Cinco Surprise: Tricia!

Cinco de Mayo a la Taichung!

Why would anyone visit Taiwan for a taco? Because for one night a year we open the best darn Mexican restaurant in Taiwan. We were pleasantly surprised to hear our friend, Tricia, had business in China the week before Cinco. When she learned she could fly from Hong Kong to Taichung in less than an hour she booked for the weekend ready to celebrate. Our Bean Queen came prepared with the very best pinto beans, masa harina and poblano peppers that San Francisco has to offer.

Tricia completes Cinco

We’ve known Tricia as long as we’ve known each other. We all met each other the same day back in 2006, working in San Francisco at Wild Planet (a kids’ toy company that is no more). Tricia was a product designer, Scott an engineer and Sarah an art director. We were fierce in all things toys. Today, Tricia and Sarah are still working together, for Time Timer. Time Timers are mega useful! We use our little MOD in the kitchen to make a perfect 3 minute cup of tea and coffee. 

Lawrence wondering where his maracas are.

Cinco in Taichung is a traditional Nike expat family festivity. We’ve hosted 2 years in a row now, but it’s been a thang for 6 years! We reserve the top floor of our apartment building which has a BBQ, KTV (karaoke tv which we DID use this year) and a Mahjong room (which we did not use). We even got some fancy imported sombreros and baby maracas from the USA (via China of course). Cinco success!

Three Amigos: Mike, Charlie and Mike
Nike Expat Family Photo

Post Cinco
Foot massages but first they soak your feet and rub your shoulders – so very thorough here. We do massages early with guests because most people go nuts over them and want more while they’re here, which was the case with Tricia.
Tricia found her dog’s doppelgänger at the local market. If it’s cute, it’s here in Taiwan.

Tricia and I hit up the fabric shop, which is one of my favorite places. The prints are gorgeous and so affordable compared to the USA. Here she is wearing her new cloth, as a sun shield, but it will soon be transformed to a shirt once it hits her sewing machine. Tricia also makes beautiful products from upcycled materials at Rewind Lab. I love her loom work! In addition, she and her husband, Martin, run Solid Phase, a product development company. 

Playing in and outside at the National Taichung Theater


A perk of having visitors is that they almost always illuminate us to things that have been right in front of our faces for 3.5 years, like hard boiled quail eggs. SO DELICIOUS. They’re a compact little protein bomb and you can buy them at any convenience store. Who knew? 

Window shopping

Our neighborhood is right next to Xiangshang Day Market, which takes up a couple city blocks. It is always hop ‘n. It’s like the Powell’s bookstore, but jammed with all things Taiwanese that are edible, wearable, usable and sometimes questionable.

Aw, we miss this lady and all the shenanigans.

Night Market

We then went to Feng Chia Night Market, established in 1963. By nightfall it’s bustling madness of food carts, shopping stalls and all types of foods on sticks and lots of young students driving wildly on scooters. Yes, we are those older people now scolding the young for driving too fast.

Long lost buddies reunited.
Fancy Coffee

Last brunch together we went out for souffle pancakes (very trendy here) and coffee. Tricia wisely chose the whisky coffee and me the lavender infused. In typical fashion we had no idea whose was whose when they arrived or if this was just one big magical coffee. It was an amazing coffee experience. Taiwan does coffee, really well. 

Taiwan Rough Guide, Illustrated & Abridged

Back in Portland we started a guest book in 2014. We brought it with us and we’re so glad because it’s become an even more robust log of fun memories. It’s like this blog diary. We reference it a lot to recall when, who and what. To spare you from purchasing the 2019 Taiwan Rough Guide…


Tricia, Please come back and bring Martin and the rest of the Wild Planet gang so we can cruise around Taiwan on a Cruise ‘n Cooler!

Love, Pickles & Passionfruit



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3 thoughts on “Cinco Surprise: Tricia!

  1. Tricia knows how to have FUN💃!! I’d like to try one of those fancy coffees! Its great that 7-11 stores in Taiwan sell an array of healthy food and not a gazillion different kinds of potato chips, chewing tobacco and Big Gulp Slurpy flavors. KTG

    1. She sure does! It’s true, 7-11 sells an amazing variety of foods here, so so different than the 7-11 in the states! We have tea eggs, fresh roasting sweet potatoes and corn on the cob. Also a gazillion types of potato chips, but flavours like white peach, shrimp, milky sukura, seaweed… ok, I’ll just do a blog post on this because it’s really out there. Have not seen any Big Gulps or slurpies and that’s ok by me.

  2. I’m going to take a page from Tricia’s book next time I’m asked to do a jump shot (which you know I can’t do very well… OK, at all!) Looks like you all had a ton of fun! xoxo

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