Sitting in Taipei on my last full day here, reflecting on the journey. What a trip! For two weeks I’ve been traveling around southeast Asia, going to Saigon in Vietnam and going to Formosa, aka Taiwan.
I learned many things about culture in each place.
The food has been incredible, and the people have been very understanding about my inability to speak Vietnamese and Chinese.
I have so many pictures! SO many stories! Here’s a small sampling of what I did!
- Went to Improv with Mikey and Dianne and got sucked into the circus-this was a dinner party and I didn’t know who would be there! Turns out Napoleon, Medusa and Dracula!
- Took a Vietnamese cooking class with Dianne (and now I have 3 dishes to make at home!)
- Made a clay pinch pot in a ceramics class with Dianne!
- Took a weird Saigon tour where we visited an orphanage and a labyrinthine market
- Massaged by a blind albino person who massaged the inside of my eye sockets
- Rode on the back of a motorbike in a monsoon (and had to get out and push through knee deep sewage when the bike got waterlogged)
- Climbed the stairs to a secret jazz club called Open Sesame
- Took a historical art tour of Vietnam and learned about censorship, combat art, and more.
- Ascended the Maokong gondola and learned about tea production-and
- Drank lots of tea at the 24 hour teashop and talked with an Indonesian maid about her baby, Hafiz
- Ate the BEST food in Taipei at Ooh Cha Cha, a vegan restaurant with the most incredible blueberry goji smoothie!
- Went to the Taipei artists collective and bought prints to take back as gifts for my friends and family
- Swooned in the famous Hakka pottery shop on Dunhui street and drank Dong Ding at Le Zinc upstairs
- Bought a cool lantern from a family owned lantern shop in the middle of the night (Which is the best time to visit a lantern shop, in my opinion)
- Ate family-style Vietnamese food in a gorgeous rooftop restaurant called Secret Garden-and went to a nonprofit restaurant run by and staffed by orphans learning their trade
- Drank some Tea Kwan Yin Oolong in some famous revolutionary teashop in Taipei called Wistaria
- Stayed in an artist colony and talked with a native Taiwanese artist
- Went to Water Moon Teahouse, and had some more Taiwanese oolong, which was delicious also and chatted with the volunteer tea staff there.
- Expanded my poetry world by reading Chika Sagawa “I smoke my brother’s golden bats”
- Walked through a crazy sexy exhibit at the contemporary art museum in Taipei
- Visited the Paper museum and saw some gorgeous art and told a ghost story to the counter staff
- Wandered around Saigon and went to Hatvala, the best teashop in town, and talked with the owner about the tea she was growing in different parts of Vietnam. Tried some white tea she created, from a little elephant teapot. Bought some Lotus tea-of course! It’s almost impossible to get in the states, as the lotus are dying out because of overdevelopment.
- Learned some Vietnamese swear words and gestures
- Wrote lots of poetry and gave my brother ideas for making his “100 pots” and outlining his first book.
- Sat in a steam sauna and a dry sauna and took a swim in a thunderstorm
It was an incredible trip, and I’m so glad to be back too!