Seven years of heaven to my palate living on that lovely little island; now I've been back in NY for nearly a year, and I'm realizing that American-style Chinese cuisine doesn't hold a candle to that which Taiwan has to offer.
I have been enjoying myself, frequenting various Chinese restaurants near my job, school, home, etc. -- and every time I do, I break into my piecemeal Mandarin as soon as possible. I think I missed that gracious (and pitying) ambiance of the lao-ban + lao-ban-niang, as they correct my mistakes but also take a little bit of joy that I'm trying to communicate in their native tongue.
That said, until I head out to Flushing, Queens to take in the Taiwanese eateries out there (and catch a Met game), I think I'm stuck with Cantonese and Scechwan "zhong-guo tsai." I'd eat (another) bowl of rooster testes soup if someone could direct me to a place to get soup dumplings, beef noodle soup and/or a real Taiwanese BBQ! What was that Frog place called again, all over the 'Wan? Loved that outdoor, all you can eat/drink TW BBQ spot.
Ah ... memories.
"I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick 'Americans' as their mascot." - J.H.