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August 11, 2012 / windlessly

Taiwan Travels: Day 32

AID people are just dropping like flies. More and more of my friends are leaving Taipei, although I’m still in love with the city. The metro system here is like my best friend, and I cannot tell you enough how awesome and convenient it is to be able to walk to a station, hop on the subway and go just about anywhere you please within 40 minutes.

I met with my cousin today at Gonguan, where we walked (through the rain) to this cool Korean restaurant. This was something new to me, but it ended up being pretty amazing. The cooker had a ring for the flavor of the mushrooms and meat to seep into the soup, and a place on top to cook the meat. We started out with some kimchi and potatoes, classic Korean appetizers, and then moved into the main dish.

And at the end, unlimited ice cream! Here were the four flavors there: chocolate, red bean, sesame(!), and mango. The sesame looked bad but it was surprisingly good. It ended up being my favorite flavor!

At the end of our lunch came my long commute to Jiannan Road, which was secluded on the brown line, but I had to say bye to Rachel L. before she left! And I had to give her the bracelet that I was making on the way there. But of course, I didn’t precut my strands right so I was stuck at the station transferring from the Blue line to the Brown line, with no scissors and no keys. I was desperate to cut the hemp I had in order to knot it in a different pattern, so I decided to just improvise. There was nothing left for me to do except try it the old fashioned way… Taking both ends and wrapping them around my fingers, I began sawing the hemp against the corner of a wall. It was hard work and it barely did anything except fade the color a bit. I found a different corner that looked rougher and kept at it because I was just that stubborn. At one point the metro security staff started walking towards me, so I just quickly left and acted nonchalant until I found another corner somewhere else. Kinda desperate, I worked at it until I broke skin on both fingers, but good old friction pulled through, and I finally frayed it enough to snap. I suppressed my inner caveman celebration in case that metro guard was still there.

After I say goodbye to Rachel, I went over the nearby mall to check out Uniqlo, which ended up being waaay more expensive than what Kevin made it sound like haha. The styles and actual clothes were nice though, just a bit more pricey than what I’m used to. I was walking around the mall, wondering why it felt so different in Taiwan compared to America, when I finally realized- there are still departments stores smushed into one place, but the ones in Taiwan are structured to have many floors, and they are always in CIRCLES. So it’s much easier to keep track of where you are, as long as you know which stores are on which floors. Saw this lego elephant on one of the floors, which was pretty cool.

 

Later, we were all so sad Rachel couldn’t go to the Mahjong party that night. Christina invited around 10ish people to her dad’s house, which was pretty secluded from where the rest of us were(bus ride through the forest lol), but amazing nonetheless. 4 floors with an elevator?? It was great. K-Pao refreshed my memory on how to play MahJong and we basically just chilled together and burned through a whole bag of snacks from 7-Eleven. I also got my first MosBurger, which is a totally amazing creation and should be treated as such- instead of a hamburger, finely sliced meat or whatever asian substitute you desire, and instead of a bun- sticky rice smushed into two flat discs. So good. You have to try it.

Just one of the floors at her house…

 

Had some slight technical difficulties with the massaging chair, but Mahjong was still a good time.

 

Afterwards our group went on the metro and then chilled at Starbucks, where we had an impromptu literature teaching and then match- which turned out to be my first loss since the tour started D=

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