Sunday, February 14, 2016

Taiwan's Night Market

My mouth watered with anticipation. My stomach empty and desperately required food. The train ride to Shilin night market was quiet and comparable to a night in Boston, then in the distance swarms of people floating like moths towards the glowing neon lights.
Slowly we walked towards the lights

I was awestruck as a thousand smells rushed to my noise a thousand different sounds flowed my ears and every color of the rainbow filled my eyes. Nothing I could have read could of prepared me for this amount of excitement.

Left and right I bought all sorts of snacks trying everything I could get my hands on, corn fruit,fried meats, you name it and i shoveled it down my throat. Everywhere I look my friends would ask me "would you like to try it? How could I say no! It was all so exhilarating. I am amazed at how few photos I took at the Night Market. 

By far my favorite delicacy of Taiwan
Bubble Milk tea (奶茶naicha)

Everyone in Taiwan and everywhere these motorcycles are

Not just delicious delicacies were sold at the night market, clothes, shoes,electronics  you name it they had it.They even had arcades filled with claw grabber machines for children to play. but by far the most amusing aspect of the night market were the carnival games.

 Excited and anxious to try I handed one of the attendants money for a chance to play. Her face gleamed when I handed her such large bills.One by one I popped each balloon the excitement growing. In the end she handed me a small prize, a small key-chain  that flashed police lights when turned on.

Soon I returned to my bunk exhausted my heart flying fluttering with happiness. Ready to see more of this tiny island filled with mystery.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Landing in Taiwan

It was like my Journey had begun a new. I was in another vastly different country. With a different landscape, different customs, even a different climate. Right from the moment I landed I could tell I was in a smaller city compared to Hong Kong. Although it was still crowded I was processed with ease through Taiwanese immigration. No questions were asked and it seemed only a drug/bomb sniffing dog was lead around the airport.

I was nervous, I was to meet two lovely girls whom I had never met in person. Little did I realize that these two girls one from Taiwan the other studying abroad from China, would capture my heart and become two of the best friends I could ever ask for. I wasn't nervous because I thought they might do me harm, I was nervous because  I was afraid the language barrier would be too great. Online we had only texted in Chinese and English so i wasn't sure if their spoken English would be the same level.

My heart raced as I searched through the crowds of people for them. For them I was easy to spot any western male sticks out like a soar thumb in Asia. Their faces were gleaming with excitement as was mine. Without thinking I gave them both a big hug.

We said little that first half hour in the airport uncertain of how to gauge their English. Later I found out that I wasn't the only one who was nervousness. I nervous to use my what little Chinese I had and they their English. Even though we spoke little I felt we could still understand each other.

The airport which I arrived in Tao-Yuan was not actually in Taipei but a city about an hours drive away.After boarding a bus we made our journey to Taipei station.Right away I could see a vast difference in the land space and the roads. It was somehow quiet and quaint compared to the bustling city of Hong Kong. In retrospective it took guts, I was here alone trusting two girls I had never met. I had no contacts here besides them and a few other pen pals.

I sat there quietly taking everything in, it was too dark to see anything and I was thoroughly exhausted, I hadn't eaten since earlier that day, I was starving.My friend just like any american I knew had their head deep in their phone. Her phone had the Cheshire cat for a case. I said one word to her "Alice" she looked at me smiled and said "Yeah" in a kind comforting voice. We looked at each other a moment, and then I realized from that point on I was in good company.

Taiwan was full of cute and sometimes
bizarre art work and cartoons
Taipei station, for some reason people
only sat on the black tiled floors

After dropping my things at my hostel we headed to Taiwan's famous night markets.....