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Taipei,

It feels like I’ve been here a thousand years yet not at all. Really I haven’t had consistent sleep since I left Wednesday afternoon, however it is now Friday night. I’m a bit frazzled. But heading back way back…
Wednesday. Me and Tina flew to L.A. We played scrabble and cards most of the way. Tina beat me both times…ridiculous. We tried playing spite and malice but since I haven’t really played since I was 12 or so, I think I was missing a lot of the rules. Maybe mawmaw can remind me.

Then we get to LAX. Baggage lines, check-in lines, security lines. We checked all of our bags – most of which were over weight -one of which was way way overweight and no one said anything, while the poor people next to us we being turned away for having 5 kg too much. I guess it pays to be two cute girls.

We sit in LAX, I fall asleep with my face smushed into my backpack since its only midnight but my body thinks its 3 in the morning. They make announcements incessantly for four hours. Since all the airlines in this terminal are to Asia I’m starting to get a taste of the lack of Americans. The plane before ours was headed to Tahiti. The whole lounge was filled with couples. I want to go to Tahiti! We get on another plane. Tired but they’re serving dinner. The guy next to me spills orange juice on me. Not too bad except its filling my shoe…ew. Now I can’t sleep. Great. Sleeping pill to the rescue! I wake up again 6 hours later. Tina is still asleep… and she sleeps the whole trip almost, all 13 hours. I watch Prince Caspian on the screen in the seat in front of me, and then an episode of 30 Rock and then some Arrested Development and then play Bejeweled. Yes, they have Bejeweled on the video menu…the worlds best, mind-numbing time killer. The pilot kept announcing turbulence but honestly it was the smoothest flight I’ve taken in forever. Me and Tina didn’t even notice when we landed it was that smooth.

On the drive in I sat in the backseat taking in everything. The smog is pretty ridiculous. It almost seems like you’re perpetually in the center of a 5 mile bubble, and everything outside of that lives in a grey, hazy, cloudland. Tina’s Aunt and Uncle live right in the downtown-ish. You can see Taipei 101 when you look down side streets, but seeing as it’s the tallest building in the world, its probably a lot farther away than I realize, living in haze land.
All the ladies here are so concerned about maintaining the palest skin possible, its like living in the Victorian age. Everyone carries umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun, and these elastic sleeves to pull over their arms when they’re on their scooters. The face mask is also apparently an accessory here, when riding your scooter. The sheer number of scooters and cars is insane. This city is a parallel parking nightmare.

Went and hung out at their work for a bit. Went and exchanged money, went to this mall that looked inside like the Death Star. Seriously, you go in the doors and half the building hanging above you is the biggest sphere-deathstar looking thing ever. And inside of it is store after store of fantastic clothes and everything you can think of for pretty cheap compared to the same clothes in the US. The Anthropologie of my dreams where everything is 15-30$ instead of 300$. I think I brought too many clothes from home.

Lunch of noodles and bubble tea. The Wu’s discover my rudimentary Chinese and have fun talking about my “wo mi lule” .  Some random lady smacks me on the back of the head because we both have curly hair? Or something? I had no idea what was going on. Hopefully this isn’t a trend.

Only one day and I’m having to get used to the staring. It’s a bit weird. One stare, ok I get it, there are NO white people here. I catch eyes again and then again and if it’s the third time, seriously…you have to stare that long? Is there something on my face? What’s wrong? I am seriously tempted to stick out my tongue sometimes or cross my eyes. Tina says maybe they think I’m famous….riiight a famous person in flip flops with frizzed out hair.

My first real sleep in “three” days, consisted of a 2 hour nap, which went by in seconds and upon waking I felt like some one had punched me in the face I was so groggy. We watched CNN for a bit and the end of Elizabethtown on TV. Hearing Ryan Adams on the tv while I was taking a shower almost made me forget I was in Taipei.

Hotpot for dinner. Boiling broth that you stick different veggies and meat in, along with your own bowl of sauces. Mistake with the peppers, my sauce was crazy spicy. I had chicken, and beef, bacon and lamb. And dun dun dun the infamous fried blood! Dark purple in brick sticks, we put it in the broth so that it got a bit soft….actually it was not that exciting…it didn’t really taste like anything and had a chewy texture like a soft fruit bar or something.

Overall I give it a “meh” on the gross factor.  Other new food adventures. Mung beans for dessert – they looks like peas but are kind of sweet, sweet peas really. Grass Jelly, a sweet syrup with dark brown jelly cubes in it.

Other observations to follow. It’s only been one day yet it seems like ages. But that might be all the sleep deprivation. Maybe not so in depth later, but I’m trying to process it all right now. Bed time I think.

pictures to follow I promise.

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