Hi all, so I will do a quick recap of the past few days so that I can catch you up to what's going on here in Taiwan.
Yesterday, I spent the morning looking for souvenirs in the area around LongShan Temple. I did not find a single thing! It was still interesting to walk around the the shops and various food stands. They were selling all kinds of crazy things, fish, whole chickens, raw meat, you name it. For lunch, I met Nick and his friends and then I went off in search of some new shoes. It rained off and on all day yesterday and I was slipping and sliding all over the place in my sandles that have zero tread. I bought 2 pairs of sandals for under $40, one of which favor Birkenstocks. That's what I call a bargain. No need to worry about me falling and busting my butt now!
The last two days had been very ho hum in the food department. We had a coupon for a free pizza at the place we went to a few days ago. Being the cheapskates that we are (plus I was getting hungry and grouchy) we went back there and enjoyed a delicious pizza. Yum.....
We went back to the hotel and watched the new movie Iron Man. "But Kelly, Iron Man isn't out on video yet! How could you have possibly seen it already???" Welcome to Asia, the land of pirated movies and software! Nick mentioned to one of his lab mates that he would like to find a place to rent videos, and instead his lab mate gave him some movies he had on his computer, most of which are still in theaters. They're great as long as you don't mind the chinese subtitles and the ocassional theater goer passing in front of the camera to go to the bathroom.
Now on to Friday, our last full day in Taipei...Nick's last day in the lab went pretty well. He has really enjoyed working in this lab. Everyone in the lab has been incredibly nice and helpful, and he accomplished quite a bit for such a short amount of time. Tonight, Nick and I went out to dinner with about 15 people from the lab. We went to a very popular Japanese style restaurant and the food was great. It is without a doubt the best meal we have enjoyed together in Taipei. The meal had about 7 courses, and it only cost about 15 USD per person.
Getting to dinner, however, was a horrendous experience! I left the hotel early like a good girl to give myself plenty of time to meet Nick and his lab mates outside of their bulding at National Taiwan University. Well, I got on the right bus but it was going the wrong direction! I had plenty of time to get to the university so I figured I would just stay on the bus until it looped back around. Fast forward one hour, and I saw Taipei 101 out the window and I realized I was no where close to where I needed to be! So, I jumped out of the bus and ran from cab to cab looking for a person that spoke some English. Finally, I found one and he took me to meet Nick. I was 45 minutes late! I wanted to cry, but everyone was so nice about it that I didn't feel too bad. And of course my handsome and strapping husband was not the least bit upset or bothered by it.
Tomorrow we leave the bright lights of the big city behind and go to a new place on the southeast coast called Hualien. We are excited to see a new place, but we are a little worried to go to town out in the country. English will be much more rare, and the food will be even more strange. Send cookies!