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August 13, 2012 / windlessly

Taiwan Travels: Day 33


Whaaat a day. So exhausting, yet again. I feel as if every time I come to Taiwan, I have so much fun and travel such a ridiculous amount that I’m constantly sleep deprived. I remember last time in Taiwan we would come back at the end of the day, and I would struggle to keep my eyes open to record events before I collapsed. But then again, back then I still handwrote in my journal. And I’m much more accustomed to napping on the subway (even standing up!) now compared to before. Where to begin? With the morning of course, why did I bother asking that? I woke up today in a hot sweat. I was “napping” yesterday at 11pm but of course it never works and I ended up just sleeping through the entire night that I was supposed to be blogging. Anyways I woke up, checked Facebook, felt guilty about the people I left hanging last night, and quickly showered. Joseph took me out to eat breakfast at this really conveniently located breakfast shop. There were a variety of yummy breakfast sandwiches and burgers, and I had a nice milk tea to go along with it. I’m pretty much in love with milk tea. Afterward, we went home and then headed out to the station to meet up with Jessica and Tiffany, my two childhood/family friends that used to live in Syracuse! We headed out to Ximen, where we first went to this place called LATTEA, which they did something funky with the capitalization of their letters but I’m too lazy to look up and I don’t want to write it wrong so I’ll leave it like that. I got a green tea with cream on top, which was good except that the cream was slightly too buttery and had too much of an aftertaste for me to like. The actual tea was delicious. After an additional snack of tempura and radish cakes, we headed out to look around the mall and shop. There are a lot of small malls like that here in Taiwan.

 

Gumball machine with individually packaged gumballs LOL:

Venturing out into the rain, we wandering around the streets to different locations. We passed by the biggest UNIQLO in Taiwan, which was fun. I still can’t imagine five stories of just UNIQLO.

 

Huge Starbucks we saw too:

In Ximen we got to go to a nice department store called Dictionnaire. I tried on a few clothes, found some that I liked, and ended up getting a Taiwan shirt and a collared shirt, all the while figuring out that clothing actually isn’t that cheap in Taiwan. If anything, some of the items are much more expensive because they are “stylish” and “good quality cloth.” Too bad I can’t fit in with the Taiwanese style without looking like a total poser haha.

For lunch, we went to a famous beef noodle soup store, where I ate until I felt like my stomach was going to burst. I just can’t handle too much awesome food in one day. The noodle texture was what made it good, not necessarily the actual beef. Still, I enjoyed it thoroughly- the service was fast, and I would take a bowl of noodle soup over fast food any day.

We continued looking through Ximen and also came upon the tallest building in Taiwan BEFORE Taipei 101. It looks significantly shorter, and not as decorative haha.

 

At the subway station, we found a funny inscription on the stairs, telling you how many steps you have left to go from a certain point and how many calories you burn if you climb the stairs from that point onward.

 

It was still rainy. The past two days have been nonstop rain in fact, especially from the typhoon that’s passing through.

We traveled to somewhere else to browse through more clothing. I learned two additional things today: guys’ clothing is much, much more expensive than girls’ clothing. So mad. Also, haggling for a price is almost a necessary skill. My friend Jessica did a great job saving me a few bucks here and there. I’ve figured out that all these small stores overprice their items, expecting customers to bargain with them a little before settling. I ended up getting several new shorts that I liked, in additional to some medium priced basic tees. Still relatively happy, though. And the experience of shopping in those tight, private stores- I am much more likely to buy if the owner is nice and too aggressive In the US, you walk into a store and no one cares. In Taiwan, you walk into a store and the salesperson is right on top of you, asking you what you’re looking for and how they can help you and suggesting items for you. Personally I find it very annoying to have someone constantly breathing over my shoulder as I shop. And I don’t like how the prices are always not shown so you have to guess or ask. Cutting back the price depends on how charming you can be with the owner, which Jessica was plenty of today.

We met up with Tiffany and Jessica’s friends from church, and went over to Dora’s house for dinner. Her parents were great. They were so nice that they even prepared meals and bread for us! We bought ice cream and pudding at the local store before arriving. They had a very nice apartment… very nice. Dinner was homemade and fantastic. Treats were delicious. Toilet scared me a bit with all the buttons and chinese on it xD.

The balcony view was also really beautiful.

Pearl Milk Tea Ice Cream Bar hahaha… that’s Taiwan for you =D

 

Getting back home on the subway was an adventure. Our ride got canceled so we had to take an alternate, longer route. It was still funny, though… being alone in the station and then having it canceled just as the train was supposed to arrive.


Hanging out with people who have lived in Taiwan all of their lives is fun, though.

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