Over two months after I first set foot on Taiwan, exactly one month after moving into the apartment, we checked out of the apartment and packed our bags one final time.
It was the last day. The final hours. It felt like a lifetime, but the end was speeding closer. So much to do, so much to eat, so many people to see.
Even breakfast was stressful and involved several stops.
Traditional and modern. Eastern and Western. We had cake, mochi, rice ball, bread, AND coffee.
And then there was the stress of the last meal. And it had to be done. Beef noodle soup and ramen are some of my favorite foods. Why not both? Lan Zhou La Mian. And then of course afterwards it was the last orange green tea from Ten Ren (sorry, ComeBuy, but you don't have what my heart desires) and blueberry mochi for the (plane) ride.
One thing about the taxi ride. We took this one highway that went through Taipei and had an amazing view of everything. We started off heading towards Neihu and then turned, seeing Miramar on one side, Taipei 101 on the other and then later Shin Kong (Taipei Main) and Yuanshan hotel was right there. With all of the water and the buildings it was breathtaking. The traditional architecture mingling with modern buildings and old houses and streets.
taoyuan int'l Airport
1. Leave it up to Taiwan to have a Hello Kitty themed plane
2. Weird sculptures on ceiling, check
3. Friendlier staff than LAX, check
4. Prettier than LAX, check
5. Less crowded than LAX, check
6. Nicer bathrooms than LAX, check
7. Better food upstairs, check
8. FOOD COURT DOWNSTAIRS WITH NO ELEVATED PRICES, CHECK
>>> mini rant: okay, but really, a yummy food court downstairs? With a fully stocked 7-Eleven at normal 7-eleven prices? and a Chun Shui Tang (aka the place from Taichung that invented boba milk tea as we know it) it their normal (expensive, but worth it) prices? LAST BOBA TIME. And then a Tokyo Curry, Du Xiao Yue, a lot of places for Taiwan Xiao Chi. Like people can actually have normal meals here. I wouldn't even mind getting to the airport early with stuff like this available and affordable and delicious! Way to go, Taiwan, you sell your deliciousness to the international traffic. Show them what we got.
Of course once you go inside the international terminal at LAX there's nothing to do. Not in Taipei! Whether it's galleries, specialty stores, Duty Free stores, etc, there's plenty of things to occupy your time while waiting to board. And good wifi, lots of plugs. And if you're feeling it, loungy chairs to nap in. Again, thank you, Taiwan.
taipei >>> Los Angeles
And then there was the nightmare of customs and baggage claim.
And then there was the nightmare of the 405.