I think it's a little unfair that these places have not opened up shop in Taipei. Plus I didn't get a chance to eat at any of these places, only shop. While we were taken to some really great local eats, I have no idea where any of them were since they didn't have signs, were off in little alleys and didn't have any business cards to grab on the way out.
Papa John's Pizza
California Pizza Kitchen
H & M
I know, completely random, but I lost my camera last weekend and am too devasted to write anything meaningful. I have been taking a few pictures with my camera phone, but as you know, it's just not the same. Also, I LOST MY CAMERA! Argh. I guess it's an excuse to take a look at the Nikon D40 I've been hearing about or just replacing my Canon. BOO HOO.
After visiting China, I've come to realize that maybe I'm not such a good tourist. I've become comfortable with Taipei so I know how things work even though I didn't grow up there- where my favorite places to eat are or at least what the different areas of Taipei are , how to tell if your cabbie is crazy or not, what the subway stops look like and generally where they are, where the major malls are, how to convert NT to US$ without doing too much math and if I don't know where to look online!
But in China, I'm confused all over again. The local dialects are a lot more work to comprehend, trying to convert 7RMB to 1US$ is a lot harder than converting NT$s, I have no idea where public transportation is or what restaurant is good or not, and even the rumored American places like Krispy Kreme, I have no idea where to find them. Sometimes I don't even get to look at the menu, since someone else is usually ordering or has already ordered. I'm sure with time comes familiarity, but life is easier when you have someone who knows where they are going help you out.
So my apologies for not sharing any dazzling photos or juicy descriptions of the variations of stir-fried river shrimp with vinegar, crackling skins of beijing duck, or sticky sweet braised pork and bean curds "red braised" in a large red ceramic pot that we seemed to be eating at every restaurant.