Beautifully Unexpected Kindness & Meat that Wasn't Meat in Taipei!!

in travel •  3 months ago

Some of you may have read that I was on a mission homebound! Homebound as in where I hailed from... Canada!


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Of course, coming from Bali, that is quite the ride! In general, I am actually not a huge fan of flying and although I seem to be on an airplane quite often, I try to make it into an adventure when boarding the big, steel birds!

That said, I got myself a little 20-something hour layover in Taipei, (one of the world's most vegan-friendly cities, by the way!)

I love having long layovers so I can get out and see another place! It gives my legs a chance to stretch and I am always much more willing to take the next part of the journey after a wonderful meal outside of the airport!

The first thing I did was check the food around me! I saw that there was this highly ranked, vegetarian place very close to where I was planning on hanging around so off I went to find it!


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Google maps took me through tiny allies and I got to see a different side of the city!


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I ended up in front of a restaurant with only Chinese characters... obviously I could not read them but I was depending on that little blue dot on my map sending me into the right place, so I went in!


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It caused quite a commotion as the server was pointing and pushing an English menu at me. At this point I wasn't even sure if I was at the right place so I started to stress out... after all the menu was showcasing duck, chicken and seafood...

I just kept playing with my phone, willing my translator app to start working... but it didn't.


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This is the part where having a sim card with data comes in super handy...

Unfortunately for me, I didn't get one this time since I was only going to be in town for less than a day.

That said, I had no idea what the server was frantically trying to communicate to me and to be honest, I was really worried I was about to be served some fresh duck on my plate. Everyone was staring at me, I started sinking in my chair.

All of a sudden a lady appeared at my table!

Vegetarian! She exclaimed excitedly pointing at the menu and then back at her own table. "No meat. Vegetable!"

Tired from the travel and quite visibly confused, my eyes rolled over the menu and back at the lady and back at her dishes on her table. The dishes looked very much non-vegetarian.

I wasn't sure what to do, I didn't want to be rude but obviously I can't have animal products...

She scurried over to her table where five other woman were all sitting with her and she dug into one of the new dishes that was just brought over by the server in all this commotion and carried me a piece of what she repeatedly referred to as vegetarian fish.

Picture that. I am sitting there, sweating my nerves through every pore in my body and shes pushing this piece of what looks like genuine fish at me.

I sensed the incredible kindness in this lady and even took a minute to meditate on that.

Could you imagine someone coming to your table and offering you their own food?

I inhaled, gulped and took a piece of it onto my chop stick.

I looked up into the smiling face of this woman and said "Vegetarian" putting my heart on my chest. She smiled nodded and motioned for me to try it. "Vegetarian." She repeated.


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The lady who offered me this piece of very real looking fish right off her own plate waited for my reaction.

I was careful to note the texture and taste... the texture and taste were incredible.

The "fish" was lined with a wrapping of seaweed, giving it a fishy taste. I assume the "fish" was made from soy because it was not real fish but it was one of the best mock jobs I have ever had!

The lady was so happy and started motioning to her table but I really didn't know what she was trying to say so I just pointed at her food and was pointing out multiple items on the menu so I just took her hand, said "thank you" smiled, nodded, she said something to the server and then this showed up!


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That dish was a mock duck plate and let me tell you, it was delicious! Taiwan sure knows how to do mocks!

After I was in the midst of chowing down on my "meat platter" the server was excitedly watching and the adorable ladies who came to my rescue went back to their lunch and the server swung by with another plate.


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If it weren't for that wonderful woman, taking time out of her day and showing me kindness, offering me a slice of the food off her own plate, I don't know what I would have done.

She could have just put her head down and left me to fair on my own but she came to help me and it was such a loving kindness that I will never forget!

To be honest, I probably would have had to leave if it weren't for her because it seemed as though I was in the wrong place! I'm so happy I got to enjoy such a traditional experience! Those are always the best!

This was a reminder to me of kindness:

We often get so attached to our own lives that we block out others around us and something so small can change the whole course of their day. Let's share our loving kindness more! This was such a beautiful example of how a small act can have such a large impact!

A hungry me is never good for anyone so these ladies saved me! ;)

I brought them a piece of my own meal to say thank you and the looks on their faces were priceless!

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Hey @heart-to-heart,

there is a steemit meetup at 1.8.18 in Bali and please feel invited. More infos at https://steemit.com/meetup/@detlev/hati-hati-bali-steemit-meetup-kuta-at-the-1-st-of-august

@thekitchenfairy said that I might contact you.

Greetz @detlev

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Oh darn, I've been offline and out of Bali! I am so disappointed I missed this but thank you so much for the invitation. Hopefully I will be able to be there next time! =D

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This wasn’t my first and for sure not my last time I Bali. ;-)

See you next time

You are so brave! Incredible the way you navigated your way from the airport into unknown territory!! You never cease to amaze me! And, yes, we do need to stop, take a moment and help those around us, even if it is just with a kind word. Blessings to you, and safe travels to Canada!! (btw...that meal looks amazing!!!! Did you ever find out what everything was ? lol)

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Hi @birdsinparadise, I am very late at getting back to you, I have been glued to my mom since I got home and haven't even opened my computer! :)
Sometimes it's easier in a big group, these women were all watching out for each other and it allowed this beautiful opportunity to happen. I would love this to be more common but we've kind of gotten scared of each other and it's really sad that it's that way. I am taking note of this and will do my best to be more helpful and open myself when I see anything like this happening =D I am safe in Canada! It's amazing to have a full sized kitchen ;) Hope you are doing well! It's been too long <3

That food looked awesome nice shots

Awwwwwwwwwwwwww. Sweetie, what am amazing experience!!! I loved reading your story so much. These are the precious moments that we must cherish. It's like the Universe sends an earth angels to our rescue in the right moment XOXO

Oh and the food looks amazing by the way. I have also very good experience with Asian mock meat in general; it usually tastes really good.

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Hi Lena! I know! I am so blessed to have had these women enter into my life to help me get some food, I was starving! :)
I love how the universe seems to bring in such beautiful people, it's what makes traveling half the fun!
Sometimes mock meats are scary haha I always worry about the ingredients I am taking in but definitely out of this world delicious :)

Aww that was a sweet lady. The foods looks delicious, so impressed how they cooked their vegetarian food. Enjoy your journey :) take care.

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Asia is on another level when it comes to vegetarian cooking since they have been doing it so long. It's always a treat! :)

@heart to heart , Your all Photographs are so beautiful, My wish as well soon I go to BALI & Enjoye There weather . IF you dont mind Please watch My Village weather in My Post .https://steemit.com/photography/@vijaysingh/incridable-rajasthan-myvillage-photographs

Hi @heart-to-heart, Taiwanese good in cook vegetarian food. Can say the best in Asian.

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Wow well after tasting this, I would have to agree, it was amazing! I would love to know their secrets ;)

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Based on latest report from newspaper, Taiwan is the 2nd highest percentage vegetarian population in the world. They have variety tasty and creative vegan meals. Good to explore more over there:)

I love fish.

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Aw great, I want to check out Tapei!! So you left Bali then?! I've been tying to remember your username for like 3 weeks...finally found you...lol I forgot about the dashes. I'm in Bali, wanted to invite you to the Bali steemit meetup but you're gone

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Hey! Awww man, I leave and everything exciting happens! Thank you for thinking of me! I'm so sad I missed it but I have been really enjoying my time with my family here in Canada :) How was the meetup?

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I got sick and couldn't go soooo hahaha we're in the same boat. Next time!!!

Are you back in Canada forever now?! I bet!!! I miss my family so much!!

ah that's so nice of this lady! I think in our western society we have forgotten (or unlearned) to be kind to strangers. When people are nice to me I get defensive at first, and then I remind myself that they're just trying to be nice. It shouldn't be that way. And your food did look GREAT!!!

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It is that way isn't it? I just experienced this in a huge way at the Toronto Vegan Festival... people are so apprehensive to be approached, it's sad but I also understand.
That food was amazing though, I am so glad those ladies decided to help me out, I am useless when I am hungry ;)

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