I decided to reward myself for having  cleaned house and having made it through a particularly tough week. I haven’t found a library yet but I did pay a visit to the 24-hr bookstore off of Renai circle: Eslite (otherwise known as tons of shopping fun!). 5 floors of all sorts of made (or designed)-in-Taiwan items – oh and they sell books too.

I thought I’d try my luck to see if I could find anything (clothing-wise) that would actually fit me. It gets old walking into a shop where no one speaks much English, filled with cute clothing designed for what I like to call “tiny people”, and having the sales person (usually one of the aforementioned tiny people) answer “sorry no” when I ask in English whether they have anything that will fit me. (Guess they understood my question.) I find if I start browsing the inventory and hold something up, asking, “Do you have this in my size?” I have a better chance of actually finding something.  The first store I walked into had a saleslady that spoke English! She very sweetly walked around with me translating when needed.

On the book floor, I found a very detailed city map – let’s see if I’m better able to navigate the streets of Taipei with it! I browsed the magazines because certain issues (mostly the British and Chinese versions) have “free” items shrink-wrapped-ly (is that a word?) attached to them: tote bags in all shapes and sizes, cosmetics, and other items in colorful boxes (no clue on the ones with no pics since it’s all in Chinese).

Mela adventure, part 2

I stand in the front area of the Mela store. I’m obviously the only white person and I’m sure I look like I wandered in off the street. I’m here because I I’ve run out of some of my favorite health supplements and need some cleaning products too. I found out that Melaleuca has an Asian branch so I’m here to purchase what I need, only I have no idea how the Taiwan system works! A nice young lady fluent in English asks if I need some help and proceeds to help me shop!  Many products are familiar to me but there are some clearly designed for an Asian market: drinkable collagen, skin care products with “whiteness” in the name, and RICE! for purchasing a certain amount I get a “free” gift – some sort of hibachi. (I’m exactly sure what it is because the entire box is in Chinese.) I get a lot of curious looks but I’m used to it by now. I smile and nod when I catch someone looking. The taxi ride back takes less than 15 minutes and costs 140NT (< 5.00 US). Next time I’ll try taking the train…

After cooling off at the apartment I head to Wellcome for groceries. More curious looks or people turning their necks to see where the tall white girl is going. In the store, so many interesting products, so many labels I can’t read! I end up spending about 28US for a cornucopia of organic goodies (Danish butter!! Bisquik! Longan honey! Coconut “just add hot water” powder!). Check it out:

Wellcome groceries

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