I’m back! Got in last night around 7pm, but I didn’t get out of the airport until 8pm, and didn’t get home until 8:45pm. Heh. I’m beginning to realize it’s so laid-back here compared to Taipei, where everyone there is rushing, always in a hurry.
The days in Taipei, Taiwan was quite interesting. Seeing the different shops, street vendors, scooters parked on the streets (they even have parking spaces especially for them), smelling different food odors. Yep, quite an experience.
We stayed in Asiaworld Plaza Hotel, which was right next to the Asiaworld Mall. However big the mall, it took me 2 days to find the perfect little digital camera, 4 days to find the best travel purse, and 6 days to even find postcards! And still it took me until I left to find a good keychain for my collection, and some souveniers for family. I guess I didn’t look at the right places.
I did a lot of walking, which is really a big effort for me nowadays. I think it was good, if it weren’t for my aching heels after walking so long.
The streets here are, though crowded, well-organized. They are almost dominated by scooters faster than the ones I see here in Dallas. There are even places on the street for scooters, where they need to be in front of the cars and buses at the stoplight. They can’t turn left in a big road, so they have to go to this special spot before they take off on that direction.
The pedestrian walk lights are different, too, where they count down how many seconds until the light of the opposite intersection turns green. It also has a little green man walking, and when it is down to 5 seconds, the little green man walks faster. :P
The food has a little similarity of Filipino food, but still different to their style. There’s this shredded beef that I loved eating. We tried this Korean restaurant where we cooked the food ourselves in a stone pot in the middle of our table. I did some grocery shopping for Asian junk food, mmm. There were some street vendors that sold food, too, but there were only a couple of them that I found interesting.
Taipei has a MRT (Metro Rail Transit), which I took, found it quite easy to get around, and I ended up in Taipei Zoo. I was able to tour around the zoo. I saw a bunch of kids on their field trips, too. There was one woman that mistook me for her friend, cuz she grabbed my arm and started talking to me in Mandarin while pointing to this animal. Hehehe.
English language is also scarce here. Only a handful knows how to speak English, and when they do, they only speak a little and barely understandable. I have learned to say xie xie (thank you) a lot…basically on anything. Even on TV at the hotel, there is only the HBO, BBC and CNN that has the English language. I found this other channel, I guess part of the Star network, where the Chinese movies had English subtitles. I got to watch some of Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun Fat, Andy Lau, and Stephen Chow’s films. Some of the others I watched were really funny, and utterly ridiculous.
We practically saw Hello Kitty everywhere. There was even a big store just for Hello Kitty. I think I took a picture of the Hello Kitty store. Anyways, everytime we saw one, Lucien would groan and say, “Not again?!” Jamie, I got something for you, by the way. ;)
That’s about the gist of it. It’s really hard to talk about any trip, unless you have experienced it yourself. Though I would have liked to remember every single detail of it, I can’t.
Oh, and I also wrote down on a little journal my adventures of airport stress before I arrived in Taiwan. I’ll post that later on when I get the chance.