Sunday, March 19, 2017

National Palace Museum, Taipei, Part VI (故宮)

Last of the National Palace Museum (故宮) photos and the conclusion of our [too] short Taipei trip :(

Here are some really intricate carvings on a variety of materials like jade, stone, ivory, bone, wood, etc. Click to zoom.

The black rectangular shallow trays are ink stones, one of four components of The Study's Four Treasures, with the remaining three components being the ink stick, brush, and paper, of course. What you do is drip a bit of water into the shallow tray of the ink stone, then you grind the ink stick in the tray with the water to produce the desired amount and thickness of the ink.

I think this is a go board with different colored game pieces that totally throws me off (they're supposed to be black and white...). Or may be I'm totally wrong and it's not a go game, because silly me didn't take a picture of the information tags.

Huge brushes!

There was a display of interior decor and furniture inside an aristocratic, noble, or otherwise upper class household in the late Qing period. Each item was a hand-carved, intricate piece of artwork. Interestingly enough, not too long ago I saw article about a wealthy businessman in Asia whose home was crowded with antique decor and furniture like these. I suppose he ought to fire his interior designer because opposite with what he'd hope, my reaction was utter repulsion: the mansion looked like a billionaire's version of a hoarder's home, completely overdone, tacky, and tasteless.

When we left the museum, and the wet and rainy morning had become a beautiful, blue, and sunny late afternoon. So hubby and J. hung out for a while to admire the weather and scenery as I wandered around for photos.

When I came back some 15-20 minutes later, hubby was gone. I asked J. where he was, and she poked in the direction with her thumb.
- J: "Doc's been taken hostage over there."
- Me: "Whaaa...?!"

I looked where she was pointing, and sure enough hubby had somehow gathered himself a giddy audience. It was a small group of ajummas, definitely tourists, and I could hear them speak Korean to each other. One or two would brave a few words of English and even Japanese with him while the others giggled among themselves. He took photos for them, and hilariously enough they each then took turn to take a photo with him. J. and I thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle. Shoot, I ought to ask hubby for his autograph before I regret it forever ^.^"

On our way back, I suddenly noticed this odd sight upon entering the subway--these foot-thick steel doors. Each subway entrance has one. Please correct us if we were wrong, but we all arrived at the same conclusion: the subway station several levels deep into the ground must be doubling for an air-raid, bomb, or worse, fall-out shelter of some kind. It's true that politically, Taiwan is in a pretty precarious situation.

Anyway, there were these beautiful orchids on display at Taoyuan International Airport. Bye, Taipei. We'll be back for a much longer visit for sure!

These are the Taipei omiyages I brought back to Tokyo for family, friends, and colleagues: sesame, peanut, and cashew brittles, dried plums in different flavors, and dried-pickled plums in brown sugar candies (my favorite!). There were also enormous bags and tins of various teas that I totally forgot to take photos of. Woops.

See my previous posts:


Citrine said...

Looking great in that picture! I think you reminded me that I need to go snack hoarding at Chinatown again.

D. said...

Thanks Mina ^.^

What kind of snacks do you usually hoard from Chinatown? Trying to expand my snacking horizon here haha...


Citrine said...

I am basic so I usually restock pokey first. Then dried bean curd (I think they make spicy one in kebab so as a meet substitute)? There are different dried plum but the store I usually go to has very limited selection. I haven't seen preserved yumberry and (soft textured) phillipino mango for a long time but I miss those...There is one dried fruit snack they call 无花果Fig but it's prepared turnips (doesn't matter still hoard). I think my favorite part about manhattan Chinatown is the bakery (it's like around a dollar each item I always left feeling rich)...

Of course none of them are famous brand name...I just get whatever that I see. I think Macau is known for jellied jerky and egg tart with croissant like crust. They have those in the little stores as well.

D. said...

Hey Mina,

Oof the bakery is a danger zone for me and hubby will do everything in his power to keep me away. The last time I went, I came home with no less than a dozen things ^.^"

And don't get me started with egg tarts. It's actually the first thing I grab off of the dimsum push-carts LOL I love the milk/cream buns too!

I've seen the preserved figs but haven't tried them yet. Will grab a bag next time!


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