Monday, August 07, 2006

Halo Again!

I am back! Phew ... It's been a roller coaster time for my family. After the movers load our stuff into the container, we have to sleep on the floor with just a blanket to cover the carpet but we have 8 pillows since I am going to donate them. Even La La has to sleep like that since they already took her beloved crib. She is really an amazing baby, she can sleep on the floor with just her thick blanket as her bed and she sleep normal from 8 PM till 8 AM, and when she woke up, she did not cry, she just crawl around the room on her tummy or busy sucking her fingers.

Kai Kai the one that got it easy because while we slept on the floor with no TV or internet service to keep us busy, KK had sleep over in James' home, his bestfriend. James family brought him to Granville Water park to play, then the next day they brought him bicycling near the beach ( they lived near the beach ), then they brought him to different beach and spent hours there playing with kites and many other fun activities.

Anyway.... On August 1, we flew to LA to see my aunt Martha, my father's sister. We also want to see Billy, my old dog ( a Golden Retriever ) that I have to give it to her when I move here. He is a very big golden, way taller than the average golden retriever yet he is very gentle with kids, in fact he was Kai Kai's first baby sitter.

We also went to Disney for 2 days, then we went to Universal Studio, and shopping. I have tons of photos but well... I download them to my other laptop and now I am using a brand new laptop because this one has a built in wireless internet in it. So I can't upload the photos that I took in LA yet. This laptop that I am using right now is another free gift from my brother in law. He works in a product testing dept in Dell computer here in Taiwan and the company allows people who works in the this dept to keep the computer they tested. In fact he pick up Kai Kai's laptop from the trashcan! And those computers are all prototypes computers, before you even see them in the market, we already got it from the trashcan, hahaha.... this time, it's a tablet PC. The one KK use for playing computer games even have a built in credit card reader for shopping on the internet. It's nice to have a brother in law that can give you free laptop anytime! This time, the laptop that I use has a finger print reader so only a person with that finger print can activate the computer. Jeez...

I think I am going to write in more detail about our trip in LA on different posting that way I can posted the pictures together with the story. So for now, I would like to just write about the general story of our trip to LA and Taiwan. Since the internet service here is fast, I think I will not have any problems on uploading photos later.

La La first trip on airplane is also very smooth. She did not cry, she just whimpered a little. And on our trip from LA to Taipei, the stewardess gave us a bassinet. But because La La is very long (70cm) she fit exactly right with the bassinet. So she can 't move at all. But she still can sleep 7 hrs out of 12 hrs while Kai Kai slept 8 hrs non-stop.

Now I let her sleep on my brother in law's old room ( both my brother in laws are married and they already moved out into their own places ) and she slept there peacefully last night for 12 hrs straight and after I fed her, she went back to sleep again since the room is still dark. She is still on her old schedule, so she slept at around noon until 2 AM then I fed her milk, and now she is back to sleep again. She is so amazingly sweet and easy baby!

So what do we do on our first and second day in Taiwan? Mostly we went to have breakfast in local public market. That place is not so big but they are clean and they are near. We went there at 6 in the morning because we are still jetlag.

Today, my morning breakfast is this noodle in thickened soup with bean sprouts and pork coated with I think squid paste. I had several recipes of this dish but they are in the container on the way to Indonesia.

Then I bought Taiwanese ice shave which I forgot to take a picture of once I tasted it's sweet cold taste....

I think we keep getting lucky with the weather. First when we were in LA, the weather is so nice and not hot like the week before. The hottest temperature when we were there was around 95. Then in Taiwan, our luck is still going strong, instead of 38 Celsius like last summer we were here, now it's only 30 Celsius.

Yesterday when we just arrived, we also had our breakfast in this place and then I walk around and check out the local fresh produce. I saw baby shrimps that is being dried and lightly salted. They are not like the normal dried shrimp, one because they are still tender and they are white instead of white. I bought a pound of this shrimps to cook tonight. I miss my kitchen tools and my cooking book library...

That night I cook these baby shrimps. First I stir fry sliced garlic and green onions in sesame oil. I use a lot of both garlic and green onions. Then I add the baby shrimps and I add a bit of salt, white pepper, chili powder, and sugar. So when they are done, they are salty and sweet with a kick since I add chili powder in it. Not a bad thing for sure. Again... I forgot to take a picture because I am still jetlag...

Buying fresh seafood is really a treat in here. Everything looks so fresh and still twitching! Compare the price with how much I have to pay in Vancouver, they cost only at least half of the price. Paying for seafood in the States is even more expensive.

Here are some pictures of the seafood ... and this is only from one seller's stall...

There is something surprising though when I walk around in this local public market, I found out that some of the sellers only sell organic products, they even have a organic vegetarian products which I bought for my mother in law. I even drank the organic black soy bean milk.

It's hard not to be inspired to cook when you are surrounded with these great fresh produce! I really wish I have my library and my equipment with me. At this time I only have my memory of the recipes that I tried before and 2 new knives that I bought before I left Canada. One is the flexible fillet knife, it can be bend so that I can fillet a fish and not waste any meat off the fish bone. Then the other knife is my most price knife, the Kershaw Shun knife that is so beautiful with it's pattern on the blade!

See... if you love to cook, even traveling, you want to bring some equipment with you at all times. I also bought some stuff from Williams-Sonoma when I was in LA. I prefer to spend my money on Williams-Sonoma stuff than going to Victoria's Secret.

Because today is the day when most Taiwanese will pray for their ancestors, in the market people sells a lot of 3 important meats that Taiwanese has to offer to the gods, chicken/duck, beef/pork, and fish. Beside that, I saw a lot of ready to eat appetizer for sale, so I bought spicy snails for Richard, peppery looking soy bean for my vegetarian mother in law, and I think Richard bought something else too. I tasted some other food they sell like the boneless chicken feet that really taste good ( I will definitely buy it next time I come back here again! ) and other stuff too. Even "abon" or dried shredded meat is being made fresh in front of you.

So alright then... it seems that everytime I tried to upload photos they did not get through so I better stop here first ...

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