“Let’s go to the beach beach”
July 18, 2014
Day 2 in Taiwan involved an excursion up to the northern coast of Taiwan, Tamsui. In order to get there our group had to take an MRT (the Taipei metro) ride of about 45 minutes. It only cost 50NT (about 2 USD) to get there. The minute we stepped off the MRT we were sweating. It is hot in Taipei, but this sunny day in Tamsui was even hotter. Our group slowly walked the Tamsui boardwalk eating yummy vendor food along the way.
Finally we reached the top of the hill and arrived at Fort San Domingo. The fortress was controlled by Japan, Britain, the United States, Australia, and is now under the complete ownership of The Republic of China. It was pretty neat building and land, but it was so hot outside that it was hard for me to really pay attention and want to walk around in the heat even more. Once we finished touring the fortress we headed back into the shopping areas of Tamsui.
I was able to purchase my very first bubble tea in Taiwan, and I also learned how to say “bubble tea” in Mandarin, which I consider the most important phrase to say in Taiwan. “Oh, I am lost, well at least I know how to say ‘bubble tea’, haha”. I also ate this pork bun thing which tasted delicious. After being in Taiwan for a couple of days I quickly noticed that pork is everywhere. It just seems like meat that you cannot get away from. This has continued to be really strange because when I was in St. Cloud, MN, I barely ate pork because some of my friends religions prohibited them from eating pork. Now it is everywhere where I am.
The HR people guiding us around Tamsui asked if any of us wanted to go to the beach, and so I joined a group of teachers on the journey to the beach. The HR person showed us to the bus, said when we should get off, and sent us on our way. Before the bus left the station the HR person told the bus driver in Chinese, “these people are foreigners and do not know where they are going. Can you please tell them when to get off the bus?”. Our smaller group headed towards the beach and we arrived within 45 minutes. Once we finally figured out where to change into our bathing suits and where to put our stuff we were in the water. IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT! The ocean water was like bath water, it was so warm. It was windy enough that day that the waves were perfect. We literally just waded in the water, enjoying the waves. It was the perfect day to get some sun, be in the water, and then just dry off on the beach once you didn’t want to be in the water anymore.
It was time to head home and we made our way to the bus, arrived in Tamsui, and got back on the MRT to go back into Taipei. What could have cost me a fortune in gas ended up only costing me not even 10 USD for a full days trip.
All of us by this time were really tired and desperately needed a shower. With it only being day 2 of being in Taiwan I was still feeling beat from the jet lag. So all of us rested and showered to head out again for dinner. A couple other people from our teacher group told us about a place called Pregame so we jumped in a taxi and headed over to the restaurant. It was really strange because Pregame is on a Taiwanese street, but the minute you step in the door you feel like you are in an American bar/restaurant. With the American feel came the American prices as well. While the French fries were very good I thought the restaurant was alright. Maybe when I feel really homesick or just need a super good burger I will go back again. If this restaurant was any depiction of American culture then ohhhhh goodness. There was a bar, loud music, greasy food, and also beer pong tables that you could use to play beer pong with the purchase of the beer. By the end of the night I was so ready to go to sleep because the jet lag was really starting to affect me. Yet another good day in Taiwan.