Monday, September 29, 2008

Cape No. 7, Typhoon, Beef Noodle and Sunset

We went to watch Cape No.7 (海角七號) on Friday night, just before the Typhoon Jangmi hit Taiwan on Saturday (2008/9/27). It is really a well made movie and very Tai (台). I watched the same movie the week before with my sister when she came to Taipei to see our father in the Hospital. The weekend when she just arrived (2008/9/13), Taipei was hit by a Typhoon also, which hung around Taiwan for three days. Grace left for the US in the afternoon of 12th and my sister arrived the same day at night. Both just missed the Typhoon in the airport.

I took Grace out to have beef noodle the day she was leaving at 史記牛肉麵. This restaurant has the beef noodle in a white broth, which is very different from other traditional beef noodles. It also has the best marinated cucumber. I also went with my sister to the Taipei Train Station to have another kind of beef noodle at 蘭州拉麵. The special of this restaurant is that the chef really pulls the fresh noodle by hand in front of you. We can often have this type of noodle in China, but it is harder to find an authentic one in Taipei. These two restaurants are what I consider as restaurants serving new type of beef noodles. Beef noodle is such an essential Taiwan experience and deep engrained in everyday life. When I was young, I only knew two beef noodles: Taoyuan Street Beef Noodle (桃園街牛肉麵) and Old Chang Beef Noodle (老張牛肉麵). Taoyuan Street is behind the Presidential Palace, where my father's office was. Both my sister and I could each have a large bowl of noodle and scallion pancake when we were ten. She was still enquiring about did they still serve the noodle in large bowl this time? No, only in normal size now. Old Cheng is the Father of all Sichuan beef noodle in Taiwan. He had a food stand at RenAi Rd (仁愛路) and Hang Chow South Road (杭州南路). My mother's best friend used to live there and she took us to eat at this stand. I must be less than 10. The real original name was called Old Chang Dan Dan Noodle (老張担担麵). The restaurant of the same name still exists in an alley way close to that road junction. But for the better and closer taste to the original, go to Old Chang Beef Noodle at Yongkang Street (永康街) region. For me the most important reason that this restaurant is the real offspring of the original one was, about 10 years ago, when I visited the restaurant on my occasional trip back to Taipei, an old waiter from the old restaurant was still serving in this restaurant. I was fortunate to find the recipe of Old Chang Beef Noodle in an old recipe book written 20 years ago. Even at that time, the old owner was no longer there.

The colorful sunset at the beginning of this blog was taken by Grace from her office before she left for the US when the Typhoon was coming. After my sister left on the 18th, and before Grace came back, I went to Danshui (淡水) for some errands. On the way back, I stopped by Dataocheng Warf (大稻埕). It used to be a major harbor, when Taipei was still a seafaring city in the 19th century. It is a frequent stop for me on my bike ride. I was met by a school of photographers (not fish), completed with instructors and over 20 fully equipped students.

Dataocheng is a famous spot for sunset. The sky was very clear without much cloud that day. Being a good sport, of cause, I also took out my camera and joined the crowd. The best time to photograph sunset is 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after the sunset. As in life, do not forget to turn around to look behind. The better image may not just in front of you. Here are my images.

1 comment:

shu said...

I told everyone about Cape No. 7. It was the one of the best recent movies I have watched. So often we watch movies made by other cultures for other people. This is the first time in years I watched a movie that felt just so right - like a soft, old blanket. Sis

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