You might have noticed that I took an extended trip to a small island on the other side of the country. Taiwan, though small, boasts personality, stunning landscapes, and magnificent food. I might be a bit biased in those regards, and you should attribute that to pure pride. Before we get started on reliving my two weeks of fun, here’s a thing or two about Taiwan that you probably don’t know.
1. Contrary to popular belief, Asian people can drive. At least Taiwanese people can drive. They do appear to be riskier than the lackadaisical drivers in the United States, but I assure you that they are focused and much more skilled at handling their cars. The traffic here is busy with motorscooters around every corner, giant buses packed with passengers, and pedestrians popping up out of no where. Everyone has to be on keenly focused on driving.
No one there texts while driving. Even talking on the phone while driving is rare. You’d have a severe accident every 15 seconds if you tried.
Drivers here can park like it a Cirque Du Soliel act. If you think it is entertaining to squeeze 12 adults into a Toyota Corolla, you’ll find it even more entertaining when they squeeze three corollas into one parking spot.
2. There’s no such thing as fake sugar here. There’s no equal, no splenda, no saccharin products. If you’re going to eat something sweet, you’re going to be real.
All real sugar. No fakers here.
3. The fries at many of the restaurants here are outstanding. I mean hands down best fries I have tasted in my life. I didn’t see the fries coming, but I’m glad I ate them. *Note: Mosburger fries were standard, not amazing. I’ll be writing up a post about Mosburger later.
Bees are a thing here.
4. Taiwan is really proud of its honey. In Kaohsiung, there were many opportunities to see local honey being produced and sold. It is something to celebrate.
Incredibly cute honey packaging.
This man is pouring honey that was just harvested from the hives behind him in Kaoshiung.
5. There is a peaceful coexistence with animals here. There are many places where you can be very close to wild animals, peacefully. One of which was the Shoushan Monkey Mountain in Kaohsiung and the Swan Lake Resort in Kenting. People don’t bother the animals, and the animals don’t necessarily bother the people unless you tease them with food.
This monkey just chilled out as hikers walked by.
5. The Taiwanese are really prepared for just about anything. Typhoons, fires, angry murderers, and everything else you can think of has been on the prep list. There are signs everywhere instructing you on what to do in case of emergency. You won’t go far without seeing a fire extinguisher somewhere. On the bus, on the train, in a hotel room, and even in temples. If there is an unintentional fire, there are means to put it out. There’s even emergency buttons in 90% of the public bathroom stalls I visited. I suppose there can be several types of emergencies in bathrooms, but let’s not go there.
Bathroom emergency? We got you covered.
6. Mango Ice may be the next new dessert from Taiwan to hit America. About 20 years ago, bubble tea called boba (tapioca ball drinks) came to America and now you see them everywhere teenagers and college kids hang out. Several years ago, shaved snow started showing up in the United States. I guess Taiwanese are dessert trendsetters.
Mango ice and a Swiss Cow at Taipei 101.
7. Salted coffee. Trust me on this one. I’ll have a separate post on 85C and bakeries in Taiwan. The sea salt coffee was sooooooo delicious. To my great joy, I saw that there were a few 85C locations in California. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning who has been good all year!
This coffee will get its own blog post. Coming soon.