I was never so glad to get out of an airplane. Landing in Taiwan was the end of a very long flight and a day that seemed to have no ending. Sleeping and movie watching was the only thing to break up the monotony of continuous air mode. As well, I never noticed this before, did you know they adjust the hall lights to help you get into the sleeping pattern of the country you’re headed to? It’s hard to sleep in bright florescent lights. You have to choose between covering your eyes with the blanket they give you or to cover your legs to stop them from being cold. Decision, decisions. I did watch lots of movies though and now have a complete fill of all things TV.
Once landed, I went through customs and collected my checked luggage without any problems. The big thing was trying to find the shuttle bus to Taipei. What I do when I’m not sure what to do in airports is follow the crowd. Luckily the bus station was clearly marked and everyone was going their anyways. Once on the bus I had to fight falling asleep in order to take in my surroundings. Taiwan I noticed right from the start is very luscious. That is the best way to describe the environment and its tropical weather. Headed into the city there was a lot of low rise buildings in different states of repair. There is also lots of construction on these massive bridges sprawling over the top of the road. The highway was four lanes each way and for the most part there wasn’t a lot of honking drivers or yelling going on. Funny enough, the first honk I heard corresponded with the first time I heard the bus’s signal light being used. Mopeds and cars weave through construction like needlework. I was worried I would miss my stop since the driver announced them them in Mandarin not English. I decided to then sit up front and tell him straight out I was looking for Taipei Main Station stop. He said “Okay” like it was his personal duty to chauffeur me there regardless of the other passengers. Once at the stop I grabbed my luggage and was off to find the hostel. On their website they gave detail instruction on how to get there and it actually made sense! I wasn’t able to make it in the 10 minutes approx. timeline, because I am a slow walker AND had luggage, but I made it nonetheless.
The Hostel I’m staying at is clean, functional, and has security like a maximum prison. It’s not quite that bad but it feels like it to me. An electronic key they give you is required for all outside and indoor entrances. Also the doors once you past them make this suction noise as if to say “ Welcome to the Hotel California".The place is really nice though and the staff is friendly. I had a shower ASAP and went walking around for food and an ATM machine. I found both, and thank goodness for debit visas, they work here! I felt strange all day though having headaches and alternating between exhaustion and agitation. I finally realized at 2pm that I hadn’t had water all day so I picked up a big bottle at nearby convenient store. As I was paying for my merchandise the cashier asked me where I was from, just then Beiber’s “Boyfriend” song started playing in the background.
Grinning I replied “I’m from Jianada!” (加拿大)