Monday, August 4, 2008

Dragonfly, 福州乾麵 and 燒餅

The only connection of 福州乾麵 (dry noodle of Fuzhou style) and 燒餅 (Shaobin, Chinese Muffin) is that there are two particular stores that selling these delicacies open as early as 6 am, and they are also the best in Taipei. It is very good news for the travelers who arrive in Taipei from the US at 5 am, and are hungry for some good solid food. How do they connect to the dragonfly? They are close to the Taipei Botanical Garden where we photographed dragonfly.

50 years ago, when I (Bradley) was very young, my father worked with the telecomunication company; its main office was behind the Presidential Palace. During the very cold winter morning (32 degree F) in Taipei, We would leave home early for my kindergarten by his office. We walked through the Taipei Botanical Garden to watch frost on the ground. He then treated me with 福州乾麵 and fish ball soup Fuzhou style (fish ball with meat inside). Recently, I have been able to find "Lin's Family dry noodle (林家乾麵)" at the junction of 泉州街 and 愛國西路. Its dry noodle is very light, almost tasteless. It was cooked perfectly al dente. The restaurant is very clean and open 24 hours. After eating the 30 NT (1 US$) noodle, we can drive down 愛國西路 and onto 金華街. At the junction of 杭州南路, by the famous 廖家牛肉麵, is a store sells 燒餅油條 (Shaobin Youtiao) only in the early hour of the morning. By 8 o'clock, they will be sold out. Unlike the fluffy ones now sold in most stores in Taipei, its 燒餅 is old fashion solid and is trianglar in shape. It has a very light sugar coating that makes all the difference. Eat it right away. When it is cold, it becomes too solid.

This is what we did this past Saturday morning (2008/8/2). We then went to the Botanical Garden afterwards. The National History Museum has been having the exhibition of Impressionist Millet's painting from Paris' Orsay Museum. We didn't go in, too many people and we have seen it in Paris, but walked around the garden and saw quite a few dragonflies. We packed D300 with the 70-300 VR zoom the next morning and captured the dragonfly images. They were not too difficult to photograph, since they do occasionally stay put stationary on sticks.

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