I think I can say with full confidence that my mom had a blast in Taipei!
I often forgot to bring my camera with me on our Taipei excursions because I’m so used to being here that it didn’t occur to me! But we packed in a TON!
She got here the night before my last day of classes + I was able to bring her with me to class! She didn’t understand much, but I think it was cool for her to see my Chinese progress so far.
That night we had tickets to see Tea@Style, because my mom was so intrigued by all I had to say about it my first time around that she wanted to see it too! It was still a ton of fun the second time around + I think a pretty cool introduction to Taiwan as an island.
We walked through the Taipei Expo Park to the Fine Arts Museum + I wished that I had brought my camera. There were tons of people walking their dogs + cats, + it would have been nice to take a couple pics of The Moms in the park. In lieu, here are some shots I took in December. The park is much less decorated now than it was before the holidays, but it’s still a hot spot to see.
The museum had some really great video and mixed media installations as part of “Truth Illusion, Illusory Truth: Contemporary Art Beyond Ordinary Experience,” a super interesting exhibition called “Unveiled” of pieces of the museum’s permanent collection that have recently been restored, + an entire floor of Hsin Yueh Lin’s paintings called “Enchanting Taiwan.” Definitely worth a visit.
At MoCA, we were both blown away Ryota Kuwakubo’s installation, “The Tenth Sentiment:” a dark room with a small train set up that has an LED light on one end. It travels slowly along its track, passing everyday objects: clothes pins, trash cans, colanders, pencils, figurines, + casting long shadows on the walls. Once the train gets to the end of the track, it zips back to start and begins the long, slow journey again. It was INCREDIBLE. The textures of the objects made great effects + the execution was flawless. Here is a youtube vid of the project:
That night we went to Red Room’s Stage Time & Wine event, an open-mic that happens the third Saturday of every month + I presented my final presentation speech. I got super positive feedback from everyone, + people were thrilled to see a native-English-speaking-Chinese-Beginner present in Chinese, since much of the time it is the opposite: Taiwanese Chinese speakers presenting in English.
When we got back from Singapore, we hit up the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial.
Then we walked by Huaguang on our way to lunch at the famous Din Tai Fung. I thought it would be important for my mom to see the other side of Taipei before it is wiped away. There had already been a lot more demolition since I last went.
I found this building with its Taiwan flag particularly moving.
The next day, we hit up the Jianguo Holiday Flower Market, Cafe Trouve (one of my faves), + had plans for a “moms dinner” at Manav’s house in Tianmu. His mom was visiting from Calcutta + our friend Tai’s mom was also visiting from NYC!
We went up to the mountains early to check out the Japanese style hot springs recommended by Manav’s mom.
Side note: The first time I came to Taipei a comedy of errors prevented me from checking out the hot springs, so this was take two. Hot springs are another one of Taiwan’s special attractions! According to the all-knowing wiki, since Taiwan is, “Located next to an oceanic trench and volcanic system in a tectonic collision zone, Taiwan has evolved a unique environment that produces high-temperature springs with crystal-clear water, usually both clean and safe to drink.” You can go to natural hot springs for a dip, or check out one of the many hotels that offer hot spring facilities.
We did the latter. The particular one we went to was divided into men’s + women’s sections, aaaaand you couldn’t wear bathing suits.
So everyone was naked.
Despite the fact that it really shouldn’t be weird to be naked with people of your own sex, my mom + I agreed that it was totally bizarre to have naked time together as adults. It’s just not a part of Western culture (except, of course, if your names are Lulu + Lauren + you’re at Spa Castle….)
Anywho, the hot springs were super relaxing + dinner at Manav’s was fantastic! + Tai unveiled some of his art for our project, A Nook for Rhyme Crooks, coming up at the end of the month (post to come). Photos courtesy of Disha.
To be continued…
Regardless of whether or not I’ve posted this before on ze blog (whiiiich I have), it bears reposting. My mom and I jammed to Worldwide Underground a bunch as we got ready for our various Taipei days + this performance is just too good.
An’ I get it from my Mamaaa, yea…