it was a beautiful day in taiwan today. tess and i left bright and early to meet twbf at the train station, and the three of us traveled to a buddhist temple up in the hills of taipei county.. i think.
we met bobo and her fam as well as alex and dawn there.
it was packed and i guess someone told kristen that today is buddha's birthday..? i'm not sure if that's fact or fiction, but there were a million people there, regardless.
when i went through the gate, i was intercepted by a team of old women who were pointing at my legs. one lifted up my arms while another roped me with a wrap skirt to cover my knees so i could enter the temple area.
we had lunch at the temple. it was probably one of the most interesting experiences i've had in this country so far. we were split by gender, so i checked twbf at the door and hoped he would be fine mingling with alex and jack. i'm sure they were fine. alex speaks chinese pretty well.
at lunch there were giant, hoola hoop sized metal bowls full of various buddhist restaurant food. i had rice with squash, boiled spinach-like stuff, and some kind of unidentifiable paste of squash with something that was "good for my health" that may or may not have been hominy.
everything was fine until bobo told us we literally had to eat everything in our bowl. when dawn went to leave, they put a ladel of water into her bowl and made her drink the 'soup' of 3 grains of leftover rice. i was horrified, being a relatively picky eater, and found a way to cleverly hide the 2 chunks of mystery tofu-with-bits underneath joyce's bowl and dunked it into the water before they could spot it.
you washed your own bowl in water the color of the ganges and then put it into the 'clean' rack. i hope they wash it again before they let people use it. it defintely wasn't clean. then we went on a 2 hour nature hike up a mountain with flowering trees peppered in along the way. it was beautiful when the wind was blowing. the flowers fell down like snow.
jaime and joyce were saving the prettiest of all of the flowers to make a chain with when they got home. i think they all wilted by the end of the day. i tried to teach a life lesson about how flowers need the tree and leaves to help them live.
jaime spent a good 20 minutes trying to make the perfect rose out of fern leaves. apparently josh taught her that trick.
joyce was exhausted by the end of it.
it was a really lovely day.
the only thing that could make it better? leg massages in the evening! tess and danielle and i went over to the reflexology place and had a 20min back massage/40min leg massage. it hurts but it felt really good on my tired legs.
spent some quality time at the coffee shop with a cup of rose tea and mashed potatoes with bacon and cheese from latini's. yum. perfect day.
you can click here to see the rest of the pictures from today.
and p.s. look at my new blonde hair :)