Mela adventure across town, part 1

I checked the city map. I googled the location online. And then I started walking, through the day market, and turned – the wrong way (of course).  I didn’t notice at first. I did notice that none of the bus stops bore the bus numbers I was looking for. 20 minutes later, Heping was in front of me and I knew I had managed to get turned around.  Out came the map (again). I walked down Keelung (again), past Taipei 101, Taipei City Hall, and on until the Sun Yat Sen memorial was on my left. Wow, had I not been so focused on getting to my destination I would have taken pics (incredible building and surrounding grounds) but on I went…not many people were on the sidewalks (my first clue).  The road I was supposed to stay on (according to the map) was under construction (my second clue) so suddenly I found myself on a dead-end street. And just as suddenly, my resolve to walk the entire way to Songshan Train station melted. I asked several peeps if they knew where Bade road was. They didn’t. I hailed a cab and after driving me in circles it was apparent he didn’t either (couldn’t read the English address I guess). I asked several store owners and they pointed across the road so I walked a bit further and finally ducked into an office building  to try and cool off.  By some miracle, it was the building I was looking for. The email said what I wanted was on 3F but when I got off the elevator, the place was a ghost town. Arrrgh. Oh wait, there goes someone! He spoke English and directed me one floor up. Aaaaaah! The elevator doors opened and I found myself in Mela-land (an actual Melaleuca store)!

NHI and newcomers

I got my NHI card today – that’s National Health Insurance for you out in blogland. This means that for around 1500NT (50 USD) per month, I’m able to go any doctor or dentist (Western or Chinese style) accepting this insurance  for a 4.00US co-pay! Wow! Guess I’d better get going on the dental work I’ve put off for years (thanks to Melaleuca for keeping my teeth and gums healthy in the meantime). Interestingly enough, they include your birth date YEAR as a number representing how many years Taiwan had been a nation at the time of your birth (mine = 46).

We welcomed a new team member today with a welcome lunch at a lovely vegetarian restaurant: King Join.

King Join Restaurant

The meal was 4 courses served by white-gloved wait staff onto a lazy susan in the middle of the table. You are going to love this: dessert was also 4 courses, with the final one being hawthorne berry gelee, complete with an actual hawthorne blossom,  served over a bed of dry ice. What an unusual effect – and I don’t usually eat anything  jello-y.

Hawthorne Gelee

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