1/2/10--Not that I haven't visited the Night Market just the night before w/ Jerome, but this morning I'm waking up to yet another big meal ahead! Lunch with Ma's side of relatives at Leo Fu Hotel's Buffett. OH GOSH. Yet another big production--all-you-can-eat, lotsa people. I braced myself.
Mom and I were the first to arrive and very soon everyone was there. The 28 of us were in a room separately from all the other Buffett diners. It was good to see all the cousins, aunts and uncles. Just as we were settling down to our meal, Dad's brother Uncle William showed up...we were wondering how he was invited to Mom's side's family event. But it turned out he was here to attend another party and the hotel ushered him to the wrong table, since both reservations were made by "Mrs. Wun". Uncle William and some of Dad's sister Aunt Tsui-Mei's children and grand children were sitting on the far end of the same buffett restaurant. All these relatives quickly started intermingling with each other, catching up, saying hello, extending New Year wishes. It was a very busy lunch with lots of walking around for sure!
After lunch I rushed on to the Toastmasters meeting, and then on to dinner w/ my cousin Jerome again. Jerome and I met up at the Jiantan Station, but we decided to venture out to the Shida neighborhood off of the Taipower Building MRT Station area. Friend R nicely provided much needed information on where to go...we went to the Red House where we had a bottle of wine on the balcony overlooking the rainy yet busy Shida Road. Following yesterday's VERY LARGE FRIED CHICKEN, I decided to treat Jerome to some more fried bits. We stopped at a salty-crunchy chicken stall, where I bought some more fried bits of food for Jerome. He devoured them in no time, and swore to introduce the fried bits to the general Canadian public. Fried food. So bad for you but so good to eat. What more do I need to say.
After Shida, at Jerome's insistance, we went on to Ximen area for a drink. Ximen was the place to be when I was little--I am quite surprised it's been regentrified and there are so many chic little stores here, especially inside the Red House Building (how come there are so many "red houses" in Taipei?) Jerome seems to have come here before b/c it's close to Uncle Sidney's office. Instead of me leading the way, he lead me to this outside cafe where we sat and I relaxed over drinks and chit chatted about, oh, family stuff, enjoying a cousinly good time. The people at the bar were very friendly and they were curious about Jerome since he speaks no Mandarin but only Taiwanese and English. We ended up chatting with the Waiter Amis for a really long time before heading back home on the very last MRT train.