Monday, February 6, 2012

The Misadventures of Taiwan: Still Raining

Desperate for a sense of security in the form of hotel accomodation, Mike Harrington awoke on the morning of Thursday, January 26th and made his way to a cyber cafe to book 3 nights accomodation through Agoda. With only a few roadblocks, the Harrington's soon had accomodations at Paradise Hotel in the Ximending district of Taipei, near where they began their trip five days ago.

Since the rain had yet to cease pouring from the sky and hotel check-in was not until 3:00 pm, the couple opted to meander the impressive series of three underground shopping areas linking the central stations of Taipei's metro system.  The duo was impressed by the variety of shops and styles available to the Taiwanese customers and compared the claw machine shops, anime shops, rubix cube shops, hippie-style cloth shops, shoes, gadgets, cutesy clothes, etc. shops of Taiwan to the sock shops, cell phone and clothing shops that most often and abundantly compose the Korean underground shopping experience.


Additionally, the couple enjoyed spotting an area devoted to the practice and perfection of pop dance cheoreography as well as the infamous b-boying hip-hop moves, an area lined with mirrors and slowly filling with dancers of all types.  Fortunately, the dancers were not to be confined to this mirrored wonderland and the couple soon stumbled upon two Taiwanese rockin' out to a non-controller based video game of fashionable dance moves.

Finally, the hour came and the couple could relocate to the Paradise Hotel.  As for the name of the hotel, the only thing that was similar to paradise was the moisture and lack of ventelation lead to an impressive amount of mold which is likely to occur in, say, a Rainforest or Tropical Paradise.  Not to mention the exotic view of crumbling buildings set next to the scaffolding of new life, Paradise was perhaps a far cry.  Regardless, having a place to sleep indeed instilled a sense of paradise for the couple and so their arrival coincided with a bit of reading, rest and relaxation.

After a bit of a snooze the couple once again considered the rain factor and decided it'd be a great night to grab some quick grub from the street food vendors and head to the "Living Mall" in hopes of seeing Sherlock Holmes 2.  While out on the streets the duo snacked on a sad (but tasty) fried pork cutlet, sausage on a stick, Taiwanese green onion pancak and grilled green onions wrapped in thin slices of chicken or pork.
Satisfied, the couple made their way to the giant globe of a building described as the "Living Mall".  En route, they spotted a foreigner bar named 'Hell's Kitchen' which was advertising their Happy Hour specials.  Drawn by a good deal and cold beer the couple entered the Irish pub for a Carlsberg and live tennis on the tele.  Drinks finished the couple continued on their way to the 'Living Mall' where they took a few photos, watched a family set off some fireworks and eventually sat down to an action packed Sherlock Holmes.  In this way, another rainy day came to an end, leaving the Harrington's refreshed and geared up for the nexts days adventures (or misadventures as it were).

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