12/2/09 – 12/3/09: Taipei, Taiwan
You can’t go to Taipei without visiting the tallest building in the world*. To me, Taipei 101 slightly resembles open takeout boxes stacked on top of one another. And they do have a really awesome food court in the basement of Taipei 101. But I’m sure it’s all pure coincidence.
We went to the 88th floor of the tallest building in the world* to look at the largest damper in the world*. This would have been more exciting for me if I knew what a damper was. Kevin and I discussed it and decided that it is something that hangs from the top of the building that helps center it and keeps it from swaying when the wind is blowing. This simultaneously made complete sense and no sense at all to me. I mean, just think about it. We’re going to hang this 730-ton ball from the very top of the tallest building in the world*, and this will help STABILIZE the building?
We also went up to the 91st floor to the outdoor viewing deck, where Kevin walked around by the outermost fence to enjoy looking out at the landscape of Taipei while I remained huddled by the door, shouting at him. “Are you SURE this building isn’t going to fall over? Didn’t you see that damper?? Can we go please back down now? Please?”
[Sometimes I have a(n) (ir)rational fear of man-made structures. Like really long bridges, underwater tunnels, small airplanes and tallest buildings in the world*.]
We celebrated our safe descent back to solid ground (on the fastest elevator in the world*) with a yummy dinner at Din Tai Fung, a famous soup dumpling place, with our good friend Tina, who is the most awesome person in the world**. Hi Tina! Tina, with her awesome Chinese reading skills, ordered for us, while I attempted to make a few suggestions. “Something something beef something. Let’s get that!”
We ended the meal, at my request, with an order of three mini sesame buns, one for each of us. At first, Kevin adamantly refused to try the sesame bun, stating as his reason: “It’s black. Foods aren’t supposed to be black!” We finally convinced him to try a small bite of my sesame bun, which, to his immense surprise, he actually liked. The following conversation then occurred:
K: I don’t want the last one though. I’ll just have a little bit of it. Will you split it with me?
One minute later
K: I feel so conflicted. It’s black! But it tastes ok…
Two minutes later
K: Ok, I think I can eat this whole thing.
I didn’t know whether to feel really proud or really unhappy. He ate my portion of the sesame bun! But he ATE a sesame bun! (I suppose it must have rankled a little bit, because the next day at lunch when Kevin asked for a bite of my corn dog after having finished his own, I immediately replied, “No! You ate my part of the sesame bun!” What can I say? I am a petty, grudge-holding person.)
The next day, Tina, Kevin and I decided it would be a good idea to rent bikes and ride up to Guangdu along the riverbank. I think this may have been the best idea ever**. I tried to convince Tina to ride tandem with me, but on our one-minute test drive, Tina kept shouting, “Watch out! We’re going to crash!” I guess she didn’t want to spend the next three hours yelling at me, so we each got our own bikes with baskets instead.
We ended the day by sampling the culinary delights of the Shilin night market.
To show you just how far Kevin has come, food-wise, in the last three months: after having stretching his mental limits to eat an entire sesame bun only one day before, he still had the mental capacity to try: 1) congealed pig’s blood on a stick and 2) stinky tofu.
I am so, so proud.
*Although the superlatives are no longer technically true since Burj Dubai is breaking all the world records for everything, Kevin maintains that Burj Dubai doesn’t count as the superlative anything in the world because 1) as I type this, it’s not open yet and 2) Dubai is making the stock markets go crazy.
**This superlative is true.
Thought of the Day: Every city should have diagonal pedestrian crosswalks at major intersections. It’s awesome.
Picture of the Day: Kevin jumps over the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.