Le Lotus Creative Jewelry Design

As is often the case, we travel past and through places without ever really seeing them. Walking through the Tonghua Night Market, there is such a cacophony of sights and sounds, it’s easier to simply find the quickest path through the crowd and try to avoid the oncoming traffic.

One day on my way home, I happened to glance to my left and saw a lovely green-colored storefront. On closer inspection, I could see all sorts of jewelry and beads inside. Yaya Tsai, the owner, presides over a treasure trove of pretty, shiny things. Looking for ready-made baubles? You’ll find them here in prices to suit most budgets. Looking for something custom-made in a jiffy? You’ve come to the right place!

Recently, a group of us made an appointment to meet Yaya in the early afternoon, before her shop opens. We spent the first hour just looking in all of the cases, pulling out drawers to see the MANY custom options. Next we selected the findings for earrings and then the beads that had attracted our attention. Within minutes, Yaya had turned our selections into professional looking pieces!

Even if you’re not in the market for new jewelry, you’ll be warmly welcomed into Le Lotus and regaled with colorful tales of Yaya’s latest exotic bead-buying adventure. Stop by, or call and make an appointment today!

1F, No. 111, Lin-Jiang Street, Taipei

Asiana flight 204

No, I wasn’t on the ill-fated flight into SFO last week, but I did take a similar flight (OZ204) from Seoul to LAX on a 777-200 and was seated at the rear of the aircraft (row 40 of 44). The A330 out of Taipei was an amazing flight (details to follow on a later post). It’s a long flight any way you slice it and the severe turbulence halfway through the first meal service was just plain scary.

Trays dropped, people screamed and got sick. At one point it appeared that the back third of the plane was bent downwards. I really thought the plane was going to break apart. What was scarier still is seeing the cabin crew’s faces when they were (apparently) asked to discontinue the meal service and strap into their jump seats. Needless to say, we made it safely to LAX.

Will I ever fly Asiana again? Probably, as long as it’s not aboard a 777 routed through Seoul.

Sitting at Taoyuan airport…

Waiting to board the flight out of Taiwan.

After breakfast, I was able to visit my friend in the hospital and get my medical records before checking out of the Fullerton South ( love that hotel!) and being driven (no traffic, uneventful ride) to the airport.

It occurs to me how much more civilized many processes are here, especially those where you have to spend money! At the hotel, check-in was a breeze and they gave me express check out. The room contained a lovely fruit plate (kiwi, banana, asian pear), water, coffee and tea. Breakfast was delicious and as I pulled away from the Fullerton, I felt I’d come full circle: this is where I stayed my first month in Taiwan.

At the airport, check in/security/immigration processes are much friendlier. The Asiana agent that checked my luggage in was gracious about the slight overweightness. Luckily I’d planned for my carry on to be overweight and pulled enough stuff out and into my extra satchel that I was able to proceed to security.

I’d forgotten that I had an aerosol can in my carry-on but the agents were kind and actually let me use the hairspray again before confiscating it and LOGGING it. TSA, take note!

They did, however, miss my 3-plus ounce can of Mr. Brown coffee, oops!

The immigration officer seemed genuinely sad that I would not be returning to Taiwan.

The only thing keeping me from crying my eyes out is hearing the happiness in my Dad’s voice when I talked to him yesterday. His final chapter is starting, as is my next one.

Goodbye for now, Taiwan.

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As for me, I will take the road less travelled…