Thursday, December 20, 2012

Taipei: #1 in public transportation etiquette

Michael and I have been all over Taipei's subway system since we got here - things are way further apart than we thought they would be and we usually have to take two lines to get anywhere, which entails going up and down escalators and staircases only to walk down long hallways to make the transfer. In addition to the subway, we've been on a cable car, shuttle bus, and high speed rail. So I feel okay saying that it is far more pleasant to share space with a Taiwanese person than with the majority of people riding the NYC subway. Seriously, if New Yorkers and tourists were a little more like the Taiwanese, we'd all be a lot more zen in the morning (though, sadly, there'd probably be no YouTube videos about people eating/fighting/puking/feeding rats/singing inappropriately on the subway).
1) Everyone stands on the right, walks on the left when riding an escalator. Like, every single time.


They just make it look so easy.
2) Everyone has to get in line to board, which, on a side note, has always been a secret dream of mine. But the best part? No one shoves their way through while people are still getting off the train. Really.

The way that woman's feet stay inside the line reminds me of watching the women's gymnastics floor exercise during the Olympics.

Michael, in line at the high speed rail station. Everyone is even appropriately spaced!
3) What's wrong with this picture?

Answer: absolutely nothing. No one is sitting with their legs splayed out so much that they're going into the next seat (actually, my own husband in the foreground kind of is, which sort of proves this whole thing, no?). No one has their bag on the seat next to them. No one is cutting their nails. This is pretty much what it looked like during EVERY. SINGLE. train ride.
I have to admit, the people watching on the subway here was definitely not as good, but I'd consider giving that up in order to not feel, oh I don't know, murderous on most mornings.
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First awesome meal in Taiwan: 7-11

I had just sort of assumed that the streets of Taipei would be lined with street stalls - probably much like the way foreigners used to think that America was paved with gold - so imagine my surprise when the only place to get food near the railway station at 8am was 7-11. Sure, there were a bunch of Taiwanese people there, but it was still pretty defeating to walk into a place that I normally only frequent when I'm desperate or have the munchies. But as it turns out, Taiwanese 7-11s are fantastic, and I would totally come back willingly and when I'm of sound mind and body.
No taquitos here, son!

The full hot bar:

Um, GENIUS. Definitely tomorrow's breakfast.

Update: I've tried every single flavor of the above sushi sandwiches and they are the last thing I think about at night and the first thing I crave in the mornings. Michael and I have watched two sunrises with these in hand, if that gives you any idea.

Update: These are fucking fantastic, too. New Yorkers, get ready - everything I cook from now on is going to be wrapped in seaweed.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You know you're on a long-haul flight to Asia when...

...everyone around you has brought their own slippers to change into. And you've had your first Hello Kitty sighting before the plane has even begun flying over Canada. Asia, here I come!

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