Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Monday/Tuesday AM

After some breakfast, Dad and I headed to the MRT (the subway) to meet up with Megan. She is here on a cultural exhange program for kids in the US that have Taiwanese parents. To say the least, she's not having the greatest of times... I'm glad I can be here to break up the month of what she's dramatically calling "prison."

Dad tried to convince the wardens to let her have another day to attend Ago's (grandpa) funeral, but they wouldn't budge. I'm looking forward to jailbreaking with her for a couple of days, and we're planning on hanging out Wednesday when she has some free time. Gonna go try to see Batman...

After a short visit with Megan, Dad and I took a short walk up the hill to the Grand Hotel. We ordered some Taiwan beers and a sushi/sashimi plate, as recommended by my brother from his last trip. No disappointment here.

Also recommended by Chris was the Grand Tailor. My brother had some custom shirts made earlier this year by the shop owner, so we went in to take a look. He remembered my dad and greeted us kindly. After showing us some fine cashmere wool and cell phone pictures of the former president of Taiwan, one of his clients, he convinced us that we needed to get fitted for new suits. We obliged and within minutes he was wrapping a tape measure around us. Our custom-made suits will be ready on Friday.
We headed back to Uncle's and I took a much needed nap. Upon waking, we went to visit Ago's shrine. Normally, the shrine would have been set up in the apartment where he lived, but it is unlucky to have more than one shrine in the same house in one year (my grandma passed away earlier this year). We presented food and fruit at the shrine, lit incense, and recited some prayers from a book. In the background, recorded chanting played over the hum of traffic passing outside the building. You can always hear traffic in Taipei.

My sleep schedule is all messed up. Right after dinner, I layed down and didn't wake up until 2:30am. Stayed up for a little bit, catching up with email and whatnot, then tried to sleep again, with some success.

We woke up early and had breakfast of soy milk, egg dumpling, and sticky rice. We are planning on heading to the temple where Grandma's ashes are to pick up the urn for Grandpa.

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