August 29, 2014

Things to See in Kenting

Kenting, the Southern Tip of Taiwan

Kenting, the very south of Taiwan. Surfers' Paradise, as far as surfing goes in Taiwan, also the only real part of Taiwan where the waters are shallow enough for scuba diving to pay off, at least when it comes to the mainland – around the small island it outside of Taiwan it is different.

Kenting, 墾丁 in Chinese (Mandarin), or "Kending" in Pinyin, where the climate is relatively comfortable also in the winter, when the rest of the country can get chilly, especially when the cold winds from the north hits.

Kenting town is not very impressive, it is a small village and it reminds me of the tourist resorts in and around Greece, Spain, Turkey and Italy, well, actually the whole Mediterranean area, where the same cheap plastic toys and trinkets are sold in every shop and where the food is adjusted for the tourists. It's not bad, don't misunderstand me, it's just not that special or typical Taiwanese. 

However it is never the less a place that should not be missed – the climate is only one of the advantages, the closeness to the sea is another; But more than anything the whole area around Kenting is the home of what is one of the largest areas with protected and cared for nature in Taiwan; Kenting National Park.

August 22, 2014

With its feet In the salty water

Zeekraal - a Dutch Delicacy

At a recent visit to Den Haag (The Hague) in Netherlands, I walked in to a little restaurant, just because I was curious, and found this, in a little bowl on the counter. It's something I had never seen before, each little part maybe as long as my little finger from top to bottom, but much much thinner, thin as well grown chives, or thin straws. 

Curious as I am I of course had to ask...

The owner of the restaurant told me that this is a dutch speciality, that grows outside Den Haag (The Hague), with it's feet in the water it sucks up the salt in it's surroundings. He went on and explained a bit more how it is used, it can be served raw or be cooked, often steamed, and served, in salads. He then invited me to try a piece, and I was very pleasantly surprised. I lack the terminology for describing the zeekraal, but it is green, relatively firm, and taste of the ocean, the wild and beautiful sea. 

August 07, 2014

Taiwanese Sausages - An Unexpected Little Surprise

Sweet and Yet Savoury

There is something special about Taiwanese sausages.

And it is not just that they are often – normally? - served on a stick. That IS a nice feature though, especially for someone like me who doesn't eat much bread. It's not that I don't like bread now and then, keyword being now and then – but I like my sausage without bread and when it is served on a stick, that's exactly what you get; Sausage without bread. Although when you DO get it in bread it is not really bread either, in Taiwan the sausages are, if they are not served on a stick, served in a a type of bun that isn't really a bun at all, but rather a sausage, a light brown sausage – white, almost – which contains rice. It is a very tasty sausage which is used as a bun.

August 05, 2014

Kaohsiung August 2014 - Sorrow Hits the Country

Kaohsiung August 2014

Late in the evening on a hot an humid day in August, it happened, the nightmare that no one wants to happen. It much resembled what you see in doomsday Hollywood productions, except this time it was no film, and while it was a nightmare, it was not the kind of nightmare you wake up from, your heard pounding, the cold sweat covering your body, chill running down your spine. This time there was no waking up. This time the nightmare was real...