Day 18 – Taipei – Another Day with Tiffany

Woke up and handwashed my clothes. Getting a bit better at it, and I know what to do. After got all my morning through, I went to meet Tiffany and company at the Ximen station at 1 o’clock. We went to get beef noodles at a nearby place that was apparently famous. Tif’s mother ordered for us, which was very convenient. It was delicious.

After that we walked to the book store area. There was this whole block of a street that had tons and tons of bookstores, filled with who knows how many books. Of course none of them were in English, so it was a little strange of me to be there. A little ironic, a non-Chinese speaking person being in a store full of Chinese. But they did have chapter 54 of One Piece! Of course as I said, I wasn’t able to read it, although it wasn’t readable anyway because it was covered with shrink wrap. I think to prevent people from reading the comics there in the store.

Also this was the first time for me using a squat toilet. I wasn’t really sure where to start, so I started by putting the things in my pocket into my day pack so they wouldn’t fall out onto the floor. It seemed very awkward, and of course there wasn’t toilet paper, so I was very lucky I had anticipated that situation and saved some tissues from two weeks ago that I got in Hong Kong. Personally, I prefer Western toilets.

Then we went back to Ximen for some walking around. I thought I knew where I was going, but not really. Eventually we got some more of the shaved ice cream we loved so much, although Tif’s dad got the wrong one, he got the crushed ice with bananas on top, instead of the shaved ice. Apparently it’s a one word difference.

Then we went to City Hall for a snack, and walked to Tif’s fencing practice. Apparently she’s still very into the sport, and had heard of some club there in Taipei that she could practice with. It was a very interesting set up, and I watched people spar. She was pretty good, though she only had practice with the sabre style of fencing and not the styles that they typically used. She played. Tif’s dad and brother and I took pictures and played with our cameras. After a long time we came back and had a quick and sudden goodbye in the station while switching subway trains, and I just went back to the hostel.

Luckily my clothes had dried completely!

Then I met a guy named Nick in the hostel. He had grown up in Kyoto, but he looked and sounded American. He said something like his parents were teachers there. Very international guy, and we got along very well. He dropped his computer, which was fairly tragic… but no worries. We were both hungry so we went out to get an excellent Hot Pot dinner. I hadn’t had a true hot pot before, so this was a great experience. The sauce I made was just a little too spicy, but it worked out and was delicious. I didn’t have much cash with me, so I owed him some money. We went to 7-11 for the ATM but it was out of order, and they also didn’t take card, so that sucked and I still owe him approximately 3 dollars, but I have no idea how to contact him to repay my debt.

We came back to the hostel and met a Swiss girl in our room, I think her name was Muriel, and she looked exactly like my old friend Michelle Lauris. For the next banana bunch of hours we talked and talked in the kitchen of the hostel. And it was all the usual conversations that hostel people have about life and traveling and laws and governments and what not. It was 4 in the morning before we quit and retired for bed.

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