few foreigners too!  I wonder if they knew we were also foreigners... ^^''

And although Wu Fen Pu is known for clothing, what would a night market be without food?  :3  Michael treated us to fried mushrooms that were dusted (more like dumped with, haha) with a pepper and salt mixture.  So good!  om nom!  But I was more excited about the mung bean slushie that I bought nearby.  And the second mung bean slushie I chugged down an hour or so later.  AHH! SO GOOD.  My tummy gurgled and made swish-swish sounds as I walked around, haha XD

Waiting for mushrooms!   Badger, badger, badger...  Hahaha~

I don't understand this picture, but yay??!

Michael drove Angel, Connie, and I back to Taoyuan.  It was nice, the four youngest family members of our generation just hanging out.  Haha, I am totally the odd one out @_@''  My personality doesn't match anyone in our family's!  Every one gives off the ambiance of "too cool for school." :P  But that just means I get to be pampered, babied, and spoiled, mwahahaha ;)

The next post will begin our family tour in Yilan, which will round out our trip to Taiwan this year.  Be prepared to meet the rest of my family!  :D


And lastly, I would like to wish my Daddy a happy birthday!!