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So I've been married into Taiwan for almost three years now, and there are still a lot of things that I'm learning and experiencing. The highly anticipated Chinese New Year is very much like Christmas in the States, where everyone travels in for a family gathering; and then soon enough — Lantern Festival.
For the vacation before my Taiwanese one, I went to Tokyo with high expectations. Somehow, I ended up being extremely disappointed — I felt that Hong Kong was far more impressive. That's also why I didn't have much expectation for Taiwan. After all, Taiwan didn't seem that exciting of a place to visit, and I believed there were cooler more exciting places to go for vacation (like Tokyo).
Expat finds unexpected comfort in taxis
Lithe legs carry their lean forms up the mountainside, the rise and fall of chests purifies their lungs, as they exhale their urban breath and inhale thin morning oxygen on Yangmingshan, with its green appeal stretching into the clouds above Tianmu city streets, where 7-Elevens dot the gray landscape, orange red green orange red green on every corner, while the smell of bacon wafts through my studio apartment.
Unlike other prestigious tourist attractions in Taipei, such as Shilin Night Market, Taipei 101, Ximending, and the National Palace Museum, Nanyang Street may have an understated reputation.
Living in Taiwan, the second time around
I now hardly think of home. No offense meant to my motherland, because I deeply love my country, but it's true, I rarely get homesick here.
I've lived here for two years and seen many strange things worth writing home about, but despite the political parades, sometimes unidentifiable foods and amazing temples, one of the most interesting things is what happens when the Lunar New Year rolls around.
Riding on the MRT as an extraterrestrial
Taipei's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is the quintessence of cleanliness and comfort. In addition, it is safe, unfailingly punctual, and people line up in an orderly fashion before boarding trains.
With humble beginnings, I learned how hard it is to make it in America as a small-business owner. After a while of beating down the doors of companies, I realized that maybe it's just time to see something different. So I set off on a soul-searching trip by going to Taiwan. In my travels I have experienced what a wonderful, tranquil, and peaceful environment Taiwan has to offer to a dreamer.
As a longtime resident of Taipei City I have to say that some of the best tourist destinations in town are not in the suburbs. Rather they are right in the middle in a place called “City of Taipei,” the part of the metropolis enclosed by Zhongxiao West Road on the north, Zhongshan South Road on the east, Aiguo West Road on the south and Zhonghua Road on the west.
Getting (sort-of) better at Mandarin in Taiwan
Do you know that I can eat Japanese food? Well, you do now, and so, five years ago, did three 7-11 clerks, a businesswoman, and a very drunk man handing out flyers.
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