December 13, 2006

Episode VIII: My day


Usually from Monday to Friday, when my watch shows noon, I go to eat my lunch. Before I first came to Taiwan I have never eaten lunch because we don’t have this custom in Poland. We have breakfast, dinner around two or three o’clock and supper around seven or eight. Eating lunch in Kaohsiung for me is difficult a bit. It takes more time for me to get hungry after breakfast than just till 12 o’clock. I eat but most of the time it’s because all the people do, not because I really need it.

In City Hall there’s a nice place you can have a decent breakfast and lunch. It’s on the 11th floor, so I use an elevator to get there. In the morning I often have a toast sandwich with immortal peanut butter and jam.
Funny thing is, the lady who sells those toasts, recognizes me. She must think I’m American or Canadian I guess, so she always speaks English to me when I come there. I know she tries to be nice but I also make an effort saying: “Tzao”, “Xie-xie” and “Tzay-tzien”. She will always reply: “Good morning”, “Thank you” and “Good bye”. Who’s Taiwanese and who’s foreign in the end?

Lunch time comes I go to buffet, my favorite place to figure out some great meal. I like buffet for a simple reason. I can take a close look at the food. It’s organized in sections of vegetables, fish, meat, noodles and so on and so forth. Lately, my best pick are eggplants, tomatoes with eggs, fried pumpkin, sweet potatoes and spicy tofu. I prefer mixed rice of different kinds to regular white one. It’s healthier and tastes better.
Another new thing to me in Taiwan is a naptime. People don’t sleep at work in Poland. There is simply no break. You are supposed to keep working for eight hours and you can relax at home, not in the office. To have a nap in an Asian country is reasonable in my opinion because of high temperatures that make you feel tired after few hours. I’m sure you can work better and more effective if you relax a bit in the meantime.

Around seven o’clock I usually look for my dinner. Favorite place is a street stall with variety of tofu, vegetables and dry noodles. I enjoy watching the vendor preparing my order. Cutting, boiling, putting spices. All those ordinary things bring me fun.
If I like to prepare something for myself, I go to the shop and buy some fresh piece of tuna fish, wazabi and Soya sauce and great sashimi is ready. It’s fantastic, especially for the person who tried raw fish for the first time three months ago. I cannot live without it now. – “Chia-ba-bwey?” – “Chia-ba!”

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