When I visited Taipei101 – until the construction of the skyscraper in Dubai the highest building in the world – I all of a sudden came to stand in front of a mirrored wall. As one does when traveling alone, I used the opportunity for a selfie. When I looked at the picture later on, I had to think of the very first picture of my journey, taken on the 1st of January 2014, the day I left Germany. I think I can see the travel in me (may be the longer hair).
So I arrived safely in Taiwan, and feel like I took a journey in the Tardis. Electricity – 24h a day! Fast internet, high speed trains, modern subways, sky scrapers, huge shopping malls with everything you can possibly want, fixed prices, no constant horn honking, no beggars – like a country bumpkin, I am walking along, open-mouthed, and am amazed. Months of living in countries where none of this is normal have left an impression.
People are extremely friendly – I hardly have stopped somewhere, looking either helpless or on a map or both, and somebody stops besides me and helps. Which is really helpful – there are some bits in English, but mostly I understand “Chinese”. The weather isn’t great: Extreme humidity interrupted by torrential rain and thunderstorms. It is the season of the “plum rains”, in between monsoon and summer rains.
This time, I’ve taken a small apartment, because I want to cook my own food again after months of dependence on others morning, noon and night. Only, I’ve selected the wrong city for this: Taipei is famous for it’s street food, and rightly so, there are little street kitchens everywhere with the most wonderful delicacies.
And best of all: the bakeries – mmmhmmmmm!
(I did notice that quite a few people do not exactly have the typical Asian delicate silhouette, and now I know why that is – at every corner, you can buy wonderful tasty food – I had meant to lose a kilo or two here, but I’ve already forgotten about that plan!). This here is a foodie’s paradise.
My first attempt at street food: As everything was in Taiwanese, I pointed to one of the two photos I saw, and waited for things to happen. I got something that looked like jellied pork rind in bread (and probably was jellied pork rind in bread). I was hungry, so I closed my eyes, thought of Germany and gave it a bite – it was delicious. So I eat my way through Taipei, trying to avoid things such as obvious duck’s feet and shark’s fin, and like everything so far.
Here some more pictures of my first impressions. Tomorrow morning I’ll take the high speed train towards the South, and will drive around the country for a few days.