As a travel day back to Taiwan, we woke up early to grab a quick breakfast (at Super Sandwich again). We only had time to do one last thing so we went to Stanley. Via subway and double decker bus, we arrived at the peninsula town after a sickening hour of being tossed through winding coastal & mountain roads. Stanley, named after Lord Stanley, is one of the oldest island villages and now a popular tourist town. It also plays host to a street market filled with fun souvenirs everywhere.
The town was quiet and abandoned at 9am, but shops were starting to open. Ashley and I were excited to find exactly the items we had been wanting to take home. Most specifically a sign with 福 written on it….
Before I continue, a quick lesson in Chinese:
福 (fú) is a character that can mean happiness, luck, good fortune, and blessing.
As the Chinese language is filled with homophones: dào, can mean reverse as well as arrive.
With that background, Asians traditionally hang a 福 sign, upside down, on or above their door as an invitation for good fortune to arrive into their home. To Christians, however, we focus more on the blessing meaning of 福; it is used throughout the Bible to describe blessings, but is also integral in creating the ‘phrases’ that mean gospel and evangelism. Thus, as Christians, we hang the sign as a symbol of receiving God’s blessing. (Moreover, the actual character 福 can be broken down into elements of God, man, and earth, but I leave that explanation for another day =)
With shopping and sightseeing along the ocean complete, all of us headed back home for one last time to get our belongings. We said our good byes to my aunt, and hopped into our taxi to the airport. Throughout the trip, I had been yearning to go to a McDonalds. I have a fascination with trying crazy McDonald foods of the world, and Asian ones tend to feature an extensive & varying (by country) seafood menu. Ashley and I found the airport McDonalds, and the only ‘special’ item that we saw was a peppered “GCB” (grilled chicken burger). We each bought one and I found it to be wonderful.
After the quick flight back into Taiwan, we met up with my Dad to take the scenic route home. First a bus, then the Taiwan High Speed Rail (hitting 300kph), the subway, and finally a short walk. We stopped in the midst to eat dinner at central station, and later went out to a Chinese bakery. Vastly different from the taste and texture of a western bakery, we purchased a few breads and desserts for Ashley to try. Our evening wrapped up with packing for the next day’s return stateside.
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