Sunday, January 18, 2009

DA-AN Park


The Da-An Park is one of my favorite parks in Taipei. I still remember when the park was first built 20 years ago, when the trees were still barren looking and the park had no shades throughout. Now, the trees are nicely grown in.

I met up with Aunt Lisha here this morning. Aunt Lisha is Mom's youngest sister and one of my favorite people in the world. One of the most comforting things about returning to Taiwan is that I know I'm always that little niece in Aunt Lisha's eyes no matter how old I am... :-)

To go to Da-An Park from home, I took the bus #606 which has a stop right outside of the Taipei European School, which is 1 minute by foot from my front door. The bus stops are well marked, albeit entirely in Chinese. I wonder how overseas visitors who are English-speaking only would get around!?
I arrived at Da-An park early and saw some kids dancing to the music of the Carpenter's "Wait a Minute Mr. Post Man" on the outdoors music concourse. Super hilarious. Before the song and dance of the kindergarteners were over, Aunt Lisha and her youngest daughter, my lovely cousin Young-En showed up already. It's good to see them. We chatted and had breakfast on the bench first; then went on our way to see the flower show within the Park. There are squirrels and birds playing amongst the trees and bamboos; people exercising at the park; the sun was out and the temperature most ideal. It's a beautiful day indeed.

The 2009 Taipei Flower Show is ongoing at the park. So many potted flowers and small gardens and vignettes are on display; quite nice to look at. Among the flower displays, the most impressive to me were the massive crysanthemum flowers. One plant would produce as many as 400 flowers. Amazing!!
After walking around the park and seeing all the gorgeous floral displays, we headed to see Uncle Sydney, the husband of my aunt Jenny who passed 20 years ago. He is a retired Reverend and has moved back from Canada after retirement. Uncle Sidney now works in Taiwan fully on a volunteer basis for the church. Uncle Sidney's office was very nice; he looked like he was hard at work. We spent a bit of time chit chatting there, before making our way to the National Taiwan University Campus.
At the National Taiwan University we had some coffee and had a great lunch. I asked to have something with lots of veggies as I was feeling a bit deprived of vegetables. Aunt Lisha made an excellent choice and took me to what I can best describe as the Chinese Vegetable Bar. The restaurant is within the Student Activity Center on campus; and is one of the many that are housed in the middle of the center's food court. An enormous buffet bar with countless choices of things were present. I picked mostly vegetable dishes; but also a mackeral fish with head and tail and everything intact. It was a delicious lunch. As usual, the entire meal was but a couple of dollars. After the meal we headed back to Lisha's home and I caught up with some family photos and more chit chatting, before catching another bus ride to go home. All told, a very relaxing day indeed.

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