Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Misadventures of Taiwan: Mafia Vendors

Having laboured diligently since August in their public school positions, the Harrington duo was particularly eager to enjoy some traveling adventures during the winter vacation.  A couple weeks of camps finished and the joyous completion of a Master's in Education accomplished, the Harrington's set out for 9 day dinner date accompanied by adventures in Taiwan.  Little did they expect that each day's adventure would have an element of misfortune, not to the point of ruining the vacation, but enough so to mark each day as a bit of a misadventure.

Setting off on Saturday morning, the 21st of January the Harrington's took a few moments to celebrate the official anniversary of Lady Annyeong becoming a Harrington before dropping her off at Auntie Elspeth's for a week of her own dog-like adventures.  Grown-up responsibilities of caring for dog aside the couple made their way to the airport shuttle, downed some hot choco and coffee, a few convenience store snacks and were soon en route (with hot choco induced jitters for the man) to Incheon International Airport.

One year with the Lady! (top right, her One Year Gift/Souvenir from Taiwan)

After enjoying the shortest single flight to a final destination that the couple can ever recall and making their way onto yet another airport transfer bus (this time in Taipei) the couple eventually arrived in Ximen district and began the 10 minute walk to the Hotel Riverview where bags were shed and plans were quickly made to wander the neighborhood in hopes for dinner, since, after all that was the main purpose of going to Taiwan, to grab dinner.

Hotel lobby and comparison of who carries what when the Harrington duo takes to traveling

Quickly and easily the duo found a handful of street vendors and quickly spotted the dish they wanted try: a crepe-like treat filled with an egg, meat and fantastic sauce. Mike placed the order (which was mostly pointing and nodding), paid 65 New Taiwanese Dollars (~2US$) and awaited what was sure to be deliciousness.  No sooner had the money been handed over however, that the street vendor called out some warning and began rolling away with the Harrington's cash and dinner. Confused and unsure how to respond, the Harrington's stood still, watched and hoped they'd soon understand the situation before them. A minute or so later (subsequently, after the police had passed through) the street vendor returned to his post and served up a delicious treat.

Still unsure of the episode which had just occurred, the Harrington's made their way back to the hotel after grabbing a few more snacks and strange looking drinks hoping their CS friend could shed some light on the situation the following day.  Therefore, the following day, among other things, the Harrington's learned about supposed Mafia affiliations within both the police forces and the street food vendor forces, hence the scattering of the Harrington's mafia vendor upon sight of the police and the beginning of minor yet notable misadventures in Taiwan.

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