Monday morning we got up and had some breakfast. I had a sandwich thing that was pretty much like a spicy chicken sandwich with a fried egg on it. Breakfast foods here are so weird to me. After breakfast we drove with Lloyd (he was able to get the day off) and the twins to Neihu where his brother lives now. We met Lloyd's brother, his wife, and the other two kids at a breakfast place and waited while they finished eating. After that we drove to the hotel that his brother had stayed at the previous night and met one of the uncles and aunts and waited while his brother packed up their stuff. When we left we had all of the boys with us, and the car was very full. Lloyd has a toyota sedan and we had Lloyd, me, Jon, the twins, and another cousin in the car. Jon got to be the lucky one in the back seat with the three boys. We drove up to the northern coast of Taiwan to what used to be a gold mining city and walked around the shops and bought a few things. When I talked to my mom she told me to take lots of pictures so I held the camera today and took some pictures. Here were some of the places we went in the gold mining city.
I just had to put this one first. I have had to use a couple toilets like this- luckily I'm really good a squatting.
This is me and the boys and Lloyd at lunch. You can tell a lot about the kids personalities from this picture- the older one next to me was more mature and well behaved, but you can tell that the twins are a bit less so because the one couldn't even pay attention long enough to take a picture and then the other one is laying all over Lloyd and just being crazy. It made for an interesting day having them along with us.
Look at my amazing chopstick skills. This is probably how i look before I eat most things- slightly worried. Luckily this was pretty good it was a ball of pork from my soup.
Now this place was just freaky. As we were walking along we came to this little mask museum. All the walls in three rooms were just covered with freaky-looking masks. We are trying to make faces like the two masks in between us.
Next to the freaky mask place there was a little museum type place that had a bunch of old stuff. They also had a place where you could put on clothes and take a picture, so we did.
We took this picture in the same museum type place and that dragon smelled old and gross. That reminds me- I have not yet mentioned how very fragrant Taiwan is. I don't know if it is just because of the humidity that it makes smells more powerful or what, but smells seem more intense and they are constantly changing. As you are walking down the street you will smell good smelling food, sewage, flowers, and nasty smelling food all in about 30 seconds.
This is the view out to the ocean from the city we were in. It was up on the mountain so there were a lot of stairs. This was taken out the window of a place where we ate some blocks of white and orange flavorless goo with red beans and green beans and ice in it. I hope my description accurately captured the weird and sliminess of it, but despite its appearance and texture it wasn't too bad.
After we had walked around the shops and weird museum type place we drove to the gold mining museum. Sadly the museum is closed on Mondays and we didn't know this. We still walked around and took pictures.
Because the museums were closed we hiked up the mountain. It was pretty steep and the fatter twin was practically yelling sounds of exhaustion the whole way up. Lloyd shut him up for a few minutes by saying that I wasn't having any problems climbing and I was a girl.
We stopped at this place because we were tired of climbing and we could feel like we accomplished something because we made it somewhere rather than just turning around in the middle of the stairs.
This is us in front of a big rock thing at the top of our climb before we started back down. Jon and I are looking a bit tired.
After we hiked down we got back in the car and the little boys were so worn out from hiking that they fell asleep in the car. A few minutes peace. Oh that reminds me on the way from Neihu at the beginning of the day Jon was saying he didn't think that they could be quiet for 5 minutes; they tried but even in their being quiet they weren't very quiet. It was funny because he pointed out to them that I hadn't said anything for probably 20 minutes, which was true. I had just been looking out the windows and listening to them ramble away in Chinese that I didn't understand. From the gold mining city we drove back to the Taipei area and stopped at a night market to grab some food. Jon got some fried chicken, so I ate some of that, and Lloyd got a bunch of stuff and had me try some of it too. We then stopped and got some ice cream and walked through some more of the market. One of the most foul smelling things in Taiwan is what they call stinky tofu. They know it is stinky, it is called stinky tofu, but they still eat it and they think it is good. I don't understand how something that smells so nasty could possibly taste good. The reason I thought of stinky tofu was because two of the boys got some to eat. Gross. We walked back to the car and drove back to Lloyd's house. We sat in the living room for a little bit with his family and then went to our room because the one family member that Jon really doesn't like because she is really loud and really rude got here. We were laying on floor and I started feeling kind of queasy, so I decided to try to sleep and see if that would help. I fell asleep for a bit until Lloyd came in and started talking to Jon. ***WARNING*** READERS WITH WEAK STOMACHS SHOULD NOT CONTINUE. I realized that this was not just going to go away on its own so I quickly left the room and headed for the bathroom. Lucky for me, and everyone else, it was unoccupied. I sat on the toilet because I wasn't sure what end was going to be the lucky exit of whatever was making me feel so gross. I was just thinking about how I know how to say exit in chinese and the second part of the word means mouth and it just so happens that everything in my stomach made an exit through my mouth. As I was sitting on the toilet shaking (pre-vomiting) I prayed that I could just get this over with and then the thought of stinky tofu entered my mind and everything was quickly removed from my stomach into the garbage can. Besides the nasty taste in my mouth, the burning in my nose, and the tears streaming down my face I felt much better after throwing up. I tried to wash my mouth out a little in the sink without drinking any of the water (I didn't want to get a parasite and have this joy continue). I then went to our room and told Jon what had happened and he asked me if I had told anyone... Of course I didn't tell any one how was I going to do that sign language? He was very sweet and went and took care of it for me. I brushed my teeth and went to bed because I didn't feel too great. Now I feel much better. We'll see how I feel after breakfast. While I was sleeping Lloyd helped Jon plan out the rest of our week, so today we will be going to Danshui and doing stuff up there. I'll try to take lots of pictures.