Fun in Taipei! We started the day with a fun-filled trip to the immigration department so that Paul could defer his military service. That was pretty cool. While I was sitting in one of the waiting chairs, a woman asked me where she should go, and I was no help whatsoever. Maybe I looked like I knew what I was doing.
I was feeling a bit draggy, so we stopped by a 7-11 (or was it an Ok?) where I purchased one of the greatest coffees ever. It was delicately sweet and it came in an awesome cylinder bottle. I washed one out and took it home with me, but unfortunately I lost the lid so it's now useless. After a morning of running errands, we had lunch with Paul's aunt at a small restaurant. I'm always up for delicious food.
Cool coffee cylinder.
Paul's aunt and I.
Before lunch, I was walking with Paul when he said, "Hey Laura, that guy is waving at you." I was wondering if maybe it was a chance-meeting with a friend in a foreign country (like when I ran into a college friend in a hostel in Scotland). But no, it was a random white dude waving at me. I was a little weirded out, so I kind of said "hi" as we walked by. Maybe he thought he knew me? Or maybe he hasn't seen a white female in a long time? Or maybe he's just inordinately friendly? Strange, strange.
Then after lunch, Paul and I were walking to the bus that would take us to the train station (to go to Taipei), when that same guy came riding up to us on a bike. Oh dear. "Hey, hey." he said, a but breathless from riding, "Where are you guys from?" We told him, and he told us that he was from Utah. So we're neighbors, in a sense. It turns out, he was a Mormon missionary who'd been in Taiwan for almost a year (I think). We asked him a couple questions and answered some of his, but our bus was leaving so we said goodbye and ran for the bus. He did give us each a tract to take with us, though he didn't have an English one.
After getting to Taipei, we headed over to the Chiang Kai Shek memorial. It was VERY hot outside, so I was sweating like a pig while we were trying to take some awesome pictures with the memorial. Silly us, we kept taking pictures and then realizing that we should move even closer and taking more pictures and then moving even closer. We came up with some unique shots. After exerting so much energy in jumping and trying to smile into the hot sun, we lost all energy and decided that we just couldn't make it across the burning cobbled desert. Seeing the memorial from far away was just fine.
Jumping for Chiang Kai Shek
Ok, so he's a bit cooler than me.
We took the subway to a shopping area and wandered around for awhile. We found a great shop that had a ton of things for only 3USD! Oh yeah. I bought a couple shirts, one of which says "The Sea is Terrific! Lively Girl and Active Boy" with a barcode on the back. I'm starting to like random shirts. I also took pictures of some random, cute things like an M&M machine and a Coca Cola-themed restaurant.
I kind of like M&Ms too.
One of my favorite Japanese restaurant dishes: fried chicken curry.
That night we trooped up to a glass gondola/cable car that went up the mountain and to the Taipei zoo. Unfortunately, it was getting a bit dark so none of our pictures turned out, but it was still fun. It was also a bit creepy since it was all dark around us and the cable car was very quiet. It just seemed like a scene from some horror movie. I could imagine the cable car suddenly stopping, rocking gently while we peered out into the dark, and then either a monster jumping through the window or some kind of poisonous gas leaking into the cabin. Thankfully, none of my imaginings came true.
A blurry gondola picture.
On the way home, we found some more cute/quirky things such as a fire-extinguisher sign with no fire extinguisher and a women's waiting area at the train station. Although maybe the waiting area's a good idea...
Pretending to be a fire extinguisher.
Paul won't be safe until he steps into the pink box!