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How sweet!

How sweet it was for Kelly to inform Lindsey, Christopher, and me, a few days after we arrived in Taiwan, that we had been invited to join a group of his new coworkers for dinner that night at a nearby restaurant. I was anxious to meet some of the people he would be working with. I wondered if it would be the right time to take a little gift to a couple of them.

Before we left the USA, I asked my Taiwanese neighbor in Austin, Elizabeth, for some suggestions of gift ideas that I might want to give to some of Kelly's work associates who were responsible for initiating this opportunity to bring us over here for a year, whom I'd spoken to on the telephone while arranging for the move. Most of the ideas that came to mind involved some sort of sweets, such as delicious Longhorn candies, kind of a copycat version of Turtles candies (mouthwatering caramel and pecans covered in chocolate), or some chewy Texas pecan pralines, or even the Texas-sized gigantic jelly beans. Would they even know the Lone Star significance of any of these? Do Taiwanese people even like sweets? These were some of the questions I had.

Elizabeth gave me a few recommendations and I went with one of them. I found some lovely men's ties made by a company called CacTies, that had a flare for the West. Patterns on these good-looking ties included tornadoes in a small repeated pattern, cowboy hats and lassos, and Indian headdresses. I thought they were clever and would be an appropriate token of appreciation. It turns out that neither of the two whom I gave them to are big on ties, and I thought they said that they only wear ties at weddings. I then said something like, "You can save it and wear to the next wedding." They started laughing and said there probably will not be another wedding. That's when I realized they meant that the only time they've worn a tie was at their own wedding, and I was suggesting they wear a tie to their next marriage. Oops! We all laughed. I do need to start on those Chinese lessons!

Both gentlemen were nevertheless gracious and seem to have appreciated the thought behind my gesture. I also explained the play on words of the brand, how the cactus is a typical plant in the southwestern United States, and the plural of cactus is cacti (instead of cactus-es), so the name CacTies was a creative spin on the English language. It was probably lost in translation somehow. I love ties and I love buying ties and when Elizabeth suggested that as an idea, I was pumped. Maybe I should have stuck with my original idea of bringing sweets. Following dinner, I took a few pictures of the nice group.
Lindsey, Christopher, and Kelly and I enjoyed the food and the company.
Whitney, on the left, did a good job ordering for the table. We didn't have a clue how to really do it, so that was helpful. Joseph is in the center, and Kelly's boss, Leo, is seated on the right.
On Kelly's right is Vincent, then Yilin, who just joined the company about two weeks ago.
Ericbill was sitting next to me at dinner, but here he is on his scooter afterwards wearing the purple shirt with the silver helmet.
He was zooming by quickly, so the shot is a bit blurry.
Ericbill wanted to take us to a bakery after the dinner to treat us to something he thought we'd really like. We weren't sure where we were walking to, but ended up at this place called "How Sweet."
He bought a box of these adorable little pudding eggs, that came chilled and ready to eat in actual egg shells.
We all enjoyed them and were glad that Ericbill introduced us to this new place.
In fact, we have been back to it twice since then!
One thing they have that I love are these super thin and crispy pizza slices.
I had no idea that there would be anything like this in Taiwan.
The baked goods don't taste exactly how you might think they would, but what I've had is pretty tasty. How sweet it is to be in Taiwan.


~ Tina said…
interesting name... Ericbill
sorry, but can't help myself - could they not choose which american name they liked best?
I'm so glad he introduced you to the pudding eggs - those are fun looking!
Kelly said…
We've actually known Ericbill the longest and I thought the same thing about his name initially. I believe Kelly actually asked him about it a long time ago and he liked both, so he combined them. After all, we do that a lot with names, don't we? He mentioned that to Kelly and had a good point. At least it's unique, just like him. He is a great guy with a really nice personality. And he has twin daughters! The pudding eggs were a nice surprise, for sure.
Julie V said…
The neck tie story is funny. May I suggest not giving those giant jelly beans, but instead the Texas shaped pasta next time you stock up on Texan treats? I think your foreign friends would like that better because we thought they were awesome here! They were really tasty noodles and made a fabulous Italian dinner. My whole family loved them, so that's my vote if you are asking.
Bobbi said…
How fun to meet nice people, to learn about another culture, and have such an adventure. I'm loving reading about your experiences!
Casa de Mask said…
Kelly, this is just so neat to read about all your new experiences! I love it...keep the posts coming! :-)

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