228 “Incident”

posted in: cross-culture, taipei 0

Today is a public holiday to commemorate 2/28. Since we didn’t know much about the origins of this holiday, we decided to take a (rainy) walk down to 228 Peace Memorial Park to check out the museum.


The museum was free but unfortunately all in Chinese (except for a single-page brochure in English). So although it was decent-looking enough, we didn’t spend too much time there.


The first part of the museum had a lot of Japanese paraphernalia, probably to give background to the “Incident,” which occurred shortly after the Kuomintang took over from Japanese rule in Taiwan. While the KMT may have been welcomed by some in the beginning, economic mismanagement led to inflation, food shortages, and a large black market. On the evening of February 27, 1947, the Tobacco Monopoly Bureau went to confiscate contraband cigarettes from a street vendor named Lin Jiang-mai (林江邁) at the Tianma Tea House — which I just found out is around the corner from where I live. The so-called Incident started with one of the Monopoly agents butting Ms. Lin in the head with his rifle, which caused an uproar in the surrounding crowd. As the agents tried to flee, one of them shot into the crowd, killing a bystander.

Protests erupted on February 28, and government forces fired on some of the protestors. Riots grew over the following days, and on March 8 the KMT launched a crackdown, executing 3,000-4,000 Taiwanese around the island (Wikipedia), including many high school students. All told, the number of people killed in the ensuing weeks is estimated to be between 10,000 to 30,000. This is why many prefer the term 228 Massacre instead of Incident. It is now identified as the starting point for a 38-year suppression of political dissidents by the KMT, dubbed the White Terror (白色恐怖).


As this topic was taboo for several decades, I’m not sure we’ll ever know the whole story. My uncle told me there’s actually another 228 museum in Taipei, with information in English, so I hope to check that one out soon.

deep excavation

posted in: taipei 0

A new apartment building is being constructed across the street from our place, and from our balcony we can see everything that’s going on. I don’t know if it’s related to earthquake readiness, but I’ve noticed that many new buildings have at least 3 floors constructed below ground–and the building across from us is no exception. Never occurred to me before how they construct these underground floors, but they’ve already set the surrounding concrete foundation, and now they’re sending a small excavator down daily to continue the digging.

Here they are, hooking the excavator to the crane:

Hooking up the excavator (1 of 4)

We have lift off:

Lifting the excavator (2 of 4)Going to send it down... (3 of 4)

And now down the hatch!

Excavator in the hole! (4 of 4)

MRT public service announcement

posted in: taipei 0

This is a friendly reminder from the MRT, at the subway stop closest to where I live:

Subway public service announcement

“When something’s wrong… Defend yourself with what you can find.”

I’m really not clear on what scenarios inspired this billboard, but it’s apparently something you can attack with your backpack or umbrella.

cursive coffee

posted in: food, taipei 1

Very small coffee bar that’s easy to miss with all the crowds at Q-Square Mall. It’s not a cheap place for coffee, but the care that they take in slowly hand-brewing your cup feels like a luxury. The woman at the counter allowed us to smell small samples of the beans they had on offer. I opted for the dark roast Taipei Mambo ($NT135), and my friend took a lighter African blend. The woman promptly ground my beans, heated my cup (yes, even a paper takeaway cup), and cooled boiling water to a specific temperature before carefully pouring it in a circular motion over a drip filter. It was really good! (I admit I didn’t even need to take sugar in my coffee!)

Cursive Coffee

Cursive Coffee
Q-Square Mall (京站)
B2/F, No.1, Section 1, Chengde Road, Datong District, Taipei

nom nom restaurant

posted in: food, taipei 1

I have a few days of freedom (sans enfant!) so I thought I would see a little more of Taipei. (As an added bonus, I set up my youbike card, but more on that later.) I headed to check out the famous Yong Kang street, and in the neighbourhood I discovered some cute street art:

There was even a little nook, with a bookshelf containing several placards that appear to describe neighbourhood projects like the street art and a community garden.

But I digress… what I really wanted to tell you was that right next door, this sign caught my eye:
nom nom

Who could resist a place called nom nom? Not me, apparently! A cute little place with a brunch menu with dishes bearing names like the Woody Allen (smoked salmon salad roll, bagel with sweet potato cream cheese, potatoes with a spicy meat sauce, eggs), the Mike Wozoeski (cheese sausage, Frankfurter, eggs, toast), Happy Bunny (cream sauce mushrooms, eggs, potatoes, sourdough), and Girlfriends (caramel French toast with eggs and hashbrowns).
nom nom restaurant

All brunch items come with coffee, juice, and yoghurt. I chose the Traveler (NT$330): eggs Benedict, one with bacon and the other with smoked salmon. And when it came to the table, it looked amazing.
The Traveller brunch set
bacon eggs benedict

The hollandaise was a bit unconventional, being on the sweet side, and the eggs were slightly overcooked (no runniness at all)–but overall the food was really tasty and I would definitely come again. They also had a few desserts in a display case, and the apple pie was really tempting: the apples looked nicely cooked together like in a tarte tatin!
Looking forward to my next visit!

nom nom
No. 137, Chaozhou St, Da’an District (大安區潮州街137號)

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