19 Hours

That’s how long we took to fall in love with Taiwan.

We flew into Taipei at 2am in the morning and cheapskates that we are, instead of taking a midnight cab into the city, we figured we’d just spend the night wandering around the airport and leave for the city early the next morning with the first bus out.

I actually like airports. I think they’re a great place to people watch.

It’s a bit hard to people watch when there were no people around.

Nobody told us that the airport was gonna be like this at 2am…

Luckily, we found a 7-11 that was opened and proceeded to camp ourselves there, gorging our faces with instant noodles and milk tea the whole night through.

We never expected the first thing we’d be eating in Taiwan to be… Instant Noodles. I mean the Instant Noodles are HEAVENLY. But still….

We also started looking for our accommodation using the free WIFI from the 7-11. This trip to Taiwan was pretty much unplanned for (for the VERY exciting story of how/why we booked a flight to Taiwan, read this).

Since it was a holiday weekend, most of the hotels/hostels we’d emailed earlier were already fully booked. By “earlier”, I meant minutes before boarding our plane the night before.

In the end, the only one we got with a favorable reply was from YoYo Stay – an establishment that is situated near Shih Lin Night Market  (士林夜市). As far as locations go, it was PERFECT for us to be so near the (arguably) best food place in the (supposed) paradise of food places.

The downside was that the location was the ONLY thing we knew about YoYo. They had no reviews on any of the major hotel booking websites. When we contacted the owners to find out more, they told us that we ABSOLUTELY cannot check in or even leave our bags at their place before noon. This was after we gave them the sob story that we are flying in at 2am and we got no place to go with our gigantosaurustic backpacks.

I know…

It sounded strange to us too, and any right thinking traveler would probably have rejected them based on this alone.

Thank goodness we were not right thinking travelers (and also, we could not find anything else available within our price bracket during the time), so we went ahead and confirmed our room with them.

We left the airport at 8 in the morning and proceeded towards Shih Lin Night Market, which, unsurprisingly, was not open at 10am when we reached. We were hungry, we were tired and we still have to twiddle our thumb for another two hours in yet another 7-11 where we were supposed to meet “Kelly” of YoYo to do our check in formalities.

Yup, we met at a 7-11 to register for our check in.

Groggy as we were, we got the increasing paranoiac feeling that something was not quite right. Add to that the muscle cramps that had been building up since our climbing of Pinatubo the day before and the unfulfilling sleep (less than 10 hours uninterrupted) for the past three nights, we were not the happiest of campers when Kelly came about.

Credit where credit’s due. Kelly helped alleviate our grumpiness a fair bit. She was unbelieveably cheerful and really apologetic as she brought us up to our room.

It was a studio apartment in a condo.

The previous guests had left an hours ago and they had just finished tidying the place up. That explained them not being able to allow us to leave our things and their lack of a reception area.

It’s a fully furnished studio for just 999TWD

Normally, we would’ve been delirious with joy just from the decor of the place (and the price we got this room for), but we were still suffering a bad case of the grumps.

A closer look at the cups on the kitchen counter. I swear, any other days, these alone would have had us in stitches

Good thing we know the best cure for grouchiness.

We slumbered for ten hours straight.

It was night when we woke.

We were starving when we woke. We looked out our window and saw the best view a hungry person could wish for.

Shih Lin Night Market

Shih Lin Night Market was right at our doorstep.

Happy Again… we’re easy that way

Our first “proper” meal in Taiwan. Baked potato with a crust that had been fried till it’s crispy. The whole thing is then drowned in melted cheese and finished off with a topping of ham, tuna, corn, pineapple, hard boiled egg and spinach. In other words… Heaven with spinach

Can I just say…. I LOVE TAIWAN!


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