Happy Mid Autumn Festival

DSCN9618Sophie’s Choice .. the gifts ..
Spent better part of Tuesday traveling from Ningbo to Taipei: it would have been a short hop (fm NGB tp TPE) but my itinerary had me stop over in HKG, meeting up with my cousin … so I left hotel 7am and with two delays, arrived at Taipei 4pm, safe and sound but bit tired and irritated.
It’s my first time ever visiting this little island. At immigration, the officer said my passport is expiring in less than 6 months hence I needed a visa. Ok.
“How much?”
“US$100.”
What?? So expensive? Don’t the Americans treat them nicely??
“Oh you’re lucky … only the Americans can get a visa on the spot ..”
(My cousin confirmed it: she once saw the immigration send a poor soul on the next flight out of Taiwan ..)
My cousin fished out 4 blueish bank notes (NT4,000) from her wallet,
“Go …”
But when I got to the cashier’s window, the price had just gone up:
NT$5,420.
Boy, they know how to make money.
Do I really want to visit Taipei???!!! US$170 just for a visa – that NT$5,420 included NT$100 photo fee. What bunch of *^%@ .. ..
I got carried away with this rant .. It’s Mid Autumn Festival, a holiday perhaps only second to the Chinese New Year. The traffic is horrible in Shanghai and Taipei: because everyone is out delivering gifts – the moon cakes. The line at GongDeLing in Shanghai was unbelievable, around the block and more. My cousin’s friend Sophie had invited us over for dinner. She just landed in TPE from Beijing few minutes behind us but her hubby made the purchase – her Filipino maid Lisa made the cooking – so no worry just come on over. All her husband’s sibling and families were there, totaling 15 adults and countless children .. The home cooking was wonderful and the deserts were equal sublime.

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