Laundry day

Today’s the day I get acquainted with the washers two floors up!

Washing Machines

I load my laundry into a basket, carry it up four flights of stairs and hope I can remember the instructions for use (all the controls are in Chinese characters). Mistake 1: I did not empty the lint catchers prior to use. I load the dark colored items in one washer and light ones in the other. Mistake 2: I put the new towels in the with dark jeans. 43 minutes later, the washers have finished pumelling my clothes. Next up: figuring out how to hang everything up in order to dry it out. This is when I notice that my dark pants have lint all over them (darn those pesky mesh baskets).  A few minutes later I have my stuff spread out all over one of the drying decks…wonder how long it’ll take to dry? Answer: three hours and four trips up and down – and still several towels aren’t dry yet. Plus, most of my clothing has lint on it and needs to be ironed. There has to be an easier way!! Laundromat?

Laundry drying

Party time

There are so many little details we take for granted in the US: getting from one place to another, doing laundry, taking out the trash. We expend the minimal amount of effort on these activities. Not so in Taiwan. Perhaps folks here are so used to the “way it is”, but for us newcomers it’s a bit of a shock to have to expend so much time and energy on these everyday events.

Last night I went to get a co-worker to go to another co-workers place for a party. Sounds simple enough, right?

Here’s how that really plays out:

down 5 flights of stairs, out three doors, down a long alley past the temple, right onto lane 39, left onto Tong Hua lane for 2 blocks, left into the Tong Hua night market (read: a GAUNTLET), 10 minutes later right onto a main street looking for the bus stop, running to catch the 611 (almost run down by a bicycle on the sidewalk) only to have it leave, waiting for 14 minutes for the next bus, on the bus for 20 minutes to Xinhai MRT station. Meet my co-worker at his sleek  new apartment, and then onto the MRT four stations to the Technology Park, walking up Fuxing several blocks, right on Heping to another bus stop, taking the bus 10 minutes to Daan Forest, walking 10 minutes, up 3 flights of stairs to the party! NOTE: We had a wonderful time eating homemade filipino food, drinking sassafras tea, and enjoying some lively conversation!

Getting back to the apartment at 3am was a lot easier: jump into a cab for a 10 minute ride!

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