Yesterday morning, after an exhausting 26 hours of travelling, I finally made it to the motherland, Taiwan. I was just here last summer, but somehow the anticipation I feel each trip never dwindles. Finally, the adventure begins!
However, with only six hours of hazy on-and-off plane sleep for two days worth of travelling and a massive time difference, I was hardly able to keep my eyes open. Despite my excitement, everything I did yesterday was a complete blur followed by complete darkness.
This morning, I woke up to the horrible realization that it was only 2:17 a.m. and that I wouldn’t have WiFi for a couple more hours, given that I was staying with my grandmother, who does not believe in internet usage during resting hours.
After three loooooong hours of waiting, we (my dad, my sister, and I) headed out to the streets of Taichung to get some traditional Taiwanese breakfast. The sun was already up, and walking through the streets, it looked like the entire community was already up as well. The small home businesses were preparing for the long day ahead, people were watering their potted flowers, grandmothers flooded the parks to do taichi, and most importantly, food stalls were opening!
What’s great about the small size of Taiwan is its convenience—walk ten minutes in any direction in any Taiwanese city and you could have everything you will ever need. This morning, I decided that I was craving some traditional Taiwanese breakfast food. When I lived in Taiwan, I could always count on some fresh doujiang (soy milk) and crispy youtiao (oil stick?) to start my day off right.
So, at five a.m., my sister and I followed (on foot) my dad to one of his favorite nostalgic breakfast spots: Yong He Dou Jiang (永和豆漿).
It was buffet style, with trays upon trays upon trays full of piping hot freshly baked goods and newly fried deliciousness. There was everything I wanted, and so much more. The atmosphere was something you cannot get anywhere in the U.S.: the tables were right in front of the busy moped-ridden streets, humidity was soaring, and the people were friendly.
Although it feels like I’m writing a raving review for this breakfast spot, I must add that this amazing experience I had at 5 a.m. today can be found all over the country. While people know Taiwan for its popping night life and wild night markets, it is truly a country that never sleeps because of its street life during early mornings as well as late nights. You’ll be able to find new and exciting life on this tiny island anywhere and at any time… and this is what I love most about visiting this country.