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Gosh, I can't really take advantage of the movie channels in these hotels.  Anyway, I got up this morning and had breakfast at the hotel.  It's included in my booking, but I doubt I'll use it every day beyond the juices, tea and water.  Gotta save the old appetite for meals out and about.

I totally lucked out with a coin-op laundromat near the hotel.  Never mind that I made a wrong turn and it took me over half an hour longer to find it than it should have.  The side streets in Taipei are listed in sections and lanes off the main road they're nearest.  As such, I'll try to list restaurants without names I can read by their street.

After finally finishing a wash, (the machines only took 10-NTD (New Taiwan Dollar) coins, and I had to go to three convenience stores to get the proper change) I headed for a late lunch near the hotel at a beef noodle joint, Jio-Wu.  It was very good that I actually went there again about nine hours later.  Sandwiched between going up Taipei 101 and that late dinner at Jio-Wu was a trip to the famous Keelung Night Market by the coast about a 40-minute train ride from central Taipei.  Going up Taipei 101 is totally worth the 15-minute lines, but only on a clear day.

Yeah, it was a day of four meals, but hey, I uhhh...walked a decent amount....

December 29, 2017

"Chinese audio with Chinese subtitles?"

I arrived in Taipei safe and sound.  Though it was a long day of travel for a very short flight, most everything went smoothly.  I took an express train from Taoyuan Int'l to Taipei's main station, then took a taxi to my hotel.  Similar to Hong Kong, cabs in Taipei are relatively inexpensive.  That express train had wireless phone chargers for every four seats, the adapters being secured by a steel wire.  It was cool, each adapter had a lightning, a micro-USB and a USB-C connector.

I wanna say "I wish the British had colonized every nation on Earth at one time or another" because that'd greatly increase the chances of signage and announcements being made in multiple languages, one of them hopefully being English.  I say this because in only a few minutes of walking around near my hotel, there's a lot more Chinese-only writing when compared to Hong Kong.  Yeah, yeah, I know it's my problem.  I just never realized that I'd be functionally, if not completely, illiterate without the English writing that I do see.  At least when you're in Europe, you can often make out words in Italian, French, Spanish, German, etc.  But, I'll trudge along as best I can.

December 28, 2017

"I always thought the phrase was 'Taipei personality.'"

Slept in this morning after a long day yesterday.  I had lunch at a very good ramen joint near the hotel.  I hesitated having ramen now since I'll probably be loading up on it when I'm in Tokyo, but I'm glad I tried it.

December 30, 2017

"You're getting sleepy...."

Wind damper inside Taipei 101 observation levels; helps counter swaying.

Precious-stone coral on display when exiting Taipei 101 observation deck.

Taipei 101 - Built in 2004 and the city's tallest skyscraper.

Keeping hydrated with green & black tea; haven't had coffee since my FEAST began.

Didn't have the heart to do it...or the kidneys, or the small instestines or the liver.

My soaking wet happy family of deep-fried shrimp, deep-fried baby crabs and steamed dumplings.

December 31, 2017

"Hello, soup-dumpling restaurant.  Do you take reservations for parties of one?"  Click.

For New Year's Eve, I started my day with a walk to a popular joint known for their soup dumplings, Din Tai Fung.  Immediately afterwards, I headed to the Raohe Night Market to check out their offerings.


I finished up the day by getting somewhat near Taipei 101 for the New Year's fireworks.  I'm glad I was there to witness such an amazing pyrotechnic display.  And to think, it was only me and 1.4 million people there tonight...and I was still almost a mile away.

For my last full day in Taipei, I went back to Din Tai Fung at the SoGo Mall for brunch.  I wanted to try a few more things on the menu, and I was determined to do so while not having to wait well over an hour for a table.  I found out yesterday they were open for regular hours on New Year's Day.  I showed up a few minutes before 10:00 AM and was part of the short line of people to get in.  It was another great meal!

I think I'll do laundry later today; if so, I just might be able to avoid having to do a wash while in Singapore.  My flight is early tomorrow.  Unfortunately, the MRT doesn't start until 6:00 AM, even the express train to the airport.  I'm not sure, I might have to take a cab all the way there.

I finished up my Taipei visit with my third trip to Jio-Wu...more ox tripe and spicy beef & tendon noodles.  Until next time, Taipei!  I'll try to come back when it's not so overcast.

January 1, 2018

"It's not Taipei lol!  It's Taipei 101!"

This Din Tai Fung branch was teeming with what looked like both tourists and locals; I headed to another location right after seeing these huddled masses.

Happy Family

More boiled organ meat.  I'll have some before my trip's over, perhaps.

Grilled squid on skewers at Raoue Night Market.

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