So, thanks to work obligations, we found ourselves back in Tainan for the third time this year.
What I found sentimental about that, moreoso than over the summer, was that Brendan and I are nearing our 10th anniversary as a couple. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we got together in Tainan, and our very first picture together as a bona fide couple (rather than two very frustrated best friends who clearly liked each other) was taken at the Confucius Temple there.
That was on March 1st (or thereabouts) 2007, and as it is highly unlikely we'll be in Tainan on March 1st 2017 - though you never know, we could be sent back for work - this is about as close as we are likely to get to return to the city where we got together close to a major anniversary date.
So, of course we went back to the Confucius Temple and took the same picture again (above). I won't comment on how we've changed and how we haven't, I will note that ten years on, six of them as a married couple, we still have that undefinable spark. It may be a more comfortable warmth rather than, say, what happened last time which I am pretty sure entailed making out in the Confucius Temple - Confucius was surely not pleased - but it's there. Like the perfect teaming of a chaos and an order muppet. (I'm the Swedish Chef, if you must know).
So, I don't have much about Tainan to say in this post - you can read that in my posts from earlier this year (one is linked above, here's the other). What I do feel like talking about is how we went back and did a lot of the same things we did ten years ago - without really thinking about it. A few things have changed: we didn't know about the life-changing food combination that is ice cream served in half a melon available at Taicheng Fruit Store (泰成水果店) nor about Narrow Door Cafe (窄門咖啡) and I am fairly sure our favorite bar, Taikoo (太古), was not open yet.
But coffee at Chihkan Towers just for the atmosphere? Confucius Temple? God of Hell Temple? Famous glutinous meat dumplings? Running into a temple parade? All the greatest hits from 2007 got played, and it was in fact very sentimental and lovely to re-live it like that, as Old Married People rather than Young Love. It's like dancing to the song you first danced to, if we danced, which we don't really.
Perhaps I was also feeling sentimental because it's the holidays - my mom loved the holidays and also passed away around this time of year (actually almost two years ago exactly). I have been thinking, as I put together an album of her photos, how much she also liked old man's tea (老人茶 or laorencha - the title of this blog, though that's not the reason), and how sad I am that we never got to drink it together in Taiwan. So, I think a lot about family, relationships and life at this time of year.
|My mom in the early 1980s - I would have likely been a baby when this was taken.|
Anyway, enjoy some photos. This first one is one of the common areas in our hotel this time, called Goin Old House Bed and Breakfast (and also bar, on the first floor). The rooms are simple, clean and a little old-timey/traditional, with very modern bathrooms, which I appreciate. And it's extremely central.
Track 1 on Greatest Hits from Brendan and Jenna Get Together: Live in Tainan 2007, coffee at Chihkan Tower:
Track 2: Temple Parade (this happened in Anping in 2007 but at the God of War temple this time):
Track 3: Let's eat some meatballs (肉圓 - the famous ones by the God of War Temple):
Track 4: Wandering the Backstreets
Track 5: The God of Hell Temple (東嶽殿), but the murals weren't as visible this time:
Track 6: Backstreets, Refrain
Bonus Tracks: Narrow Door Cafe:
Bonus Track 2: Taicheng Fruit Store:
Bonus Track 3: Taikoo Bar