© 2008 Catherine. All rights reserved.

Shrimp fishing, one more thing I’m not good at…

shrimp fishing pool.jpg
shrimp fishing pool

… but at least I’m better than Han.

Unlike Andres shrimp fishing experience, Bubba would not be proud. Two hours spent shrimp fishing and all I caught with best spinning reel were two shrimp… but the upside is that I caught two more shrimp than Han.

Han fishing.jpg
Han fishing

This Chinese New Year holiday has really stunk for me. First of all I’m not sitting on a beach getting a tan and a massage, second the weather is AWFUL… cold cold cold and rain rain rain. Even the mini heater isn’t cutting it (there’s no indoor heating in Taiwan for those of you who don’t know). Lastly, this is the SHORTEST Chinese New Year holiday I’ve had in Taiwan and the first unpaid one. Typically I’ve gotten two weeks off but this one is a week and a few days. It’s unpaid because now I work hourly instead of salary so that = no pay.

As if all of these things combined aren’t reason enough to make someone feel sorry for themselves just when I was coming out of my last illness, the one I wrote about in the previous post, on the eve before my last half day of work before the holidays my body decided to explode on both ends. I got food poisoning. Without getting into the gory details I’ll sum it up by saying it was volcanic food poisoning… I didn’t know how I was going to make it to the hospital without a bag taped to my head and a diaper on my butt but thankfully I made it and spent the next 24 hours hooked up to an IV being stabbed by nurses whenever I started to make a retching noise… and needless to say missing my last day of work before the holiday. sigh.

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Bait for jumbo shrimp? smaller shrimp! and red goop.

So understandably (at least I hope) I’ve been miserable and kind of a princess. It’s like I’m relapsing into culture shock because everything is annoying me and I find myself complaining about “Taiwan things” more than I usually do. Somewhere between me saying that this is the worst New Year holiday ever for me and me crying over my BBQ salmon last night Han caught on why I’m so miserable this week. So he launched his own mission to entertain me. Being the good boyfriend that he is and knowing how to keep me happy he made me try some things I’ve never tried before.

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Baiting a hook

The first was snooker, which he’s been dying to try. It took me about 5 minutes to hate it. As if it wasn’t bad enough to instantly be the world’s worst snooker player, we had to be surrounded by people who look like they’ve been playing since they were in diapers. I have no idea how long our one game took but if it’s any gage one of the tables next to us was able to finish 4 sets in our 1. Oh well the good news is after playing snooker last night I was actually pretty good at pool tonight and didn’t get bored of it as fast as I usually do (note: I’m convinced the only reason we played pool after fishing is so that Han could beat me at something again, because that’s what he’s used to)… regardless Han is going to have to find a new snooker partner because his pleas to play again aren’t going to work on me.

the shrimp champ.jpg
The fishing champ

Today was another miserable wet day and despite the weather Han took me out for a drive up a mountain close to the National Palace Museum. On our way up we noticed an indoor shrimp fishing place. I’d seen these before, both in passing, on tv, and mentioned on Andres blog last week but I’d never tried. Han asked if I’d be up for trying it on our way back down. Seeing as it was so wet and cold outside it seemed like a great idea.

Washing the catch.jpg
Washing the catch

I’m not sure what Han aspired to when we walked in but neither of us have fished for shrimp before, I’m pretty sure Han has never fished at all. We were geared up by the old men who worked there and away we went. I’m still blaming our lack of eye wear. We’re both pretty blind but don’t do anything about it. I wear contacts occasionally and Han wears nothing ever. I’m pretty sure if we’d been able to see our bob floaty thing we’d have had more success. In total I caught 2. It would’ve been 4 if 2 hadn’t slipped off when I was swinging them in. Han had 2 or 3 that got away. The old guys tried to coach us but it didn’t help. One of the men who refills the pool with shrimp threw a couple of live ones into my catch bag shaking his head. Sympathy shrimps.

Our catch + sympathy shrimps.jpg
Our catch + sympathy shrimps

When you finish fishing the fun doesn’t stop there. You actually get to cook & eat what you catch. Seeing our poor catch of 2 fished out + 2 sympathy shrimps one of the men who worked at the place gave us 4 more sympathy shrimps to cook and helped us impale them, alive :(. Next we rolled them around in sea salt and put them in the BBQ. Han thought he beat me because he was able to get more sympathy shrimps than I did.

I never really found a big difference in sea salt and regular salt when I lived in Canada the way I did with freshly ground pepper vs regular but duuuude that salt was good and those shrimp were good!!!

salted and roasting.jpg
Salted and roasting

I’m thoroughly convinced that if I wear my contacts next time I could be a shrimp fishing grand master like the young guy sitting next to me who caught 20!!!!! His line was on fire! To be truthful the ones I did catch, and almost caught, I didn’t even realize were on the line until I pulled it in to check if the bait was still there. I fed more shrimps than I hooked 🙁

One last look before it heads to my belly..jpg
One last look before it heads to my belly

Oh well, it was surprisingly fun and way better than sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

modest feast.jpg
Our modest feast

The after shot.jpg
The after shot

I still can’t believe that this place is open 24 hours. Seriously, who needs to catch shrimp at 4am???!!! and who would want to eat it then??!

Fishing at any hour..jpg
Fishing at any hour

Oh and for the record… getting back to the food poisoning. I wish I could chalk it up to some big gastronomical adventure in Taiwan like duck feet, or chicken hearts or something exciting but the truth of the matter is all I’d eaten all day was a sub from SUBWAY!!! To anyone living in Taipei I STRONGLY recommend that you don’t eat at the Subway on Roosevelt Road Section 3 close to the intersection of Roosevelt & Xinhai. I’ve gotten a tiny bit sick there and I thought it was by chance and avoided the chicken after that. This time it wasn’t even chicken. I’m suspecting the Caesar sauce but I was SICK. Like I was sure I was going to die and if I didn’t get help I was ready to jump out a window it was so bad. So yea… subway good, subway on roosevelt bad. Be careful. Go to Haas down the road close to Shida. Much safer bet.

5 Comments

  1. Tom

    Subway is I think, but yea I am Taiwanese but I have yet to go on one of these shrimp fishing adventure.

  2. cat

    Tom, you should try! It was kind of fun even though we did so awful… but bring someone you enjoy spending time with 🙂

  3. Tom

    yea, i will. are you still with your bf?

  4. cat

    yup. 3 and a half years now. Time flies. Are you still in Australia? Which part?

  5. Tom

    wow! awesome, my gf and I broke up 3 months ago after 3 years, was and still is hard. She was White, and I am very glad you guys are making it work :). I am currently at Brisbane.

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