Fengyuan Day 1
August 1-2, 2014
I had to make the final decision on which apartment I wanted to move into on Friday morning. I called Patricia and told her that I wanted to move into the new building we had looked at the previous day. She was able to contact the apartment manager and configure a time for me to move in that day around 7:00pm. But before I could move in we had to buy things for my apartment and I also asked if she could help me buy a bicycle.
When I moved to Taiwan I was very set on not buying a scooter or a bike. If I had to I would buy a bike, but definitely not a scooter. The minute I arrived in Fengyuan I wanted a scooter. There is not much for public transportation in Fengyuan besides the buses and the train, which takes you outside of the city. Unfortunately I did not think to get an international driver’s license before I left for Taiwan, so there is no legal way for me to drive here unless I have my ARC (the card that shows I can legally live and work in Taiwan) and take a driving test. So until that goes through Patricia took me to the bike shop and I bought a bike.
We also went to this place called A-mart, which I can only equate to the Taiwanese version of a Wal-Mart. There I bought all the initial things I would need for my apartment once I moved in.
And then the waiting began. I chilled out at the branch quite awhile waiting for 7:00pm to roll around so I could move into my apartment. Then 7:00pm turned into 9:30pm, which turned into 10:00pm. I was in my apartment by 10:30pm, at night! The whole time I could not help thinking how this never would have happened back in the states. Just to get my paperwork filled would have to be done way in advance, and then we would set in a move-in date that would be convenient for the apartment landlords.
It was finally, goodnight Vanessa.
The following morning I signed the papers for my apartment. Again awesome, wonderful Patricia helped me and translated the papers for me. To officially sign things in Taiwan you usually use a stamp that has your name on it. Since I did not have one I had to use my finger print as my “official signature”. After that Patricia and I went to pick-up my bike and then she showed me how to look at the train station chart for when I wanted to go to Taichung or anywhere else.
I spent the rest of the day unpacking and setting things up in my apartment. I went to plug in my Internet only to realize that my Internet is connected through an ethernet cord, which my Macbook just so happens to not have. So I drove my bike to the nearest shopping center to attempt to see if I could get a wireless router. A nice Taiwanese man tried to help, but we discovered that I would also need a CD-Rom player on my laptop as well. I finally just asked if there was anywhere in Fengyuan that sold Apple products. He was nice enough to look up a store for me called 3C and print me a map. I took a nice little 30 minute or so bike ride to the store, walked in, and found what I needed instantly.
Now about driving a bicycle in Fengyuan, or anywhere in Taiwan for that matter. You kind of just have to drive, watch out for others, and just hope you don’t get hit. People will be watching for you, or at least for the most part. So instead of driving on a nice paved road or driving along on the sidewalk, you just drive along with traffic and hope for the best.
After stopping at a few more shops along the way I had everything I needed. Plus, I had picked up some fruit at the edge of the night market so I was set. Side-note: Pineapple in Taiwan is freakin’ amazing!
As requested here are the pictures of my apartment: