Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fancy Dinner

The first full day in Taiwan ended with an invitation to a dinner banquet held at a restaurant 2 minutes away on foot from my parents' place. This is a fancy dinner indeed!! The restaurant is quite nice and we were seated in a banquet room housing 2 tables, each can seat 10 people. So there were about 20 people at the party. It was the year-end party of the Rotary Club's Taiwan Multidistrict Youth Exchange Program Committee, of which Dad is an active member.

The food was really great--it was Chinese food but with some fusion cooking methods. We had stir-fried bamboo shoots, lamb chop grilled with herb crusting, shrimp salad with Asian vegetables, cherry shrimp with chive, and several other delicious dishes. I was very full and did not have room for desserts which were fruits and cute little pastries with red bean fillings (which I am not too fond of to start with, but everyone else in the whole continent of Asia seems to like.)We had individual portions of 10 dishes served to us; wine, tea and the Chinese liquor; aged "Shao Shing" was served. Shao Shing was served warm in a small decanter, and then in shot glasses. I had a few shots in bottoms-up style at the urging of a few "uncles". Hm. Carb. Sugar. Not good for diet. But hey, I gotta do the socially acceptable thing.

I had a great time talking to the "uncles" and the "aunts"--that's how I generally refer to Mom and Dad's friends. As one can imagine, in the rather Joy Luck Club fashion, somehow the conversation turned to who at the table has grown children who are not yet married. An awkward moment occurred when the aunts and uncles found out that I am single and just landed in Taipei not even 24 hours prior. Those seated at the table were quite eager to see to it that I am married off, and started giving all kinds of advice--now, I truly feel that I'm back in Taiwan. That's when the lady Mrs. Lee sitting next to me starting to give me all kinds of very specific advice. Well, at the very least I got the telephone number and address of her hair stylist who supposedly is EXTREMELY good and can make me look very glamorous. We shall see.

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