We’ve been here in Taipei for a month now, and so far the following things have happened:
- We have been very cold (+15 degrees inside and outside in our first place here, not fun times)
- We have arranged so many practical matters, that I’m about to update my LinkedIn profile and call myself a professional practical matter organizer (specialized in arranging matters in Chinglish)
- A lot of beer has been consumed
- The public transportation system has become our loyal friend here
- A garbage truck man smiled and waved at us and now I’m in love 🙂 (see here how the garbage recycling works)
- Turned out Taiwanese are the sweetest and most helpful people ever (thank you, bank lady, who filled in all the forms for me when I was trying to pay our rent and deposit and agency fees and had no clue if I was even at the right bank ♥), everyone is willing to teach you new words or helping out with the grammar or just being awesome in general
- Our trip to Vietnam (Ha Long Bay, Ba Vi national park and Hanoi) is happening next week, but the enginerd aka my personal travel agency aka a travel matter organizer has already booked all the hotels for us (including Tia, our friend, who’ll join us 🙂 ), and now all that is left is just some laundry and packing
- We moved from Datong, the oldest area of the city, where English is mostly not spoken and old floral print loving grandmas occupy the sidewalks because why not, they don’t really have to care if they block some young hooligans’ way, to Da’an, the most hipster region in the world (okay, maybe Penang Island in Malaysia is even more extra), filled with Fancy Pancy coffee houses and restaurants and small boutique shops
- I bought more data for my 4G (PokemonGo, do I need to say more…), and to my surprise the only thing that went wrong was that I purchased overpriced unlimited data for a month in a city with an excellent free WiFi network. I managed to do it at a Family Mart, where the nice girls (I’m old enough to call cashiers girls, they were maybe 15 years younger than me) helped me out and were not shocked by the fact I didn’t know what “data” is in Chinese (I know it now, thanks to a friend who told it to me after I was done shopping…). Actually, I was asking my friend (the one mentioned in the previous brackets) to do it for me since he speaks fluent Chinese, but no, he literally pushed to the counter and left me there to survive. And now I know how to purchase data, so thank you I guess 🙂
- We spent a fortune at Ikea
- We have a very nice Ikea home now
- Our new place was furnished when we moved in, with some quite old pieces, but we were able to make the best out of it (see the two previous points)
- H&M provided us with some very welcome new clothes. You wouldn’t believe how fast your clothes wear out if you only have what you can carry with you, and you wear them all way more often than you’d be doing if you had like a full closet of them (in Asia, I always opt for H&M or Uniqlo just and only because I don’t have to fight to find the right size. Decathlon works, too)
- I learned how to transfer money to my local bank account, and after some quick calculations I figured out I’ll save a shit load of money by doing that. There’s always a huge fee to withdraw money with an international credit card at the ATM, so I just moved most of my travel budget here for a very small international transfer fee, and can now withdraw it with my local ATM card for free. The limit is 30 000 NT$ per day, but it’s more than enough, considering that’s more than our rent is.
- I stopped shivering since our new place has astonishing +19 to 20 degrees inside ♥♥♥
- The enginerd met a ton of new people at the Taipei Game Show, where I visited, too
- We hung out with some of them, and it was awesome!
- We have walked so much…
- Did I mention we went to Ikea a couple of times?
Did you ever move to a new place? How did it go in the beginning? Share your story in the comments 🙂
Oh, and happy new year! This weekend all Taiwanese are celebrating the Chinese New Year (it’s just a New Year here, though), in the same manner as we’d be celebrating Christmas. Shops are closing early today and people travel to their home towns to spend the weekend with their families. We prepared by stocking up on ice cream and beer (like, of course!).