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Published: November 17th 2017
So today is Day 1, Matt and I together in Taichung. Our apartment is great...2 bedrooms, 2 baths, tiny Taiwanese kitchen (no oven!), and a laundry porch. We're on the 24th floor of a 28 story building and there are 6 parking levels below ground. It's brand new and very modern, but more on the apartment later when I'm unpacked and can take decent pictures lol.
I got up early (for me), around 8 or 9. I wanted to get out and see and do stuff so after sitting around for a little bit and waking up, I got dressed and we went to an American-style diner called Early Bird for breakfast. I had Eggs Blackstone (Eggs Benedict with bacon and tomato) and Matt had a breakfast burrito. The owners are American and they're a dog friendly restaurant too...I know this because their black lab has the run of the place lol. I accidentally dropped a home fry on the floor (truly! It was an accident! I promise!) and she didn't move from under our table until we left. I probably didn't help that the second one I dropped wasn't an accident lol. I got to finally meet
my new friend Emma in person too. We met on a Taichung Facebook forum when I asked about where to buy a Thanksgiving turkey and she responded. As it turns out, I don't have an oven in this kitchen so roasting a turkey is out of the question, but I made a friend out of it all which is good. She has two daughters who are going to the American school here and one needed a graphing calculator for school. I told her she could buy it on Amazon and have it shipped to me in the States before I left and I would bring it with me. So she came up to the diner Sunday morning to pick it up 😊
After chatting for a few minutes we all went our separate ways and Matt and I headed towards IKEA. Wow! Don't even attempt to go to IKEA on a Sunday in Taichung! The line for the parking lots wrapped around street corners. There were no more spaces in the lots so people were in line waiting for others to leave so they could enter. We decided to skip IKEA and went to the movie theater instead. We went to Tiger City, which is basically a mall, and decided to see Thor: Ragnarok. We were trying to figure out where to buy tickets and someone directed us up to the 7th floor to Gold Class. Okay...we decided to give it a try. Holy Cow! We'll never see a movie any other way! First of all, the tickets were about $15 each, a couple of dollars more than the States but that's okay. The concessions area looked like a nice restaurant. We sat down at a table and we were brought a menu. We only have 30 minutes until the movie started and had just had breakfast, we got caramel corn, Matt got a Coke, and I got an iced coffee. We sat for a while and our food never came but Matt noticed that they were taking people's food into the theater itself. Huh...that's pretty cool! So we decided to head into the movie theater and were intercepted by an usher. They seat you...silly us for trying to go on our own lol. He asked if we'd like blankets. Of course we want blankets! So we got two blankets wrapped in plastic. We were led to two really nice leather recliners with throw pillows, little tables on each side, and a lamp next to each chair. He showed us how the little arm swung out so we could place our food on it, there was a drawer that pulled out of each table so I could store my purse, each drawer had charging ports in them for our phones, and the recliners were electric. There was also a service call button in case we needed anything. All of the chairs were grouped in twos and threes it seemed and there weren't that many in our little theater. They brought the popcorn and drinks about 30 minutes in to the movie and it was THE BEST movie experience of our lives.
Oh, and Thor was great, as expected.
After the theater we drove back past IKEA...still crazy busy, so next on our list was the grocery store. We went to Carrefour, which is a actually a French grocery chain that has stores in Taiwan. They carry a lot of imports, like Smuckers jelly, Skippy peanut butter, Lucky Charms, and Quaker's oatmeal. We picked up a few things for me to eat for breakfast and lunch for the week, since Matt would be at work, and I got some chicken for the next night for dinner. We put the groceries in the car and then walked down the street where there were a couple of cell phone places. We ended up getting a SIM card for my phone from T-Star, which I'm fairly certain is T-Mobile for Taiwan. We had to show our passports as well as a second picture ID (our US driver's licenses worked just fine) to get service...and that's just for prepaid! As far as I know you can't walk into a WalMart here and pick up a TracPhone without ID. I can't say that I think it's a bad thing that all phone numbers are actually registered to a person and you can't get a burner phone here. Anyways, it took the girl a while to get the SIM card to work right in my Verizon phone. When we left she said I had 4G. She was wrong. But at this point it was almost 8pm and I was too tired to mess with it anymore so that's a problem for tomorrow, along with unpacking and organizing all of my stuff!
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