Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Taiwan In The New Year PART IV

Taiwan In The New Year

PART IV – Day 1 continued…

After paying for the taxi and booking into the hotel it was a great relief to finally be able to collapse on a bed and relax for a while. But unfortunately it wasn’t very long before I realise that what I really needed now more than anything else was a good strong coffee. Coffee, milk and sugar are not always supplied in hotel rooms in Taiwan, as the drink of choice for most people is Green Tea.

As I venture out alone to buy some coffee Julie suggested I get something we can have for breakfast as well.

I smiled at the two girls in reception as I went past, then as I walked out the front door the wall of noise outside hit me hard.

It doesn’t mater what city you are in, if you need supplies but don’t speak the language, then the best thing to do is head for the nearest convenience store. So I headed back the same way the taxi had brought us in from the main road, and it didn’t take long before I found a nearby 7-11.

As I entered I saw a lady using a pair of tongs to pluck some Tea Eggs out of a big pot near the counter. Almost every convenience store seems to have a pot of these black eggs on constant boil in a soup of green tea and soya sauce. Although I know they are delicious I’m not tempted to buy any. The longer I could last without getting an upset stomach on this trip the better. I chose a couple of nice big buns covered in bacon and cheese for breakfast, a couple of sweet buns and a couple of cups of instant noodles for dinner, and two hot cans of coffee from a small heated cabinet.

As I approached the counter I decide to try out my limited Chinese. But before I could say anything the guy behind the counter gave me an uncertain look and said in a thick Chinese accent “How are you?”
I replied “Good thanks.” Then having obviously exhausted his entire English repertoire I tried out my Chinese.

“Doa shao qian?” How much does this cost? I said.

He had no trouble understanding what I said, but his reply was far too fast for me to have any idea what he said. I quickly handed over a New Taiwan NT$50 note sure that it would be enough and pretended I did understand what he said.


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