Throughout my trip, when I had time, I would stop by bookstores to look for crafty and knitting books in Japanese and Chinese. Not that I read Japanese, or read enough Chinese for these to make sense. Anyhow, I bought several books at Page One, located at Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper in the world. I also bought a few at a Hess Book Store near the Hsin Tien Temple, which carries a large selection of Japanese books.
The night before I left, I met up with Erin, who took me through the wet streets of Taipei (it rained the entire week I was there) to 3 yarn shops. Thank you Erin! Unfortunately, the first shop was closed. The 2nd one was owned by this Taiwanese grandma. She had a nice selection of yarn and some notions. She also had stack of pattern books, in English, Chinese and Japanese, that she lends to customers to photocopy at the print shop next door, but does not sell books. I bought 4 balls of superwash merino that had different color plies of neutrals, grays and browns for 220NT (around $7) The 3rd shop was owned by a couple who, by their accents, appear to be what Taiwanese call Outsiders, Mainlanders or KMT runaways (see footnote below). Anyways, the owner was sort of nice, aside from him poking fun of overseas Chinese-speakers and Americans, thinking I didn’t understand any of the languages he was speaking in (Erin and I conversed in English). I bought 4 skeins of a variegated (pink, peach, brown) mohiar/silk yarn for 280NT (around $8.80) each and a Japanese book with both knitting and crochet patterns. (click pictures for larger view)
On Saturday (4/29/06), I went over to my godparents’ house for lunch and say my good-byes before my flight later that evening. It so happened that they had a gorgeous butterfly in their house! They had noticed that one of their potted plant was getting eaten up and then shortly thereafter, they realized that there was a butterfly cocoon on the plant. So, they brought the plant in and waited for it to come out. Lucky for me, the butterfly hatched right before I left, and before they had to set it free. (below: The butterfly resting on my hand.)
Footnote: These are people who followed Chiang Kai-Shek. They were chased out of China by Mao and the Communists, fled to Taiwan in the 1949, took over Taiwan and made the people live under martial law. (more).