Taiwan

This is my random lazy 7-11 Taipei style dinner. Sushi was a great and cheap way to eat in Taiwan when you were not around the many markets. The 7-11’s of the world have such vastly different items.  Just walking down the chip aisle is a tasteful experience. There are flavors like ketchup, seaweed, and blueberry just to name a few.   Looking back I should have taken more photos of the weird and wild things I saw in the many 7-11 stores I found myself at. At the time, while I was jumping to countries quickly, these strange flavors started to seem normal.

This is a photo of my amazing pod hostel in Taipei. Before you go writing a comment about how you would never sleep in a coffin, let me explain how I was sleeping between eight to ten people (yes, mixed) in a room for almost six months before reaching Asia and their wonderful world of pod or capsule hostels. I ended up choosing a place called Sleepbox and the staff was amazing! For the first few minutes after my taxi driver dropped me off from the airport( in front of the 7-11 mentioned earlier), there were no signs I could see in English that told me where to go. So, I called the hostel and a younger woman answered the phone in broken English and tried to explain how to find the hostel, which was right around the corner and down a set of stairs which was not as scary as it sounds. It was very late at night at that point, after being stuck in the airport for a few hours, due to my credit card not working in the ATM and subsequently not being about to get local money in my hands. No, Mastercard does not work everywhere like the advertisements say in the states! I grabbed my relatively small backpack off the luggage belt, which is always the best thing to see when stepping into a new country as almost everything you have is in that bag. The next usual place I head when globetrotting is the ATM to guess how much local currency I will need. When the three different ATMs wouldn’t give me any cash I start to get worried. I called and stayed on hold and was reconnected to the correct number After waiting on hold to find out I didn’t have all the information needed, and then to call back again and literally use the ATM with a customer service representative on the phone… my card magically worked! This whole fiasco took a few hours and the cab ride took another hour to the hostel. The lesson here is to always have a backup for plastic and not to judge a country on your airport experiences. Taiwan ended up being one of my favorite countries of all. A large part of the love for Taiwan came from the kindness from my first week in Taipei with the Sleepbox hostel.

Sleep Box Hostel

 

Taipei  night market

The night markets in Taipei is my favorite out of any country. It has the widest range of food and by far the cheapest prices.

Everything is on a stick. The thing to do here is taking a basket and choose what you and the vendor will cook it for you.

There is tons of sushi here just fill a box with what you want while you watch it made on site.

Here are more sticks of every variety

Octopus balls are mixed octopus choked up and batter in a skillet into balls with different sauces and it was amazing tasting.

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 Tower in Taiwan.

The first impressions I felt walking into this icon of Taipei was something like, wow am I in a mall? Even when I bought a ticket to the top, which I thought was the hundred and first floor hence the name Taipei 101, but was really the 87th floor we were let out to the observation deck. There is 360-degree window viewing. When I was ready to leave and started filling the signs it was a maze. I think I was lead around two floors of sales cases with eager sales associates to sell you about their wears. Finally cramimg on the elevator for the final decent to the food court and mall. Overall I am still very glad I went and I am in love with this amazing and friendly city.