So, it looks like I have some catching up to do! I'm quickly realizing that most of time here is either going to be spent doing pretty much nothing and relaxing, and do so many things at once I can barely keep track of them. Like the game of thrones, there is no middle ground.
So anyways, I guess I'll start with the tail end of Day 1, and the things I did after writing that blog post.
Jezreel taught me how to use the city bike system, so we both . . . "signed out" . . . "rented" . . . "made use of" some city bicycles (me using the pink Monsters Inc transportation card Jezreel got for me), and were on our way. We went to the eastern district, which is kind of like a 'down town' type area, and has a lot of really tall buildings, shops, city hall, and Taipei 101, the tallest building in the city.
While there we did a bunch of window shopping and saw a lot of pretty cool shops, and I met some of Jezreel's friends, one of whom recently opened a clothing store selling products from New York. Everyone was really nice, and I got to practice trying to understand what was going on in a conversation using only voice and body language, since I still haven't moved beyond my three words of mandarin, which are "Xeixei" (thank-you), "Ni hao" (Hello), and "Wo bu dong" (I don't understand).
Next, we went for a meal with Jezreel's friend Benson (who has lived in Australia and has impeccable English), at this place called Dazzling. While there, I got some earl grey pineapple tea, which, though very good, was really really sweet. I ate some delicious duck with mustard and orange sauce, and Jezreel shared some of his honey toast, which is toast that is basically fashioned into a box like shape and filled with different toppings. Everything was delicious!
I might be forgetting something, but I'm just going to keep on writing. If I think of anything I'll slip it in later.
Anyways, some time after we were done eating, we checked out some bicycles and rode home, getting back just as it started pouring rain. All in all, it was a pretty good day.
On to day two, which, despite being slow to start, was a very full day as well! I stayed inside most of the morning because of the pouring rain, only venturing out when the rain was a little lighter under and umbrella to grab some Starbucks. Then, once we got going, Jezreel and I grabbed a taxi and went up to the museum. Some of the jade, ivory, and bronze artifacts are incredible! We also ended up eating there as well at this tea shop on the fourth floor, with a great view of surrounding buildings. There, we shared some Tieguanyin ("Iron Guanyin, or Iron Goddess"), a type of traditional Chinese Oolong tea, and ate some almond pine nut cakes and this sweet cold lotus soup. It was all very delicious!
When we were done at the museum, we headed down town, but stopped on the way so Jezreel could show me this famous popcorn chicken place, where we purchased several deep fried items, including squid heads, whole fish with fish eggs inside of them, chicken, and yams. The deep fried batter was spicier than what we have at home, and was very salty, but the food was still good. After finishing our food, we took the train to our next destination, the W hotel, where we were having supper with Benson. Having just eaten (twice), I was growing concerned about having room for the fancy supper, but it turned out to be fine. The hotel was one of the fanciest I have seen, as was the restaurant, and the food was amazing. The restaurant was on the 31st floor of the hotel, and we could see a lot of the city while we ate. There, I had a couple of rice dishes, an egg stuffed with vegetables, some duck, and some really deliciously prepared frog, which was amazing (it was all amazing)! For dessert, Jezreel ordered some delicious Tiramisu, and made me make three wishes, which I failed miserably at because I suck at wishes.
Oh yeah, I probably should mention, it was my birthday yesterday (kept forgetting), hence the cake and the wishes.
After supper, we met up with more of Jezreel's friends and went to a couple of clubs. At one of them, Jezreel taught me to play a fun dice game with his friends, and at the other we mostly just danced. We got home after a long day of doing things, and went right to sleep (at least I did).
Today's been kind of a lazy day, We were thinking of heading out of the city, but we'll see if that ends up happening. Despite my lack of mandarin, I am getting more independent (went out and ordered Subway for both Jezreel and myself today), and more familiar with the area, which is cool. I guess I'll just have to keep everyone posted with what happens next!