Kick ass. Shut up. Kick ass.

Trip Start Feb 15, 2010
Trip End Mar 01, 2011

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Flag of Taiwan  , T'ai-pei,
Saturday, February 20, 2010

I had the perfect Taiwanese dinner, my dream three course meal. To start, I had a large cup of bubble tea. I then picked up some fresh dumplings from a street vendor and doused them in chili sauce. I then cooled my mouth off with a large bowl of shaved ice, topped with fresh cut mango. It was perfect, and all for the equivalent of less than $4 US dollars.

This all took place in the area known as Ximending. Ximending has been referred to as the "Harajuku" of Taipei, and seemed to beam with Japanese least from the little I know about Japan. I was also told by a fellow teacher that Ximending is the gay center of the city. This appeared to be true, supported by the evidence of the two Taiwanese boys making out on the street bench. And because my mind is always in the gutter, I found it rather coincidental that the gay center of Taiwan is called Ximending. Only because Ximen sounds just like the English word "semen". Suitable.

But even more appealing than the cheap eats and kissing boys, was the randomly placed, totally amazing, unique pieces of art. In the center of the sidewalk there'd be a something molded into the concrete that would reflect the city lights in an beautiful way. There were also statues made from boxes, and characters sewn from burlap sacks. It is difficult to explain the offbeat beauty of it all, but it was perfect, exactly my cup of tea. 

Of course, just the hustle and bustle of the street on a Saturday night was enough to stop and stare at for hours on end. Mingled in with the hoards of young people, were various performers. The billboards were gigantic, and huge screens displayed loud and ridiculous advertisements high above the sea of black hair and scooters. My favorite was some sort of advertisement for a film or show featuring super heroes. Below the picture, in large letters, it read "KICK ASS. Shut up. kick ass." Whatever it's an advertisement looks pretty kick ass. I'll have to check it out.

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