Taipei | We Might Die Via Moped

Remarkably, Josh and I managed to find each other and the hotel without many setbacks. However, we did discover that there is no standardization of Roman-lettered street names. (Might have been nice to know that before getting involved in dicey taxi ride.) Two days into the adventure, we are loving Taipei, but extremely surprised that several things have yet to happen:

  1. Our death via moped; you literally have to walk into dozens of oncoming mopeds in order to cross the street. It is rather jarring, though the locals don’t so much as flinch. There are more mopeds than cars here, and they weave in and out of traffic haphazardly, clearly unconcerned that decapitation is one wrong swerve away. I have tried my best to capture the sheer volume of the mopeds, but it is truly impossible. There are entire streets dedicated to them, and they even take over sidewalks and walkways. There is truly a moped everywhere you look.
  2. We are not sick yet; Josh insisted on eating peking duck from this little eatery across from our hotel – a place where they display the animals in the window, head and all – and we tried everything, though we had no clue what we were actually eating. I chomped down on a bone so hard and loud that I seriously thought that my tooth had broken and fallen out of my mouth. What animal has that many bones, anyway? Also, Josh drinks the water everywhere, though I have not been all that careful either.

Taipei really is darling in that crazy Asian city way – it really reminds me of Chiang Mai. We sat by the river a bit in the evening before waking early to explore the city. By the time we found a metro stop (which was definitely not the nearest one), we had walked several miles. First, we went to visit Taipei 101, formerly the tallest building the world. It’s very unique in shape, though I cannot help but think that its appearance has little to do with actual Taiwanese architectural tastes. Since it was still closed, we wandered around until we found a breakfast-type eatery, where we ate these crepe-egg things that were stuffed with a mysterious fluffy, brown, and dry substance that had little flavor save for a slight sweetness. In any case, we were certainly off the Western beaten track, which was excellent news. We also happened upon another market, this time a fresh produce and meat market. I looove the pot stickers, and we both drool looking at the amazing veggies. On our return, we walked through the Taipei 101 mall, which is stuffed with brands like Prada and Versace. After using the most beautiful bathrooms we had ever seen there, we took the world’s fasted elevator (allegedly) up to the top of the building, where they have built a panoramic viewing section, with special signs and audio guides. Also, you can climb to the very top, where there is an outside view, though I imagine it can get rather windy.

After seeing Taipei from so high, we had a new appreciation for the city, and sought out visiting the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, which is a huge monument to the founding father, complete with a giant statue flanked by two immobile guards. Things are certainly in full swing for Chinese New Year preparations (putting up countless lights and a huge, cartoon tiger covered in rotating sunflowers and onions that is sure to have a circus-like glow in front of the memorial). We took the metro to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, which we are getting rather good at using. It is very clean, efficient, and orderly. People even que up before getting on, which is unlike anything I have ever seen. The issued tickets (which are price adjusted) are little blue plastic coins, equipped with sensors that let you just stroll though the entrance. On the way out, you deposit them into special slots for reuse. Really efficient.

Anyway, the memorial was very beautiful, our favorite building here. It opens to an enormous coutryard with the National Theater and National Concert Hall on either side, both of which are elaborate and colorful buildings. Children play along the stairs and in the courtyard, so it’s a rather fun atmosphere. Hungry yet again, we grabbed fried beef/onion balls and some pot stickers, which we ended up cooking in our electric tea kettle for lack of better equipment… now, off to Manila.

Comments
3 Responses to “Taipei | We Might Die Via Moped”
  1. marylena says:

    This is so cool!! I’m very jealous of all the amazing and non-western things you’re seeing…I’m thinking of you both all the time! And tell Josh he better be more careful with you and the water, I don’t like reading about how you might get sick!! I need you home in one piece!! I miss you, and I hope you’re loving every minute! Baci!

  2. Greta says:

    I miss you so much already! I’m glad everything is going well. I love you. Nutmeg says hi. Not really. She doesn’t care. I love you!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like so much fun love the moped story

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