Stop 1.2 Tainan / 台南 – Food

This one will contain mostly just fotos … We did not do much in Tainan but eating from one stand to the next one. To summarize: there are so many things to try out in Tainan (or Taiwan in general) but there really was not anything that blew your mind to be honest. If I need to pick one, then the squid soup is the best from them.

Most of the food are located on 国华路 as Kate showed us, starting from 永乐广场 going south. But the following pictures are not ordered by location nor time.

This is the squid soup. Tasted light but exactly right.

This is some fish skins and meat. Tasted fresh.

Squid plus some fish balls and shrimps.

This one is kind of special. It is enclosed with in the bread and the filling we had is with cream and some vegetables.

This is the longest queue we had. Mostly intestines from beef.

Chocolate ice cream. This store only offers one single taste every day. By their own choice. A good way to market I guess.

“Schnitzel” from a night market. We were 3 people and we were too hungry so that we all took the same thing. That filled us up good and we didn’t have enough room to try much more other stuff afterwards …

Some gilled stuff. 1 Franc for one stew.

Breakfast I had in a local market. Quite sweet and filled with meet.

me, on the second night in Hong Kong.

Stop 1.1: Tainan / 台南 – People

After the long flight Zurich-Dubai-HongKong-Kaohsiung, the first longer stay is in Tainan. I chose a hostel which is a bit further away from the center but the reviews revealed that the owner Kate is apparently very nice. I arrived roughly around 16:00 and was then chatting with some of her friends.  

They met through biking tours. Actually I did not pay attention to the english name of the hostel which is exactly “Bike”. The guy on the right is working in Mosambique since 3 years on the farms. He knows the company’s owner through university who is from Mosambique and met his wife in Taiwan during his studies. The other one on the left used to be in the (Taiwan equivalent of) “navy seal” and now is doing super ironman to keep him fit. He wants to turn pro but the financial side is not easy to manage. He is now managing some cooling facilities and tries to earn more from selling seafood to premium clients. Usually seafood are prepared with some extra stuff to make them look bigger and more fresh. So he is selling more healthy seafood with no extra.

Now to other hostel guests.

The 2 girls on the right are from Sweden. Just graduated from High school, have been working in retail for some months, now they started to travel for 4 months in Southeast Asia. This apparently a common thing to do for the gap year and they already met a lot of the previous classmates. The guy at the bottom is from Spain. He works in Berlin as a vet but quited his current job (too) because he did not come along with the boss. He also spent some months in Changmai volunteering as a dog vet. He is rather a reserved guy and did not talk much. The guy with the glasses is an exchange student from Berlin from Qinghua. To describe him shortly, I would say he is the pretty standard German guy that I picture in my mind. After one day or two, you can only find out that much and of course there is so much more than what meets the eyes. The young chinese girl is called Ebby. She is in the 2nd grade High school and is currently helping out Kate in the Hostel. In Taiwan, such things are more common compared to mainland (which I wished I would have done something like that as well, one of the Swedish girls did a gap year in Illinois too in a guest family). She is very open and for her young age, compared to myself, will do just great in the future. Actually her mom sells insurances to Kate. That baffled me a bit that you can actually become friends with the guy that sells you insurance … where you know some profits are inbetween.

Of course, now to the main character: Kate.

The reviews of course prove themselves right. She is so warm and you almost feel like she is an aunt to you. Not sure what details make you feel this way but she just seemed authentic. Once she was even worried that we should hurry up to go outside and not to “squander” the day inside even it was freaking cold in Tainan (10 degrees). She would bring the guests to close by spots to show them street food from the neighbourhood. She would also invite her friends along to the hostel to chat with the guests. She would take guests to a local restaurant and order local food for them. And she is so uncomplicated, extending the stay, switching rooms and all are all not a problem. Maybe she just remembers me of the old days how my aunt was treating us.

More people of course. It was a short night chat just before the day we left Tainan. There are 2 canadian chefs on this picture who work in Hyatt. One is hold back and the other one has a lot energies and is the kind of the loud and crazy person in the group. There is an English guy who studies in Beijing because he thinks Chinese will be useful. There is Danish guy with Arabic origins who is now living in Taiwan since roughly 4 years and his Chinese was pretty impressive. He met his girlfriend through his roommate and adopted a dog who was put in front of one of his friends house. His girlfriend actually knows Kate from picking one of her friend once in the hostel. Now they are friends and Kate would say that she is a bit of the crazy kind. (I would say this more just open minded and curious person). And of course there is my friend whom I know from Shanghai EXPO 8 years ago.

Well, this is a short summary of the people I met in the past few days and they are what make the travels special. And now I actually realilze that writing a blog takes time and you do rethink of what happened. This is a good way of reflection …

Me, in Kaohsiung again, waiting to eat more food. And this is what the next post will be about 😀


Hello World!

I still remember 19 years ago, when my flight took off from Shanghai to Munich, the expression on mom’s face. Although it was just for a short year, leaving what you have known for 40 years is something special. I never imagined that I could relate to that. Leaving Shanghai 2 times never struck me that much. Somehow today, I was not overwhelmed with excitement, but rather with the feeling that I will miss everything in Zurich. With the people especially. Over the last 3 years, it is only now that I realize what I had experienced and what I have now. Whatever broke me in 2017 is maybe the best thing that happened to make me experience what I experience now. It makes me feel alive and not just a walking zombie in the daily routines.

Now ahead to the adventures, feel the fear and do it anyway. Look laziness in the eye, pet him calmly and smile away.

Me, somewhere over the middle east.

Thank you

Yesterday was the farewell apéro at the office. After so many ones in the office last year it is a weird feeling to hold your own.

Thanks for all the people who showed up and for giving me such wonderful presents. It was nice to see everyone of you there.

I can’t really remember the exact words that I said yesterday but I hope the message was clear that I indeed appreciate everyone of you whom I met in the past 2.5 years.

I remember I saw a sentence somewhere, not the same words, but: saying goodbye is for the more wonderful meeting again  (离别是为了下一次更好的重逢) And I hope after my travel or maybe even during my travel, I will see you wonderful people again.

Don’t regret regret

This is somewhat connected to the previous private post.

A friend of mine, thanks Anto, showed me this:

Quote: If we have goals and dream, and we want to our best. And if we love people we don’t want to hurt them, or lose them, we should feel pain when things go wrong. The point is not to live without any regrets.  The point is not to hate ourselves for having them […] Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly, it reminds us that we can do better. For the next time.

Reasons for travel

Many people say that they like to travel. Every now and then I will try to ask them, why do you like to travel? What is it that you are looking for when you are travelling? Some people might say that they want to see beautiful spots, some people say they want to meet new people, some might say that they want to discover the world (what does that exactly mean anyway?).

For me, just simply seeing touristic spots don’t give me substantial satisfaction any more (there are of course astounding scenes which blow your mind, like climbing somewhere to the top and enjoy the view, example would be arthur’s seat in Edinburgh), in the end, most things will look like the pictures you can find on the internet. For me, what really changes the experience are the people. They might be locals, they might be fellow backpackers, they might even be tour guides. By observing them, or by having a conversation with them, or by listening to their stories, or by doing things together, all these activities reveal interesting things about what they think is the right thing, how they behave, what kind of attitudes they have and so on, and so on. And then, with what you see, they will clash into your own and this where the thinking begins. Sometimes it let’s you question your own belief, sometimes if gives a full other perspective, sometimes it strengthens your belief. And this, is something that you won’t experience normally. Of course, through work, relationship, or friendship, these can happen too but during travelling, this happens at a quicker pace (at least I would imagine, not that i have done a lot of travelling)

With all what has happened in 2017, I feel a little bit lost. Half of the things made me really happy, half of the things made me feel really sad. When I am really happy, I don’t really convey anything, I am rather enjoying it. Maybe there is my happy face, but how can you let other know that you are happy and you actually appreciate the moments that you are experiencing? Being a reserved person doesn’t always mean you should not say much. Sometimes it is very important that you speak about your true feelings. This goes for sadness as well. And this will be something that I need to practice during my travels.

Also when everything seemed to be lost, I asked myself what is it that you want to do? We should all live a happy life and do things that we enjoy. I am trying to understand what is it that I really like to do? What do I actually enjoy? What are the basic things that I believe in? When do I need to hold my ground and fight for things that I believe in? There are somehow so many fundamental questions unanswered. And they need to be answered before travel and during the travel.