It’s kind of a sad day today; for all I know this could be my last day here (Taipei and Linkou, Taiwan) ever. It’s not unlikely I’ll have business trips back to Taiwan but they could be to another city. Ted will definitely be back, probably every 6-8 weeks, but this is his last day regularly working here.

I am wearing purple today, two days late; I don’t think Spirit Day was ever a movement outside the US, but on the other hand a lot more people will see me today, as I walk around airports in three countries. (And not coincidentally, my purple out is a belted tunic over leggings, very good for travel.)

As it turned out, I had the perfect reading material yesterday and last night for saying goodbye. I’ve had Cindy Pon’s Silver Phoenix on my Kindle for months and months, but never got around to reading it somehow, probably because I was expecting it to require functioning braincells to engage. Yesterday was a quiet day: wait for the maids, wait while they cleaned the apartment, wait for the realtor to arrive so we could return our keys and have the flat checked, kill time before my haircut appointment, kill time before a restaurant opened. A good day for reading. I can’t speak for the culture because Cindy Pon knows it better than I do, escpecially what it looks like from inside. There is so much of Chinese mythology that it’s not surprising that Silver Phoenix didn’t intersect with the bits I know about. However, I can vouch that all of the food is *exactly* right. I can also tell you that I enjoyed it enough that I will be reading the sequel wherever I am when it comes out.

Speaking of waiting for a restaurant, a warning to Taipei people: we went to Bellini, a chain self-described as “Tokyo Italian” that’s always had reliably good pizza and pasta, and were disappointed to find that they’ve greatly shrunk their menu. There were maybe eight pasta dishes, eight pizzas, and that’s it. The pizzas themselves were smaller, too. The only good thing is that they have added a salad bar.