Reconnecting: The Saito’s in SanYi

About 2 years ago I got a crazy idea: why don't I try to find 2 Japanese friends from back in college over the internet (after 20 some odd years)?? Only info I had was the English spelling of one friend's name, his field of study (archeology) and memory of home town name in Japan. They came to visit us last Fri. and we spent 3 wonderful days together. They have 2 great kids now and it was a blast sharing some of my favorite places in Taiwan and favorite local eats with them. We got many "oishi's" (Japanese for delicious) from them, and I think they really enjoyed most of what they ate. Here 's some pictures from our jaunts around central Taiwan.

Here we are stopping in SanYi on the way back from the airport. SanYi is a town famous for carved wooden figurines. They noticed it was a festival day (1st day of Ghost Month in fact) and many people had this unusual fruit. They mistook for lychees in fact it is "longan" (literally: dragon eyes). A friendly SanYi merchant offered them a couple of bunches to try.

Beautiful pottery shop we stopped in. They had nice quality goods which were nicely displayed. Nice to see many Taiwanese merchants getting a better grasp on display and lighting for quality aesthetic impact.

Group of school kids in Sheng Hsing (former railway station built during Japanese rule of Taiwan) hanging out and snacking.

Kensuke and Nanako getting in the corny tourist spirit (after I pushed them into it :D). They are great kids! Was sorry my son wasn't back from US trip yet, so he could meet them.

My buddy the archaeologist checking stuff out. We used to spend many an evening sipping Suntory Whiskey and discussing the vital issues of life...or just shooting the breeze.

They have a photo exhibit of related imagery in the train tunnel. Kind of cool and eerie in there-in other words, I liked it.

Family group shot leaving the tunnel. It was about 10 degrees cooler inside albeit very humid to the point of drippy.

Very steep alley-at rooftop of adjacent house.

Here is the link for the complete set.

  • http://www.pjtrix.com/blawg/ Dread Pirate PJ

    Upon close inspection of the picture of Kensuke and Nanako with the longan, I wonder if longan is a fruit we call "quenepa" keh-NEH-pah. Would you mind taking a close up picture of an open longan pod next time you get a chance? Oh, and if it's the same fruit, it's probably no coincidence that it is ready for picking around this time of year over here as well.

  • http://www.pjtrix.com/blawg/ Dread Pirate PJ

    Oh, and as usual, the pictures are great. That shop looks great, I want to buy some of their stuff. :-)

  • bbluesman

    PJ-different buddy, see here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longan Thanks
    for pointing me to quenepa would like to try some time. Longans not very
    juicy so probably not best fruit for making alcoholic spirit from. They have
    a nice flavor though. Often they are dried and used to make a tea-like
    beverage.

  • http://www.pjtrix.com/blawg/ Dread Pirate PJ

    I should have tried Wikipedia for both fruit to see if they were really similar. Now we're even. You want to try quenepa, I want to try longan. :-)

    Here's what I just found on Wikipedia about quenepa if you hadn't seen this.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamoncillo

  • bbluesman

    Called mamon in some countries-lol. You flirting with me PJ-hahaha!
    Interesting-always interested in learning about stuff-thx.

  • http://www.pjtrix.com/blawg/ Dread Pirate PJ

    Upon close inspection of the picture of Kensuke and Nanako with the longan, I wonder if longan is a fruit we call "quenepa" keh-NEH-pah. Would you mind taking a close up picture of an open longan pod next time you get a chance? Oh, and if it's the same fruit, it's probably no coincidence that it is ready for picking around this time of year over here as well.

  • http://www.pjtrix.com/blawg/ Dread Pirate PJ

    Oh, and as usual, the pictures are great. That shop looks great, I want to buy some of their stuff. :-)

  • bbluesman

    PJ-different buddy, see here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longan Thanks
    for pointing me to quenepa would like to try some time. Longans not very
    juicy so probably not best fruit for making alcoholic spirit from. They have
    a nice flavor though. Often they are dried and used to make a tea-like
    beverage.

  • http://www.pjtrix.com/blawg/ Dread Pirate PJ

    I should have tried Wikipedia for both fruit to see if they were really similar. Now we're even. You want to try quenepa, I want to try longan. :-)

    Here's what I just found on Wikipedia about quenepa if you hadn't seen this.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamoncillo

  • bbluesman

    Called mamon in some countries-lol. You flirting with me PJ-hahaha!
    Interesting-always interested in learning about stuff-thx.

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