All our hopes and plans for our day off and what happens? We get rained in, of course.
When we woke up on Saturday, it was pleasantly cloudy, but by the time we got up and ready for our day, there was a clap of thunder, and rain started pouring down around us. With all of our housemates out harvesting Taiwanese grapefruit (which are huge and very unlike the American variety) on another local farm, and the buses out of service, we were stuck inside all day, hoping in vain for the storm to pass.
We snacked on instant noodles and cookies until our housemates returned home at the end of the day, damp and exhausted. We had originally planned on joining them for the harvest today, and boy were we glad we dropped out! Jeff was as hungry as we were, and suggested we go out to a little place owned by some of his friends named Heart Feast.
They call themselves the restaurant without a menu, and make a different special every day. When you walk in the door, instead of worrying about what to order, you pick out an art card designed by Jeff’s friend Doris, from the front desk, each with words of encouragement and inspiration. The restaurant’s philosophy is to be a place of comfort and support for people who need it most, and make their food, well, a feast for your heart!
They definitely succeeded on that front: their warm, comforting food was just what we needed on such a gloomy day, and was some of the best we’ve had in Taiwan so far! They even made a special vegetarian version of the meal for the two of us.
Doris and Lois, the owner, were kind enough to keep the restaurant open for us, and get to know us a little after we ate. Doris is the sister of Paul, the owner of Lao Jia, and Lois lived in the village Lu Zhu Nan, the village we’re visiting tomorrow, so this definitely won’t be the last we see of them! After talking a bit about our time in Taiwan so far and our plans for the future, we left them a little self portrait, based on the restaurant’s little mascots, to remember us by!
Our stomachs full and our hearts nourished, we decided to make one last stop before heading home: the night market! The night market in Miaoli City is one of the biggest around, according to Jeff, and the rain had stopped by then so we hoped there might be a few stalls still out, braving the weather…and our hopes were met! Though it was by no means a bustling market, we were able to get bubble teas and a few pieces of Taiwan’s famous green onion bread.
Tomorrow we have a much busier day planned, weather permitting, and we’re looking forward to seeing some familiar faces from earlier this week!