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Day 4 - Taipei Holiday Trip - Takeaway from Shihlin (Afternoon)

Monica Saturday, April 24, 2010 , ,
 Wang Lai Siao Rou Yuan Stall
Early this morning, Angeline woke me up and told me that she was sick. She had high fever and gassy stomach. While she rested in the room, I went off to inform Paul and Shirley. Unfortunately, Shirley wasn't feeling well too due to food poisoning. We suspected the Dou Hua with Sweet Potato that we ate the previous night wasn't clean. Although Shirley wasn't feeling well, she took the responsibility to take care of Angeline. She massaged her and make sure that she finished her oatmeal and take her medicine on time. (Thank you very much, Shirley!)

Since Angeline doesn't had any staple food the whole morning, I went out with Paul and Shirley to get some takeaway. The weather was really cold and it was drizzling. Surprisingly, the street which is just located next to our hotel (102, Wenlin Road) , were full of hawker stalls in the afternoon. Those hawker stalls are mostly caters for the students.
Shi Shen Tang from Wang Lai Siao Rou Yuan Stall
The Shi Shen Tang and Ba Wan only cost NT$55. It was really cheap. Compared to the Shi Shen Tang at Formosa Chang, the soup here was quite bland. However, the pork intestine tasted good.
Ba Wan from Wang Lai Siao Rou Yuan Stall
The Ba Wan was quite good. The translucent dough skin was quite thick but the texture was really smooth, soft and a little bit QQ (this is how the Taiwanese expressed it). The pork filling was flavourful and it was served with a sweet and savoury sauce.
Name Card of the Stall
Sheng Jian Bao at Shihlin Market
The famous Sheng Jian Bao stall that we saw at the night market was opened in the afternoon as well. We dropped-by and bought some takeaway.
Sheng Jian Bao NT$10/each
The Bao had a soft top and crunchy bottom. The pork fillings was juicy and fragrantly good.
Nearby the Sheng Jian Bao stall, we found a shop selling Porridge. From there, we takeaway a Pork Porridge.
Pork Porridge NT$60
The Pork Porridge comes with pork, vegetables and egg. It tasted okay. We bought the porridge for Angeline but she just managed to had few bites of it.
On our way back to the hotel, Paul bought a drink from ComeBuy.
Ai Yu Ping NT$35

Today's Meditation:
I'm going to die one day. I repeat this to myself very often, usually when I'm tempted not to do something that could be very important or that could help me to learn something new through a unique experience. The "deeper aspects of life" are the most important ones we have, yet they are the ones that we avoid in favor of maintaining our illusions of security and consistency. Neither true security nor consistency are possible in this great world of ours, yet we value both of them to an extreme degree it seems, and we pay for our attempts to maintain them with our neglect of the deeper, more important things.

What would you do tomorrow if you knew that you were going to die next week?

So what are you waiting for?

We would make that time valuable by telling those we love just what they mean to us. We would look deep into ourselves to find out what we truly believe about life and love and peace and happiness. We would find joy in the simple things that life has given us, and we would shine with that joy so that others would see us and wonder what it was that could make us so happy. We would realize that the surface means very very little when all is said and done, and that the work that we've done to reach the depths of who we are is what has brought us to a fuller understanding of life.

But we avoid that work. It requires solitude. It requires us to look straight at parts of ourselves about which we may not be so proud or happy. It forces us to make decisions and to stick by them, especially ethical and moral decisions. It requires us to reject much of what we've been taught all our lives, and to see those teachings for exactly what they are--coping techniques that help us to ignore the deeper aspects of ourselves and our lives.

It can feel like standing at the edge of a dark, mysterious, seemingly dangerous forest, but once we take the plunge and get in there we find that the forest isn't filled with dangers that will kill us, but with obstacles that will help us grow and vast treasures that never would have been discovered if we weren't willing to go beyond the surface and give ourselves to the deeper side of life.

We must work on our souls, enlarging and expanding them. We do so by experiencing all of life,
the beauty and the joy as well as the grief and pain. Soul work requires paying attention to life, to the laughter and the sorrow, the enlightening and the frightening, the inspiring and the silly.

Matthew Fox
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