Photos by MJ Klein and Hui-chen
We don’t go into Taipei very often. Its a love-hate situation. I like the cool stuff you can do in the city, but it’s….. well its a big dirty city and there is too much traffic and too many people for my liking. But after reading about Taiwan blogger Andres’ visit to the Taiwan Beer Bar, I really wanted to check the place out. After corresponding with Andres we decided to go up to Taipei and meet.
Hui-chen and I went to the Taiwan Beer Bar first, and sampled the fresh local beer.
They serve beer in one of those green insulated tapped coolers. Hui-chen thought it was cool so she asked the bartender how much they cost. His reply was that they do not sell them. However if someone wants to take one out of the bar, they must pay a deposit of NT$1,200. So, he said, if you want one just don’t bring it back. lol!
Ahhh, a refreshing draft Taiwan beer. I love my whisky of course, but a nice cold beer can quench my thirst better than anything else. I must say that the draft version is light-years better than anything I have tried in a bottle.
The Taiwan Beer Bar also has a menu of typical Taiwanese style food. Since we were going to meet Andres for dinner later, we just got a plate of Chinese style sausage, shown here. We were doing what we normally do, drinking, eating snapping photos and not blending in. Notice the unidentified gentleman in the background, looking at me while I take this photograph. After I snapped the photo, he said “I think I know you. Aren’t you on Michael Turton’s blog? Oh, by the way, congratulations!” (he read about our wedding on Michael’s blog). That was Hui-chen’s first Rockstar Moment.
Somehow, these very tacky looking beer bottle lamps seem appropriate in this setting….
The cashier is right in the middle of all the action. One has to place their order here, and pay for it in advance. So, if you happen to be sitting at the bar like we were, and you’d like a refill, you have to go over to the cashier and place another order and pay for it. This was just another surreal aspect of the place. Plenty of foreigners were there and they were pounding down some brew, lemme tell you.
Awhile later, Hui-chen and I hopped in a taxi to go to the next place on our list, “Jolly’s” restaurant. We walked a couple of blocks in the very light rain because the taxi let us off on the other side of the block because it was easier.
Andres’ colleague Rich, is in Taiwan for a few more days working on a company project with Andres. Rich is a very knowledgeable engineer and so down-to-earth. I really enjoyed talking with he and Andres about business in Asia and other things, like drinking!
This is of course, Hui-chen, sporting the look that she gets when she knows that I’m going to take her picture because I have the camera out and it’s not going back in the bag until I take at least one shot of her. 😛
We talked for quite some time and then took off for Jolly’s across the street for some of their own brewed beer.
Andres and Rich (and I) enjoy a tall glass of a wonderful dark brew. It was smooth and flavorful. Later we checked out the Vienna Amber. Man that was great.
Hui-chen snapped this group shot. Next time I’m going to pack the tripod!
Saying our goodbyes, we headed for the Taipei bus station, since it was now after 1:00 am, and no trains were running. I haven’t been to this bus station for a couple of years so I took some shots of it (of course).
The only bus running at that time was the Ubus, so we got 2 tickets to Hsinchu for NT$80 each on the 2:00am bus. Hui-chen commented on how cheap the tickets were. Hui-chen says she doesn’t like that bus line, but I had ridden it once before with no problems.
Hui-chen got very upset, so we stood up and she told the bus driver to stop backing up. Another woman then engaged the driver in a conversation and convinced him to go ahead to the next exit, where she would direct him where to go to return to the bus stop. That woman was pretty cool actually, and kept saying things like “what a joke!” and “are you kidding?” because the driver didn’t know his way around very well.
What I found particularly interesting is that only this woman, Hui-chen and a single male passenger said anything at all to the driver about missing the exit, or what to do about it. But, when we made it back to the bus stop, about 15 people got off the bus. These people seemed perfectly content to just let anything happen to them without complaint. Weird.
After adding another 40 minutes onto our ride home trying to make our way back to the correct bus stop, and the taxi to Hukou to where our car was parked, we finally got home around 4:30am.
Let me say that hanging out with Andres, Karen and Rich was well worth it!
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