Travel and Day One
Trip Start Jun 13, 2009
18Trip End Jul 23, 2009
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Where I stayed
Taiwan Traveller Hostel
After a short yet embarassing train ride on HSR going north, I arrived in Taipei and began searching for MRT< which my hostel is located next to. I decided following the masses would be the best course of action. I wandered through and back through the underground portals looking for some sign of where to go, but my large pack and bags were distracting- and it was hot!- if you don't know, Taiwan is like sub-tropical and super super steamy. I knew this much: my hostel is next to the Ceasar Park Hotel, the Shin Kong building, and near an MRT exit. After asking countless personnel and police (maybe 6), I came closer and closer to finding my exit, M6.
As I finally emerged from underground drenched in sweat and feeling a bit more confident after locating Ceasar Park, I was greeted by stares from swarms of teenagers indulging in the night activities of Zhongxiao Rd W. This road sported many western eateries, including Starbucks, McD's, and more. But first, I needed to find the hostel and drop off my bags. I knew it was between the hotel and Shin Kong building on the 22nd floor of something called a Keymall. I saw a viable option, and walked in. I noticed a poster advertising for the hostel, so I moved on to the elevators, floor 22. I never expected a hostel in this kind of environment. The building seems more like a business park or perhaps a shopping mall instead. Nonetheless, I meandered to the room pointed at by a sign and was greeted cheerfully by two women. I checked in in an aread that looked like a common lounge area where breakfast is served. The "laoban" (boss) kindly gave me my key and another woman took me to the women's dorm room, which was on a different floor. We made small talk while we waited for a roommate to emerge from the shower. She took quite awhile, though, and I was left to pick a bed from 10 in the room. I asked my roommate if a certain bed was taken, but she didn't quite understand. Simple chinese took care of that, and I settled into cot #4.
But, the night was still young (10pm) and I hadn't had time to take picture I had wanted to earlier, so I took to the streets to explore the surrounding blocks. Many couples could be found eating Cold Stone ice cream, what seemed to be the cool hangout around here. I saw eateries, shops, traditional medicine practicioners, conspicuous hook-up hotels, "xiao chi" street food stands, even some bubble tea, though I hand't brought my walled so I had to move on. I tried experimenting with camera settings, but I still feel a bit out of touch with its true potential. Coming back, I went straight to bed (11:30pm) and slept well until my roommmate arose at 6:42am. No problem, I went back to a light sleep. It's not time to attempt part 2 of my solo travel- taking a cab to the Fo Guang Shan (henceforth FGS) shuttle pick-up spot. Hopefully it won't be as difficult as locating the hostel. I'll check with the laoban to make sure the address is legible. Until then~~
PS: forgive typos, I'm in quite a rush.