Much better.

The picture of us after a ride on John's motorcycle. We decided to have one last photo session.

Dude, see? It's like, ancient China. You can totally here the erhu playing up here.

It's a lovely view. But I was pretty breathless by the time we reached this point.

This is John getting revenge on me for trying to take photos of him while he was unprepared. But instead, he had me standing at different places and stuff. I wonder what happened to the one where he says I look like a ghost?

Even with so many people, the place looks vast and untouched.

I forget the name of the place, but it means, "close to the sky" because, well...look!

It's like you're not even in Taiwan or even the present-day era up here.

...see, the mountain here. It never ends.

Of course, people felt the same way about that too. But the pictures are good consolation.

Not shown: the excruciating hike John made me go through with him.

Lots of people there, though. Probably because of Valentine's Day. John says that usually, though, it's quiet, so it's a great place to go stargazing. I'm totally doing that when I go back.

I actually like the back side better. It's lush, it's verdant, and usually there are cows. We didn't see them, but we saw signs that they were THERE.

Earth god shrine on the backside of the mountain.

There was actually another picture where John didn't look so good. Unfortunately, even though I tried valiantly to keep my camera away from him and purposely not tell him how to delete the thing once he finally stole it, it disappeared.

Top of the sulfur range.

From here, it looks like you're in a documentary.

Closer up of the sulfer.

This is the front of the mountain, known for the hot springs (ones that Jeff maintains are the best), and the flowers.

Little hot spring. Not found: the sign asking people not to boil eggs in it.

Another one without the crazy line.

Yangmingshan, or Taipei's Most Popular Tourist Spot.

Shot of the tower from the parking lot.

Though I have to admit, whatever he's doing made me look pretty OK, if not decent at least.

...more than once.

That's me sitting on a ledge nearby. John made me do that.

Taipei 101, tallest building in Asia so far. Also, a shopping mall.

This is the garden. You can't see it, but there's a fishpond where we used to feed the fish.

This is the outside of our house on Tongshan (i.e. Copper Mountain) street. This is, by the way, where my mother and all of her sisters were raised, though it doesn't look much like it anymore. For one thing, the chicken yard's gone.

Shao mai, haven't forgotted about you either. Mmm.

Ahhh, hsiao long bao, how much I've missed you. Come to Mama.

Beef noodles. Everywhere in Taiwan. EVERYWHERE. Mom, actually, makes her own in Ann Arbor, and they're really good. That is, when it doesn't taste like she's dumped a jar of chili paste in the broth. But usually, that's not the case.

This is how you eat them with soup. The yellow stuff is egg, by the way.

Hsiao long tang bao: you can dump these in soup and eat them, or you can suck out the excess juice in these babies and let the whole thing melt deliciously in your mouth.

Hsiao long tang bao: you can dump these in soup and eat them, or you can suck out the excess juice in these babies and let the whole thing melt deliciously in your mouth.

The other side of the street. Best part: twenty minutes walk from our place.


Yongkang Street, tourist spot, and if you turn the corner, there's Din Tai Fung, the tourist trap dumpling joint that's waaaay too overpriced for the locals. The sign here is the one we went to; better prices, same quality food.

Here's another cat picture. Awwwww lookit him.

Cat at the house. It's huge. And docile.

Some flowers that are NOT orchids.

Here's the one right before the door. It should be noted that this aunt's name means "orchid" in Chinese.

This is the plant right next to the one I just took.

How did I forget this shot of the SYS Memorial?

Orchids in my aunt's house. This is another one, by the way. She's got a ton of them in her living room.

All three of us before we packed up to leave and buy chocolate.

This is a bit better, but holding smiles is a pain in the ass.

There was a huge mirror, and you know how I like huge mirrors and photography.

Jeff and I. Right after he told me the "dress like a girl to get guys" bombshell.

Apple and I at the cafe.

Of course, that's because the info he gave me has no address on it. And he doesn't know. But. Here's us seriously talking about something else, more specifically, him carefully explaining why he said "French girls are the DEVIL."