Welcoming all to Lyduao, Taiwan.
Playing to the English-language speakers.
Go Green, indeed.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, to Monica and Marco and their special seafood restaurant on Lyudao. Thanks to their love of the island and entrepreneurial spirit, I had the best meal of the year while I was on vacation in Taiwan.
Maddie was a most gracious host and on top of taking care of ALL of the Chinese language aspects of our trip, planning the itinerary, executing the travel details and facilitating a truly stress-free vacation, she also researched restaurants! Her epic blog research is the best way to gain recommendations for Taiwan.
The guidebook selection for Taiwan is slim and infrequently updated. However, bloggers (we rock!) are providing more and more guidance for world travelers, and I would like to pay it forward by echoing the blog post Maddie read about Monica and Marco’s restaurant, “Crazy Fried.”
Based on this recommendation, we quickly found Crazy Fried along the short strip of restaurants on the main drag in Lyudao’s main town Nanliao. We ate dinner there the first night and I tried the “grilled squid with three flavors” – and was blown away. Maddie’s food was equally delicious and the prices were unbelievably low in light of the excellent quality of the flavor combinations.
I don’t want to oversell Crazy Fried, but this is a meal I will remember for the rest of my life.
After eating it the first night, I was tempted to order another plate of the same dish, IMMEDIATELY. Honestly, this is something I don’t do. I want to say that I have never re-ordered a dish immediately in my life. Maybe it’s happened a time or two that I forgot about, but it is not typical Jill practice. Yet, the food was that good to me in that moment. I wisely waited a few minutes and decided I was too full to be able to actually enjoy the dish immediately.
So, I returned the next day and ordered it for lunch. This became the non-negotiable option for lunch. In fact, the pictures below are from lunch because after I took the first bite at dinner, I was completely engaged in the enjoying of my food. I didn’t even think about the camera until I was 75% done with the meal.
The meal. Imagine the freshiest fresh fresh calamari squid, grilled to perfection. Then, add a savory soy and vinegar based sauce, thai basil, chilies, roasted garlic, green onion and caramelized/grilled ginger. Is your mouth watering yet? It should be!
The green onions were almost crunchy, but still flavorful; the garlic was creamy inside with a slight crackle as I bit in; the thai basil punctuated bites with flavor commas, savory semi-colons and herbacious exclamation points; chilies and ginger pervaded the sauce’s flavor, when I nibbled either chile or ginger directly, the flavors overwhelmed that bite, but overall, they blended well in the flavor. I had never had ginger prepared this way and while it was still too strong to take more than a small bite, it was refreshing and a neat presentation.
Monica was a gracious host, both by night and by day. She was funny and flirty and seemed to enjoy flitting about and making us giggle. When we stopped by the next afternoon, she immediately recognized us (on our scooter and helmeted) and waved us into a front-row parking spot. Monica’s conversational English is great. She did ask for our English expertise when she was commenting on a friend’s facebook post in English. She posed for a picture with Maddie and she was just one of those people who make you feel great to be alive.
Thank you Monica! Xie xie!
The nature pictures of picturesque, Lyudao, aka Green Island, Taiwan.
The typical cuddly pose of the dual self-portrait. Maddie & me.
We were in the top pavilion of the Little Great Wall of China.
The following pictures are the views from the pavilion.
A great place to hang out for sweet contemplation.
Then, there was the panoramic view from Mountain Goat Bluff. It was a brief walk through poisonous snake and bee infested greenways, along a wooden pathway, up to the bowl of Mountain Goat Bluff (self-title, btw). We scrambled a bit among a crag or two and listened to the mild bleats of the goats and kids. It was incredibly peaceful and serene.
See you tomorrow for more Green Island beauty. Namaste.
In the U.S., we often make reference to Spanglish – the melding of Spanish and English that takes place in areas with strong Spanish-speaking communities interacting with the English-speaking community. Somehow, we find a way to communicate, even if it doesn’t conform to grammar rules from either language. And especially when the sounds are pleasant, humorous, or present a double entendre for the punster’s pleasure.
In Taiwan, where they speak Mandarin Chinese, I learned that there is a slight amount of “Chinglish” that occurs. Of course, Chinese being the base language, it really isn’t the same blending that I associate with Spanglish. Plus, I don’t speak of lick of Chinese, Mandarin or otherwise, so I can only call the interesting display of English translation “Chinglish.” However, I did see clothing with English and pinyin mixed on t-shirts.
The English influence comes as much from Western commercial products and media as much as any presence of an English-speaking community (if not more). Surprising translations are rampant in signage, clothing design, and menu translations. For these purposes, communication is dependent on the creativity of the mind reading along.
However, there are also times when the Taiwanese got right to the point.
Um. Yea. It really says that.
I guess they got tired of cleaning up human feces. I would tire of that, too.
Other instances of Chinglish occur in restaurant signage and design. For instance, while visiting Lyudao (Chinese approximation), or Green Island (English), we found this Greek-themed restaurant featuring the most extensive tea list I saw in Taiwan (which is really saying something) as well as a small menu of fried items (fish balls and sweet potatoes, which are among the most popular Taiwanese fried foods, were on the menu).
The food was good, the tea was good, the decor was stellar. This is sort of how it is on Green Island. The people are nice, the island facilities and activities are great, but not much can beat the natural beauty of the island. Crags, goats, crashing waves, hidden coves, a lighthouse and peace memorial, natural saltwater hot springs, snorkel coves, what more could you ask for?
What you say?
You want a “Little Great Wall of China”???
Oh, well. That ain’t no thang. Lyudao has a Little Great Wall of China, too.
There’s so much more to Lyudao…you’ll have to tune in tomorrow for the BEST lunch I’ve had in several months, along with a smattering of beautiful photos of Lyudao’s coastline, foliage, and a few more wacky faces from my cousin Maddie and me.