Productive New Year Buffet


This is the season of resolution, false promises and gym memberships. Much to the chagrin of T.S. Eliot, I ended 2014 not with a whimper, but a bang! The morning of 2015 in a flurry of productivity I arranged to tutor during the four day weekend.

In the afternoon I met a group of Couch Surfing friends for a buffet. I don’t generally like buffets. I am smallish person, and I already eat enough without the temptation of overeating persistently nudging my elbow like a begging dog.

The gluttony of buffets somehow devalues the food and the quality isn’t there. Even if the quality was the same, the volume somehow makes it seem poorly prepared. Those familiar with TED talks will remember more options don’t make us happier.

Still, I had never been to a Taiwanese buffet and I was curious so I arrived…thirty minutes late, but who is counting? There is a strategy to Taiwan buffets that makes the experience cost efficient. 


First, attack the shellfish preferably a mound of shrimp! After eating as much sushi as humanly possible, retire with a large bowl of icecream. Of course I observed, but as a contrarian browsed to fulfill my own needs and ignoring the “make the money count” method.

I’m not a big fan of shrimp so I went and got a salad to start and some pizza, that wasn’t bad. I sampled some fries and sushi and finished with some tiramisu, that wasn’t. It had something cakey on the bottom, not ladyfingers and more than one person choked on the thick layer of powdered cocoa on top.

The desserts confirmed that Taiwan doesn’t have much to offer in terms of calories equalizing the enjoyment for sweets. Still, I tried a piece of pineapple with caramelized sugar that was delicious.

In a very hippie tradition, one of the group moms had us write notes of good will for each other on heart shaped puzzles. I tried to come up with something new for everyone, but all the notes I wrote were along the lines: “I hope you have new experiences that bring you happiness this year.” Some of the wishes other participants wrote me were in Chinese, tiny Chinese that I can’t read, but I am pretty sure it isn’t a Taiwanese curse. Pretty sure.


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