Welcome to Taiwan

Upon arrival in Taiwan, I did the new country routine. First pass through Immigrations, then by-pass the bagage pickup because my bag is small enough to pass as carry-on luggage, and walk directly through customs. Even though I was nearly the last person off the plane, I was seemingly the first to enter the airport arrival area. My routine is money, map, hotel. It took me a while to figure out the ATM, but once I discovered the exchange rate and the correct ATM network to use (yeah, they let you choose! Check out the back side of your ATM card and you will see a bunch of logos like “Plus” and “Cirrus”.), I was able to get some cash. The map was easily obtained from the visitors information center. According to the map, the airport is not linked to the MTR subway system, so a short bus ride looked to be in order. It looked walkable, but with no scale on the map, I couldn’t be sure. I refused the overly eager taxi driver, and for $125 (Taiwan dollars, at about 33 to 1 US), I was able to take a bus to the main MTR station. And I’m glad I did.
Something I didn’t realize is that the airport on the map is not the airport I arrived at, it was a 45 minute ride into town, and I would have been very unhappy wandering around in the middle of the night looking for the non-existant MTR station.
In order to get the most affordable flight, I booked one which arrived at 22:00 local time, which meant that it was 23:30 by the time I arrived at the hostel. Hostels very in their hours and how they are managed. I had booked a bed in this one only that morning, and was unable to find any information, one way or the other, about when reception would close. I rang the doorbell hoping that I would not be stuck without a place to stay at midnight.
As it turns out, I was far from waking anyone up, everyone was up watching a movie on HBO.
I went to the nearest convience store, 7-11, and bought some green tea and orange juice. I guess this was my first “your not in Japan anymore” moment. The OJ tasted like sweetened grape fruit juice. I checked the label, nope, it says orange juice… ah, 20%. Now I ask you, if it’s less than half orange juice, can you really still call it orange juice? Isn’t really more like water with orange flavoring? I guess that explains the $20 price tag. In Japan, it costs closer to 200 yen for the same volume of orange juice, but at least there it’s 100% juice. The tea seemed to be of lower quality too.


2 Responses to “Welcome to Taiwan”

  1. Mariko Says:

    Should have stayed in japan boo boo

  2. spitefulapparatus Says:

    Yeah. I really wish I had. Not that Taiwan wasn’t great, but I feel like I left Japan before I was ready to.

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