Yingge redux

One of my favorite little towns near Taipei City is the pottery town, Yingge. This time, instead of meeting up with friends at Taipei Main Station (it’s always a bit nervewracking to figure out where to go – there are at least 4 different levels with crowds of people scurrying to and fro on each), we decided to meet at Songshan TRA (train) station and ride the express train to Yingge. Ahhhh, so much easier. I took a taxi to the station and when I told the driver “Wo qu Songshan huochizhan” (I go Songshan train station) he just looked at me. I repeated the phrase several times, adding in the name of the street. Apparently my “accent” was off but eventually, after getting out Google maps he understood. Songshan wasn’t crowded on a Sunday morning. I bought my ticket, asked an attendant which track goes to Yingge and soon we had a nice seat and a quick, pleasant journey. At Yingge station, there are two exits, each leading to a different street. This time we took the street we thought lead to the Pottery Museum and after a few turns down narrow lanes, found ourselves in the middle of a field of giant pottery pieces that looked as if it had been dropped from the sky and had become embedded in the ground.

Look out for falling plates!

Look out for falling plates!

What a cool concept!

What a cool concept!

Qigong Center

Each month, I select one of the places I’ve visited in Taipei to “recommend” to the readers of Centered on Taipei magazine. This month, one of my co-workers introduced me to a delightful vegetarian restaurant; we had such a positive experience, I wrote this:

 

As much as I love Taiwan, I still sometimes get a bit overwhelmed by Taipei’s fast pace (okay, that’s mainly the taxi drivers), the constant barrage of sights and sounds, and the enormous variety of everything, available 24/7! Wouldn’t it be lovely to find a peaceful environs, just off the beaten path, where you can have a wonderfully delicious meal, served in zen-like surroundings, soft music playing? And after your meal, you could wander through a modern gallery, perusing museum quality works of art, or browse a selection of colorful east-meets-west clothing? If a thoughtful, peaceful haven is what you seek, then I highly recommend the Meimen “Life Cultivation” Center. The staff at this haven are welcoming and friendly. The food at the restaurant is prepared according to the Chinese philosophy of Five Colors, Five Tastes, and Five Elements. The Qigong area offers both physical and spiritual rejuvenation. Interested in flower arranging, calligraphy, or attending a special tea ceremony? Needing a one-of-a-kind handcrafted wooden tea caddy? You’ll find all that here, and more. Enter with an open heart and leave with a lighter spirit. Meimen Culture Center, 42 Lishui Street (just off of Heping, near Shida), Taipei 106 +886 0223 216 677 www.meimen.org

 

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