day 2 and Da ai

began the day with an aborted walk to a near by park…the air was heavy, hot, humid, we turned back before reaching the Da an forest park. On the way we passed parks and trees,   

  and a quiet holiday morning of commuters…this week is an independence day holiday for Taiwan, so people are off for a four day weekend; there were parades by our hotel. 

we ventured out to breakfast sans Alex, so we were on our own for ordering and paying. wonderful  sweet helpful customers who spoke english guided us through the delicious breakfast buffet, and we mangaged to overeat yet again.  we spent our morning napping and browsing SOGO, the local department store and some amazing hi end boutiques. Things are not “pieni” here, but “gui”–lots of opportunities to practice our math to find out that the 5400 on the tee shirt tag actually meant 180 US dollars. 

Alex took us to a vegan restaurant for another delicious meal of pasta, for them and risotto for me. Luckily the four miles we trekked will keep us from blowing up like balloons.  

    

We ended our trek at the Da ai (Big Love) store, an enterprise of Tzu Chi, that uses post recyled materials–plastic bottles, etc., to make clothes, bags, etc. The dedicated volunteer salesforce, outfitted my mother in a lovley traditional Chinese style vest and blouse, and I bought a new solar powered rolly bag for my computer. The profits from these sales all got to Tzu Chi, so it was a win win, in addition to being totally fun.  

    

We were then treated, by Johann’s mother in law, to a royal 8 course meal with artisanal local teas, more Monkey heads mushrooms, veggie “escargot” and other delights shared with Alex’s work team and their friends and family. The food kept coming, and miraculously we kept finding room to keep on eating. We were sent home with boxes of cookies just in case there was even a smidgne of room left…

Sleep is still elusive, and comes at the most inopportune moments. Now, the rain is beating against the window, and at 5:49 am it is dark as night. We will see what the day will bring

  

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