lessons in 普通话

Taiwan is the most delicious country I think I’ve been to, if only I knew what to order. On the first night I sat down in a restaurant, no English anywhere, but why would they? They don’t see western tourists in this place like you’d find if you travelled farther south in Asia.

So, I have two approaches depending on how adventurous I’m feeling, about a year worth of Mandarin class has yield me at least that much. I could ask for 牛肉面, a safe, classic dish. But its my first night, naturally I’m keen to indulge in the culture, starting with my dinner. I ask, “你喜欢什么?” While pointing at the menu. “这个jfgvlascmhucfh!” She replies. “好,我想一个.” The phrase that defined the rest of my trip.

It came out about 5 minutes later, it’s not bad. Actually, one of the nicest seaweed soups I’ve had. In retrospect, much nicer that the pig’s ear I savoured later that week.

Taiwan was my first solo trip, not that you’d expect any trip to be completely solo, just that sometimes you don’t know anyone when you arrive.

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