2015 Sky Lantern

Every year Taiwanese gets together for the Sky Lantern Festival. As you can see above in the video it’s so beautiful. The sky lantern festival was said that it started with a man named Kongming who send a message with the lantern when he was surrounded by his enemies. In Taiwan, they release the lanterns into the sky with their wishes. I ran out of wishes when i wrote mine so my friends and I ended up writing hashtags on ours. It was a memorial time for me because I have been wanting to go there to take pictures and a video. Unfortunately, I was only able to make a video.

The district that we went to to release the lanterns is called Pingxi district. It’s up in the mountains and it’s really cheap to get there. The bus that took up the steep mountain kept giving me mini heart attacks cause of the sharp turns and what not. Once we got there, it started to drizzle. I was told that it’s a typical weather up there in the mountains, I wouldn’t mind but since I had to clean my glasses all the time, I started to regret reading books in the dark and sitting in front of the TV when I was child cause afterwards, I was blind. There was a long line there. I thought that’s where we had to wait to get our lanterns but it was just the line to choose when do we release our lanterns. They had a system where they gather groups of people together, line them up and when their appointed time comes, they release their lanterns and allow the next group of people to release theirs. My bestie was smart enough to pick the first hour because she knew I would be tired to the point where my feet would hurt and I can’t walk.

The district was surrounded by trees and an actual old railway train. It was a beautiful place. The air was fresh. The trees were not dusty. The food was local. Everything was wonderful. The town where we explored is called “Old Street”. It has the largest train station and we actually were allowed to walk on the railway. Even though it was over crowded, raining and I was getting a cold, I had a magical time. I will never forget my time there. Bless my bestie’s heart for always coming through for me.

Love what you do and do what you love.

Hello everyone! I finally was able to interview the father of the Peanut & Ice Cream Roll in Shilin Nightmarket. He is a sweet and ambitious old man. When I finally showed up, he was already smiling and talking to my friend in high spirits. After greeting him, he started touching my forehead and talked to my friend. She explained that my forehead popping out described how I’m usually stubborn when I do things with morals and principles. He further on described my other personalities by looking at my smile lines, lips, ears and hands. I was impressed. It was a very good icebreaker and I’m glad that the awkward phase passed by quickly.

Once we started asking him questions, he answered with great enthusiasm. You can sense his joy upon sharing his stories of fulfilling his dreams. He inspired me not to give up on mine and to continue to work hard.

Unfortunately, I had a time limit in the video, so I was unable to put in his full on story, so I will help him tell his story. Before his retirement, he used to own a leather company. He made women’s bags and purses from those leathers to sell. He had been working there for 13 years with 10 agents. His daughter followed him doing what ever it is that he was doing. It was obvious that she looked up to him as a great role model. After his daughter married, he passed on his company to his son-in-law who works there during the day. The daughter also works at the leather place and when the Peanut & Ice Cream Roll opened, she followed her father to sell as well. The father automatically gave the stand to his daughter.

Before he opened the stand and after his retirement, he took his wife and traveled around Taiwan and while doing so, he tried every Peanut & Ice Cream Roll he came across. He finally found a homemade ice cream shop in Yilan where they sell ice cream with real fruits. After thinking about the idea of selling his favorite snack since he was a young boy, he immediately started building it. He used his own money to get it started by buying all the necessary things and handed it over to his daughter to sell and earn money.

Speaking about his childhood, he said he really loves the snack ever since he was a boy. Back then, the snack was so expensive he couldn’t afford to eat it all the time. He would save up 6 months allowance just so he can eat it. When there was a celebration at the temple (since they only sell them when there is an event at the temple) he would go just to eat it but not to watch the puppet show held in the temple. So the reason why he build this stand was not for money, but because he can come eat his favorite snack whenever he wants.

Readers, don’t make your favorite thing in the world your job, because in the end you will hate it. “Love what you do and do what you love” that way, you’re eager to catch the wishes you whispered and make them come true.

Peanut & Ice Cream Roll

If you read last month’s blog then you know that I was suppose to be posting up a video of the Lupe Vendor, but unfortunately that whole area was wiped out due to construction work. But fret not my readers, I interviewed my other favorite vendor snack, Peanut and Ice Cream Roll. The ingredients are spring roll wrap, ice cream of your choice and peanut shredding, when combined it has an interesting test.

The reason I interviewed this particular vendor is because it just has Taiwan written all over the snack. Whenever I pass this vendor I’m always curious what that block of peanut is for, honestly I thought it was just for decoration but later one when my friend forced me to try one, I have moments that I would crave for it. So it became my Top 5 vendor food.

Mr. Lin is the father and owner and he thought that since it’s his favorite snack, they all should go into it and sell it at the Night Market. Since 2012, their business is still there with regular customers and curious foreigners by passing. He is always smiling whenever I walk pass, always friendly to his customers. I wanted to interview him that day but sadly he was sick. Nevertheless, his shy wife and bubbly daughter taking over, sometimes I see all three of them selling.

While my friend was interpreting, she told me that she has tried other vendors’ ice cream roll and she said that theirs is the best. So, when she was asked what was the different, she said their ingredients are home made and from Yilan. They went to different stores looking for the right ice cream and made sure they were fresh and straight from the fruit. I think that is what’s different from their Peanut and Ice Cream Roll, they take into consideration for their ingredients.

I hope that when you do go to Shilin Night Market, you should go their vendor, which is right next to the New Night Market in the alley way. If you see a smiley, bubbly family, you’re at the right place.

Fear not the Food

The night markets are popular in Taiwan. It’s a good place to go shopping as a family or as a group of friends at the evenings after work or school. Products that are being sold are considered cute and affordable. Walking around the night markets can also make one hungry. But since it’s probably your first time in Taiwan, you are not sure if you can stomach the foreign food that are sold by vendors. I’ll be showing you some of the common food that you usually see in the night markets. Not some of the food can look good on the outside nor can they smell delicious, but once you try them, you will be wanting more!

So, you’re hungry but you still want to shop and the idea of sitting in a restaurant will make you not want to shop but just to sit and relax. You see all these vendors shouting out probably phrases like “Come some! It’s delicious! It’s only 100NT!” But you look at the food and you see chicken feet! That’s something you have never wanted to try, so you don’t have to try.

In different night markets, there are different types of food trends along the streets. Shilin Night Market is the most popular night market in Taipei so some of the food have mostly meat, while in Danshui it mostly have sea food.

The Lapu stall is one of my favorite stalls, not only does it have a foreign look on this stall but the food also seems to be foreign. The owner/cook look like he use to be a professional in a restaurant but why is he working in the night market? This blog is about food in night markets but I will be interviewing about this man and his life passage to come to sell his delicious delicacy in the night market.

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