-by Amy Yen
Hey folks. So I’ve been thinking about moving my blog over to this sparkling new, personal-online-brand-friendly address for a while now, but I couldn’t think of what I wanted to blog about. I’m vacationing in Taiwan this week, so I thought this would be a good excuse to finally get this sucker going. So, welcome to my new blog! 🙂
So, background. I was actually born in Taipei & lived here until I was four. Then my parents & I immigrated to the US so my dad could attend college in the States. I still have lots of extended family in Taiwan, but I haven’t visited in like 12 years due to school commitments. This visit is only about 10 days, which is woefully not enough for the amount of eating & shopping I have planned.
We got in about 5am local time on Sunday & made it through immigration & swine flu screening(!) with no problems. As some of you know, I’ve been fighting through my yearly bout with maybe-bronchitis the last two weeks, but thankfully I got over the fever stage last week, so I didn’t end up getting quarantined for my duration of my trip here. Seriously, they are not messing around with the swine flu business around here. We had to pass through fever screening on our way out of the airport & if basically if you’re spiking anything above like 99, you can wave your trip goodbye. It’s scary stuff. Also, it turns out the mask-over-the-face look is totally IN. Get yours today!
So anyway, we are severely jet-lagged so we mostly spent the day alternately walking around complaining about the humidity, which is like 400% here, & sleeping.
My memories of trips to Taiwan in my younger days are all kind of hazy, but a few things definitely remain true:
- 7-11’s in Asia are about 45 times more awesome than they are in the US. Not only are common everyday items totally branded Hello Kitty & other cuteness, but they sell lots of delicious snack food to eat on the spot, like tea eggs. Mmmmm tea eggs.
- Riding in taxis in Taiwan remains a wonderous experience. Not only are all cabs totally clean & don’t smell in any way, but the drivers are totally not crazy & are actually nice & seem to want to help you get to where you want to go in the fastest route possible. I don’t understand it either.
- Insects are going to be a HUGE problem for me here. I have already seen the largest cockroach I have ever seen in my entire life in the kitchen at my grandma’s. I did not react with grace & poise.
Plans for the next few days…National Palace Museum, Mucha Zoo to see the pandas, cross-country day-trip to Tainan to see long lost relatives & more eating & shopping. Stay tuned.