Taiwan Day 2: Hualien

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day 2
On our second day back, we took an entire day trip down to 花蓮 (Hualien), the town my parents are from, and the town where we used to visit our grandparents in when we were younger. I spent a lot of my childhood here and I haven't been back since visiting my late grandfather in 2009. 

The train ride was around 3 hours and Mars slept most of the way:

The first thing we did when we got there was eat a home-cooked lunch at my great aunt's house. This meal pretty much sums up my childhood meals perfectly. The fried fish is the same fish my paternal grandfather used to buy and it was cooked in the same way as well. The garlic sprouts sauce is also a specialty that we'd always have when eating with my dad's side of the family. And of course, putting newspaper down on the table is something that we'd always do as well. This wasn't the entire meal, I dunno why I didn't snap a photo after all the dishes were on the table:

After lunch, the adults (aka my mom, sister, and grandaunt) chatted while the kids (J, Arden, Mars, and I) took a walk outside.

Later, we all went for a walk into to town, but not before stopping by my grandparents' old neighborhood.

And here I am in front of the gates of my old pre-school! It looks like a castle (you can see it in the background)!

Then, we decided to stop by my grandparents' house, which was recently sold to the neighboring egg processing company. It was really sad to see them doing renovations to it, and pretty much tearing everything out to build an office. From the front, we could see empty shells of where we used to sit in the living room to watch tv, or the dining room where my grandma kept her sewing machine.

After this, we walked toward the "downtown" area, stopping by at the houses of different relatives to say hi (this town is really tiny). While downtown, we ate some fried pork noodles and shopped around. Then it was time to head back to Taipei on the train and we didn't get home until around 11pm. 

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