Day 8 pm

I know I said I’d NEVER ride a scooter in Taipei but I lied! After work tonight, one of my kind co-workers took me (on his scooter) to see an apartment (my first one here!) – and I lived to tell about it! There is a definite etiquette to driving a scooter, especially when one wants to turn or cross a street! Suffice it to say, my “driver” handled his scooter beautifully and we arrived safely at our destination. The apartment manager proudly told us that there are two entrances to the building and we could see that a lot of care had been taken in keeping the place clean. There are two partially furnished apartments in tonight’s offering: one on the more desireable second floor (called 2F) and one on the less desireable 4F. This is because there is no elevator in the building so imagine having to cart your shopping up the stairs daily and the trash down. By the way, apparently, if your landlord doesn’t include trash handling in the rent, you must sort your trash before handing it off (literally) to the garbage collector!

I really liked both apartments (very new, clean lines, HUGE clothes closet) but could probably get a better price on the fourth floor one. I liked that one a bit better anyway because it looked out onto a street strung with – you guessed it – Chinese lanterns! So beautiful in yellow and red! And, it’s closer to the top floor which houses the two (count ’em, two) washing machines and laundry drying veranda (clothes dryers are somewhat scarce here). Having someone who speaks fluent Chinese along to communicate with potential landlords is a MUST! I have several other places (within walking distance of work) to look at this weekend.

Oh I forgot to tell you: when you purchase something from most store here, the receipt you get also acts as a LOTTERY ticket! Every so often (not quite sure when), a winning number is posted. The idea is that you check some number printed on your receipts to see if you’re a winner. I already feel like one, having landed on this friendly island!

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As for me, I will take the road less travelled…

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