after Husband and I went to the rainforest greenhouse in Taichung, we walked over to the National Museum of Natural Science. the very first thing we noticed was a giant Mayan pyramid in the courtyard of the museum, with a countdown clock to the end of the world. clearly, the world did NOT end on 12.21.12, but the apocalypse exhibit was still interesting.
the museum also housed an assortment of dinosaurs, historical artifacts, and science exhibits. we wandered around until closing time, then meandered through downtown in search of a Turkish restaurant we had heard a rumor about.
Taichung has a really interesting feature: a very long park that runs through downtown for miles [or would that be kilometers?] the botanical gardens are at one end of it, but it stretches for quite a while. we didn't walk the whole thing, but there were tons of people out jogging and skating and walking their dogs.
after a while, we found the road we knew we had to turn off of to get to the restaurant. but we didn't know if we needed to head north or south. we turned left and walked for about 20 minutes [ok, maybe it was 5. my hunger-brain might have exaggerated it at the time.] before deciding to stop and ask some friendly Nova store workers ^^ if they knew where this mysterious Tukrish place was.
after debating with 4 different employees and searching on 3 different electronic devices, they determined we were heading in the wrong direction and called us a cab. [side note: I love how friendly and helpful people are here in Taiwan] the cab showed up and a few minutes of rush hour traffic down the road, we were there. turns out "very far away" and "30 minute walk" translates to 800 meters. oh well.
the food was well worth the adventure in getting there. Husband lived in Istanbul for 6 months during undergrad, and then traveled the central and eastern part of the country with a Fulbright program in 2011. he gave the cuisine his stamp of authentic approval. we had tea, goban salata, beyti kebab, lentil soup, the works. the owner/chef came out and he and Husband chatted in Turkish for a few minutes while I drank my coffee. we definitely plan to go back next time we are in town, and recommend it to anyone looking for some tasty Turkish while in Taiwan. [for more info, read this thorough review of the restaurant]
after dinner, they called us a cab and we were off to the high speed rail station. our trip into town took about 15 minutes, but that night our crazy taxi driver was fueled by some awesome tunes [courtesy of Madonna and Air Supply] and we made it out to the station in less than half the time. even after living in New York, I can definitely say that was the most terrifying cab ride I've ever had. but we survived, and made it to our train with plenty of time to spare. all's well that ends well I suppose, but next time I will be wary of getting into a cab blasting 80s pop...