Homesick? Here are the cures!

Homesick? Here are the cures!

Although I do not typically get homesick, I do know a lot of fellow interns who are suffering from homesickness. Inevitably, I sometimes miss the scent, the sound or the scenery of Taiwan. In this situation, cooking authentic home style dishes at the apartment is absolutely not enough!


Here, I want to share some tips I discovered to get you closer to your homeland without leaving D.C.


1. Explore your hometown in the D.C. area


Above is the map I found in the Thursday weekend Express (I read Express every morning because it is the easiest way to kill time during my 40-minute commute on the red line of the Metro. I recommend the columns with weekend tour guides, published every Thursday). As a Taiwanese, I can only provide my review of the Chinese town in Rockville area to you, but if you’re open to try different kind of food or a fan of authentic Chinese dishes, then this tip is written for you too!


How to get to:

I went to Rockville with my Chinese co-workers and her friends by car, and it was about a 1-hour drive from NoMa to Rockville Chinese town. You can also take the red line to Rockville stop and transfer to bus.


What to eat:


Bubble milk tea is a MUST!!! It is my favorite drink in Taiwan. I used to have one every day because I just could not say no to the chewy bubble with the creamy, rich milk tea (now I can only crave cereal instead.) You have two choices in Rockville: one is Kung Fu Tea, and the other is Ten Ren, which is a well-known brand in Taiwan, offering all kinds of great tea. Although it is much more expensive here ($4 compared to $1 back home), it is an instant cure for homesickness and is worthwhile.


(left to right, up to down: drunk chicken, tea smoked duck and sweet sour fish fillet)


Chinese Restaurants

We went to Fusion Supper Club, which was clean, delicate and super authentic (some dishes were even better than the ones in Taiwan). If you want to try really authentic food, then I recommend you to order stinky tofu, oyster omelets, taiwan sausage, tempura and braised beef noodle soup. For those want to try the most popular, delicious Chinese dish, kung pao style chicken, Lion's head meatball, sanbei chicken, eggplant with garlic sauce are your possible choices. The best dish we ordered that day were string beans and drunk chicken, also recommended. Each dish is around $10-15, affordable but not that cheap for a small group. Therefore, it's smarter to find a bigger group to share the table and try various dishes at a time.


Where to buy?


You CAN’T miss the Great Chinese Supermarket when you’ve already made all the way to Rockville. It is the biggest, REAL Chinese supermarket on scale with Walmart. Literally, you can buy ANYTHING there, from festival food to daily necessities. Personally, I highly recommended soy sauce and rice dumplings because the sauce goes with EVERYTHING and frozen dumplings can be the easiest but most delicious dish to make at home. The peacock cookie is one of my favorite snacks back home. :)


2. Go to the MLK library



Located near Metro Center, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (MLK Library) is in the busy downtown area. Although it is not the coziest, most beautiful library in town (the best choice for that is no doubt the Library of Congress), the collection there is quite AMAZING! You can borrow books in all languages, even the traditional Chinese! I found many bestsellers from Taiwan, which are even hard to borrow or find in our local library! As a big book fan and a commuter who spends more than 1.5 hours on the Metro every day, the Chinese books there energize my soul and cure my homesickness. If you are not that into books, MLK library is still a place for you to find familiarity and joy because they also have a huge collection of DVDs for rent. So, next time you are shopping around Metro Center, walk out from Zara, pay a visit to MLK library and see how much you miss the language back home! Believe me, you’ll be touched!


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