It is now Day 4 of our trip, and after a slight fiasco of having to call our travel agency for the car to get to the airport (they forgot about us!), we are now sitting patiently at our gate at TPE awaiting our flight to HKG. I have just eaten my Japanese style rice ball with honey fried chicken that I picked up from Family Mart, and am sipping on some Lipton Milk Tea and munching on some chocolate-covered dessicated fruit (WAY better than Brookside!) while typing this post. It’s quite hilarious to think that I have decided to do this post at all – I guess residency is really getting the best of me. But in all seriousness, our short trip to Taipei has been such a blessing, and it wouldn’t feel right without a final reflection to document all of my deepest thoughts about this wonderful city in a wonderful country.
The part of the trip that has touched me the most was definitely the people of Taiwan. Everyone we have met, whether they were airport ground staff, hotel staff, drivers, restaurant owners, waiters, tour guides, or shopkeepers, have been so warm, friendly, and helpful in every way possible. It seems that the whole city of Taipei is filled with kind-hearted souls who welcome all with open arms and hearts, so much so that I would not be afraid as a single foreign traveller to return as I would not be without aide, ever. Even people who we have not met, those who are just random citizens who I see and observe on the streets, exude a considerate, conscientious, and good-natured aura, which was quite a change of scene from Vancouver. There are no absent-minded youths crossing the streets with their eyes glued to their cellphones, nor are there grumpy, self-righteous business people clacking their ways to work. Driver, pedestrian, and cyclists alike are well aware of their surroundings, and always make way for others whenever necessary. I love the people of Taiwan.
Maybe it was where we stayed, but living in Taipei is so convenient – all daily necessities are literally within arm’s reach. You just need to head down to the street, turn the corner, and there are an abundance of 7-Elevens, Family Marts, and various markets for groceries and shops for food. If you ever needed anything more, the convenient subway station could take you to wherever you needed to go. With so many restaurants and small family-owned food shops in every alley and street, it is not surprising that most people don’t cook at home. Why cook yourself after a long day at work when you can get a cheap, warm meal of whatever you desire just a minute’s walk from your home? One could easily make many friends with all the nearby food stall owners; these women not only cook a mean meal, but they are also the sweetest beings ever and genuinely care about you and want to get to know you. It’s like having many “mothers” to take care of you and your tummy! I love the lifestyle in Taiwan.
I already alluded to this earlier, but the food in Taiwan is amazing. Not only is it cheap, but pretty much anything from any shop or restaurant is legit. Amazing bakeries are everywhere, simple yet hearty local cuisine at every street corner, and dainty specialty cafes all over the city. I wish we were here longer as I didn’t have a chance to have Din Tai Fung, nor did I have bubble tea, believe it or not! But still, everything that I have had was so satisfying and delicious. I love food in Taiwan.
In summary, I love Taiwan, and I would come back again in a heartbeat.
Onwards to HK, my home away from home! Blogging may be more sparse as we have less planned, but we shall see. 🙂