Hey kiddies! I apologize for the lack of posting lately, but ever since some genius decided to transform my IBM crap-pad into a Linux-running pariah, I haven't been able to get any pictures off of my camera without extensive scheming and complicated logistics. In any case, here is a photograph to keep you satisfied for the time being.
I'm not sure if I could say one thousand words to describe this picture, but I'll try. Starting from the background, this picture has all sorts of different components that make it worthy of a post. The old fortress buildings on the side of the mountain are located very close to the National Palace Museum in Taipei. The National Palace Museum houses the historically significant artisan goods and art-wares through the strong and week years of Chinese history. It has a twin museum in Mainland China that holds the artisan goods that the Commies didn't destroy during the cultural revolution and the Nationalists didn't pilfer during the Chinese Civil War.
I spent a sweaty afternoon navigating various forms of public transportation (MRT and bus) to get to the almost-suburb neighborhood of Taipei where one can visit the National Palace Museum. The trip there was nothing short of enchanted. For the longest time, the bus did not come. Various related routes stopped by outside of the MRT station multiple times, but I had to wait almost an hour for the one I needed. That was okay because I had some Tsong Zhua Bing or Shiong Zhua Bing (bear claw green onion pancake, not to be confused with the flaky pastry sold at coffee shops) from a roadside vendor. I knew about Shiong Zhua Bing because it was the specialty of the parents of a kid named Shiao Shiong (little bear) with whom I worked at a Chanel jewelery line launch. The idea of Shiong Zhua Bing is a newer manifestation of the green onion pancake at night markets in Taiwan. Rather than let the pancake become crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside in the shape of a disc, the cook repeatedly cuts the blob of dough with two sharp spatulas while it is frying on the flat surface. In doing so, the pancake turns into a mass of thin intertwined noodes (much like a nest) that are crispy yet chewy at the same time. It's called Shiong Zhua Bing because when you eat it, you're picking at it like a bear would use its paw to pick at a nest.Er, I digress. Anyhoos, I was sitting on a bench on the side of the road after walking through the museum, just minding my own business, eating my minibreads. The bench faced a bus lane (the two Chinese characters written on the street in front of me say "gong tzhe"). I watched more buses go by, contemplating how the minibreads reminded me of the Ping Guo Mian Bao (apple bread) that my little brother and I used to eat as kiddies.
WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN, A WHITE SHORT BUS DRIVES BY! You heard it here first, Taiwan has short buses, and they drive past you when you're contemplating the most trivial of thoughts.