So much has happened in the past 1.5 weeks that my brain is still swimming around inside my head. I left New York City behind, perhaps forever, reunited with my fiance after a year and a half of living apart, moved into our new apartment and registered for classes at Shida. I also managed to get myself invited to an Amway cult meeting, but that’s another posting in and of itself.

I haven’t had a lot of time to blog (we just got the Internet a few days ago and unfortunately I only brought my three-prong charger with me; most wall outlets in Taipei are two-prong), so I’ll have to sum up my experiences in one post.

Unfortunately, our new place was somewhat unkempt, to say the least, when we moved in. In between scrubbing and swiffering for dear life, Ron and I went to Taipei Ikea. We ate some Swedish meatballs and bought some items for the apartment. Our apartment is now so Ikea’d out that all we need to do is alphabetize our condiments. I also met this unfortunate pillow, which reminded me of a large, plush uterus:


I made some time to go to the ginormous Eslite bookstore (誠品網路書店) near Taipei City Hall (and Taipei 101). There is also a 24-hour branch in Taipei. The one I went to, however, is the flagship store, with four stories of books, gifts and stationary in Chinese and English. It sure beats the biggest Barnes and Noble in the butt:

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On Tuesday, I went to the National Immigration Agency to get an ID number:


On our way we saw a lot of tables with food offerings in front of stores, and people burning paper money:

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After getting an ID number, we went to the post office so I could open a savings account. In many Asian countries (including Japan and Taiwan) the post office also functions as a bank:


Yesterday we went to Breeze Center (微風廣場), a big, posh shopping mall. There is a store inside called Plaza,that specializes in imported gifts, beauty items, clothing and food from all over the world. It seems to cater to a hipster clientele; there was a rack of American Apparel clothing and the following t-shirts, which featured logos from Beacon’s Closet in Williamsburg and Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City. It made me homesick for a second. Then I thought to myself “goddamn Brooklyn hipsters” and calmed down.


Fortunately, Plaza also has a selection of Jelly Belly candies. I am nearly done with the one-pound bag I bought in California and my mother has refused to send me any more, since she thinks I eat too much candy. Ha! She didn’t count on Plaza! I’m relieved because it seems like every little random luxury that I could get in New York City–Jelly Bellys, Godiva chocolates, Moleskine notebooks, Interweave knitting magazine, English-language books, American Apparel tops and leggings, Lush bath products–are available in Taipei. The only thing I haven’t been able to find is a vintage clothing shop, but I can always rely on eBay for that.