It’s actually Day 4, but between the exploring, eating, translating, and scooting!, I have put blogging on hold for the first (amazing) few days of this vacation.
Anytime I travel, I relish in the first few days where I find the most mundane things fascinating. For example, I spent a good five minutes in the bathroom stall with a singing toilet. I’m actually regretting not taking a picture. I haven’t seen another gem since!
Toilets aside, Taiwan has many incredible things to offer a Western gal like myself. First off, the Taiwanese people are amazing and so genuinely kind. They are immediately curious to know why I chose to visit Taiwan. And 9 times out of 10, they will conclude the conversation with a sincere desire to help with any future needs or problems I may come across. Being a foreign visitor seems significantly less daunting when the locals wholeheartedly welcome you to their country.
Second, and perhaps most important, is the food. From the dan bing to the dumplings, it’s ALL good. I have no doubts that I will go back to China with a few added pounds, and happily so.
Third, and a close runner up to #2, are the scooters! I am lucky enough to have already in
the masses in Taipei.experienced my first ride here (don’t worry Mom! I wasn’t driving). Being a former scooterist back home, where I was one of a few, it’s pretty intense to see them congregated in the masses.
The weather has been pretty hot and humid, comparable to Houston, TX or the Middle East, depending on which day you ask me. The locals will ride their bicycles with a sun umbrella in one hand, and their bike handle in the other–quite the daring feat given the scenarios described above, but a necessary one. I went to a water park yesterday, with my traveling crew, to get some relief from the heat. It was awesome (other than the fact that I confirmed cellulite to clearly be a Western phenomenon).
The Taiwanese are very conservative with energy, so it will be an adjustment not having the AC blasting everywhere. However, it is an adjustment I am happy to take on. They are also very conservative with trash, and have become very strict about recycling. Taiwan has revamped its entire recycling law to require fees on all kinds of packaging and plastics disposables, including a controversial ban on plastic bags. Taiwan is an island, the size of Maryland with 23 million people, so it’s important to continue preserving the limited space they have.
Well that’s a wrap on things thus far. It’s been a great weekend getting to know Taipei. I’m looking forward to seeing what this little island has in store for me this week!