… a very dear friend and former flatmate of mine (the groom, Roland) found a fantastic woman (Vera) and managed to convince her to marry him.
This resulted in a Zimbabwean-Taiwanese wedding in the midst of typhoon season in Taipei, Taiwan, to which we had the honor of being invited.
Naturally, we said yes. We packed our bags and a set of swim fins, and we headed to Taiwan.
Little did we know, we’d be in for a spot of bad weather, but we still had plenty of good company.
After 16 hours in flight, not including our 2 hour stop in Hong Kong, we arrived in Taipei at night.
We arrived at our hotel, quickly unpacked, and headed downstairs to a Japanese restaurant before meeting our friends, whose wedding we had made this mighty trek to witness and the groom’s parents (Christine & Ian), whom I have had the pleasure of getting to know while travelling in Zimbabwe.
It was then that we learned that there really aren’t a lot of bars in Taipei. As it happens, the Taiwanese are not genetically evolved drinkers, which means that gathering at a bar isn’t much fun the next day for most locals. The groom’s parents proudly advised is that this was not cause for concern, as they had found that the presence of a 7-11 on every corner made it easy to make one’s own bar. (Check out the 7-11 link, as Taiwanese 7-11 looks like far more fun than American 7-11.)
That’s right, parents told us to go get beer at the 7-11 and bring it back to their room. Naturally, We did as we were told.
The temple itself is very beautiful and ornate, as you can see from these pictures.
It’s really quite amazing to look at.
The Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is located in a large square which is also home to the National Theater, The Gate of Great Centrality & Perfect Uprightness (Freedom Gate) and the National Concert Hall.
Inside of the memorial is a large statue (and Ian & Darren):
inside the museum, you can see, but as the sign sternly advises, not touch or enter Chang Kai Shek’s official cars
After all that history, we headed to what is known as the best dumpling shop in Taipei for Xiao Long Bao (aka: soup dumplings).
Conveniently, they do provide directions on how to properly enjoy the dumplings on a laminated card. (The other side is in Japanese, as Taiwan has many Japanese tourists).
After all that, we headed back to the hotel for a bit of quiet time before meeting up with the bride, groom, and groom’s family for dinner.