Continued from Taiwan Day 3.
This is my last day in Taiwan for this trip. Tomorrow, I will board a flight to Delhi. The thought of voluntarily going to the middle of a “Cluster Fuck!” is giving me some nerves. The truth is, right now, I am more freaked out than excited. Fortunately, knowing myself, this will change when I land and get settled. I am looking forward to my experiences in India that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
On another note, something I ate in the meal with 20+ dishes did not agree with me and I got sick last night. Shit!(no pun intended) If I am already having GI issues in Taiwan, where the food is relatively clean, then India will rape me a new asshole. Had no idea how I would feel this morning, but am happy to report that it was a flash flood and it went away as quickly as it came. I am not usually this detailed in reporting bathroom issues, but I feel like getting sick from food is such a big part of traveling to India that this issue should be closely noted.
Now that we are done with the dirty business, we can move forward.
I have dual citizenship, and brought both passports for this trip. The humidity in Taiwan is always insanely high and it has an affect on things. I found it interesting how humidity affected my two passports differently. The US passport warps and curls open from the high humidity. The Taiwanese passport on the other hand is unfazed. I guess they made it with more moisture resistant paper knowing that humidity is always going to be an issue.
I spent the rest of the morning taking care of logistics. Arranged for my pick up when I land in India. Tidied up my itinerary for the whole trip, etc. Then it was time for lunch.
There were so many different plates, sauces, ingredients, etc. that I felt a little bit lost. There were carts getting pushed around that had easily 20 more ingredients to add to the meal. I was a little overwhelmed so I just stuck to what I know best, which is just to throw something into the boiling soup, cook until done, and put into mouth until full. That got the job done.
That was a fun meal. Next on the list is to get a cab and go to the HSR station to catch the high speed train to Taipei. I called for a cab while we waited outside, in the 5 minutes that it took for our cab to come by, we could have had 10 other opportunities to hail one down. But, we stuck to our guns and waited for the guy who probably had to drive a bit across town for us. It was the right choice as the cab that picked us up was spotless. Sometimes, you get into a cab, and it’s been smoked in and that makes the whole ride terrible.
About an hour later, approaching Taipei where it’s foggy and cold. Apparently, this weather pattern is very typical of the two regions and the climate changes pretty dramatically in just an hour’s worth of train ride.
My sister pointed this out to me. The women’s restrooms in the train station have an indicator panel showing what stalls are open and in use. What a waste of money. What’s next? A reservation system where you can reserve your stall hours in advance? Residents in other regions of Taiwan complain about Taipei getting too high of a proportion of tax money, and I can see that they have valid complaints.
Yes! A Taiwanese street food favorite that I used to eat as a kid. These little cakes are similar to pancakes and you can get different types of filling inside. Popular ones are red bean, cream, and they also have peanut sauce, vegetables etc.
Came to the electronics district to buy some more memory for my camera. Based on my historical data, I am guessing that I’ll take close to if not more than 10,000 photos on this trip. This fact makes me worried that I’ll break my beloved S95 from just wear and tear. I hope that doesn’t happen, but if it does, I’ve got my iPhone 4S as a quick backup until I can buy a replacement S95 or S100. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
This is one that I used to read as a kid. Best comic book series ever! It’s about a robotic cat(the blue thing) that came from the future on a time machine with an endlessly deep pouch that contains all sorts of gadgets. After typing that out, I just realized how little sense that makes…Either way, it’s famous both here and in Japan where it originated from.
This is a mall built by the wife and daughter of an electronics magnate(according to my sister). Anyhow, the whole purpose of this mall is just so the wife and daughter can have a collection of their favorite high end retail stores all under one roof. Basically, this is a toy costing hundreds of millions.
I am smitten. I am usually a big fan of coupes, but I think the spyder version in hardtop form is more beautiful than the coupe! It reminds me of a cross between my two favorite Ferraris, the F355 and the F50.
Our waitress had on thick black plastic frame glasses, but she didn’t have any lenses. I’ve been seeing a lot of Taiwanese girls wearing black plastic frame glasses without lenses. My sister mentioned that it was because of a very popular local soap. The main actress wears glasses without lenses as a fashion statement in the show, and that fad had spread like wild fire. It’s a fad that irritates me a little.
That was an easy way to blow money away. I’ll take my cheapo egg pudding please. Now it’s time to go to another mall and meet my cousin and her husband for dinner.
Saw this while waiting in line for our table. These girls sell desserts at this stand and they wear this mouth shield so they can talk away while handling your food without spitting or coughing in it by accident. I reacted by chuckling to myself while I took this semi spy photo.
My sister is friends with the hostess here. The hostess gave me an English menu without me asking. I asked why, and she said that it was because I spoke Chinese with a heavy accent. That was news to me that I now speak Chinese with a heavy English accent.
Tonkatsu! Japanese style fried pork chops. It was just OK. I had Maisen Tonkatsu in Tokyo and that was so out of this world that every other Tonkatsu I’ve had since then has tasted very mediocre. Seriously, Maisen is unlike anything else I’ve ever had before. It wasn’t just an 11, it was like a 17.
We finished dinner, chatted for a bit, and I had to make my retreat back to Taichung. It was past 9 and it would take us another hour and a half to get back to Taichung from Taipei. I was getting increasingly tired from my jet lag.
Got on the subway and saw that everyone else looked as tired as me. We connected from the subway to HSR and I spent the entire ride back to Taichung asleep. It was a fitful sleep where I felt unbalanced the whole time. I think having to leave the comfort and safety of Taiwan Base Camp tomorrow is affecting me. Again, my traveling really starts tomorrow when I’ll be on my own for weeks on end. The adventure starts tomorrow.
To be continued at Delhi Day 1.