Hello all! Dannysha, myself, and all of our things officially made it to Taipei! We checked into our hostel a good while ago, dropped off our things and went exploring for a little bit. The location of our hostel is absolutely phenomenal–we are about a one minute walk away from a subway station. There’s also a convenience store attached to our building, so buying snacks and drinks will be very convenient. This is the first dorm style room I’ve stayed in. I’m not super impressed, though the man and woman who are operating it seem to be quite nice. We followed the directions from hostelworld.com (a fantastic site for finding hostels, highly recommend) and ended up in an apartment building of sorts. We rang the bell of a slightly shady looking place, and a women who spoke no English poked her head out of the doorway and asked us what we wanted. We explained the details, and then she took us back outside the building. Once she realized we weren’t some foreigners there to rob her, she became very friendly. I was a little wary, however, because we walked down the entire block to a different building with a woman we’d known for 5 minutes to a place whose address we didn’t know in an unfamiliar city. Were we in America I’d have said “Nope. I’ll just find another place to stay, thanks.” but we are in Asia, which is exponentially safer, so we just followed her. She took us to the 4th floor of this rather large building and showed us where we could sleep and the shower and so forth. My initial reaction was that it was a bit dirty, but that’s not the right word. The furnishings are a little bit old, but everything’s clean. The shower is nice and warm–sadly not hot–and the room is air conditioned! There are another 4 guys staying here besides us, but we haven’t met them. It seems as though everyone mostly keeps to themselves.
A bit of good luck concerning my camera–I didn’t forget it! It turns out it was merely hiding in my bag. Tomorrow begins a hopefully long day of walking around and exploring this exciting city. The Lunar New Year is almost upon us! I hope everyone has their fireworks ready!