It’s been almost 3 weeks since we’ve landed in Taipei. A couple days after arriving, we developed mild flu-like symptoms which made me think we caught the flu since our Covid tests were negative 3 days in a row. Unfortunately, Joe lost his sense of smell a few days later, and a repeat Covid test came back positive for the both of us. After having dodged Covid for the past 2+ years, it finally caught up to us. It is still unclear where we could have contracted it, but it was either in NYC or here in Taiwan. I unfortunately passed it on to mom, but luckily, with her being quintuple boosted, her symptoms were mild as well.
Once we got past the 10-day “quarantine” period, we quickly settled into a routine. Two hours at the gym (for me) and dojo (for Joe) in the late morning, followed by yummy cheap eats for lunch and dessert. Cost of living in Taiwan is at least 1/2 that of in the US. Joe and I briefly considered spending half the year in Taiwan, but the weather here is a huge detractor for us. It really is hard to find better weather anywhere in the world outside of SoCal. The plus side to the humidity here is that my head of hair appears fuller, and the skin needs less moisturizing.
Owing to the subtropical clime, the island is lush, green, and beautiful. However, the beauty ends within the city confines. There is no interesting architecture to speak of. All the homes and apartments look like they desperately need a power washing to rid of the humidity-related stains.
Aside from that, Taipei is strikingly clean compared to other Asian countries. There are no trash bins anywhere on the streets, and household trash is taken out when residents hear the tell tale Für Elise played by the trash collector truck. The country takes the motto “trash does not touch the ground” seriously. Unlike in NYC where garbage is piled high on street corners with rats scattering about.
With its super convenient (and ultra clean) transit system, we’ve been traversing the city to our hearts’ content looking for food. If it weren’t for the fact that we’re averaging 5-miles a day of walking, we’d be putting on some serious weight with all the delicious cheap food around us.
And let’s not forget snow ice…
In 2 days, we’ll be headed to SEA, which will serve as an interlude to our 2-month stay in Taiwan. The second half of our Taiwan stay should be more interesting as the plan is to venture outside of Taipei.