Sights and Sounds in the City

After we arrived in the Taipei airport we waited about 30 minutes in the immigration line. Then we walked through some doors and see a sign with our name on it. Awesome! A local who knows how to get us to our destination. We rode in a Mercedes 500 class 4 door sedan. It was so smooth! Just what I needed after feeling motion sick and exhausted from the flights and waiting in lines. I highly recommend this quality of arranged transportation. The driver was nice. It was well worth the $40 suggested price and we were able to tip $10 without it breaking us. As we drove in from the airport I couldn't tell if there was smog or haze in the air but mostly I was appreciating the smooth ride in. Did I say smooooth? The drive through Taipei city was filled with old and new buildings. There are lots of colored signs and businesses. Lots of people on motor scooters. Motorcyles are my passion so I was taking it all in. Growing up in Delaware my friends and I used to love the smell of 2 stroke pre-mixed oil and that's how the air smelled when Jeri and I ventured out today. One thing that's really cool about Asia is 2 stroke motorcyles are everywhere. Most 2 strokes were phased out in the USA except for the Yamaha RD350 which had it's last run about 5-10 years ago. Anyway, lots of bikes we don't get in the US to to emissions reasons. A veritable feast of four stroke singles and other 125cc bikes. We ate lunch today at Fang's Restaurant. The inside is very nice and they had a food server who spoke english. I wanted to make sure there were no nuts in my food since that would be deadly for me. We had shrimp fried rice, chicken fried rice, and some tangerine pork. Nothing with nuts and peanut oil is not use to fry the rice. All this for 778NT or US $26. The portions were large. We ate about 25% of everything and took a to go box. A good deal. I recommend it. Our hotel room was not as large as I thought from the images on the web. But we aren't paying a fortune either. One thing that stands out to me. When you walk into the foyer to approach the front desk whomever is behinds stands up to greet you. Every time. The earthquake - the beds started rocking and Jeri said what is that. I said earthquake after hearing earlier in the day that there was one in south Taiwan. We went and stood in the bathroom doorway and I prayed for our safety in Jesus name. The only name under heaven whereby we must be saved. The idea of being on the 7th floor was not too thrilling. I went out in the hallway to see if anyone else was out there. There were 2 hotel workers out there. They didn't speak any english but they clearly communicated that their heart rates were up, as was mine. At that point I wished that they spoke spanish at least because I know more than (a little) poquito espanol. I think they were trying to say its okay to go back to bed but I was in search of more information. I walked down 7 flights of stairs knowing that climbing back up them would be tough, but the night manager downstairs told me that the building was built to withstand earthquakes and that they happen regularly. Mental note: I would prefer to be in a hotel that has fluent english speakers 24/7 so that in the event of a "casual 6.0 earthquake" I can get some clear communication. He told me everything was okay so I took the elevator up hoping I didn't get stranded in it. It says 550kg limit but it only holds 4 people. That would be mighty claustrophobic to be stranded in. The hotel staff here are friendly and the air conditionng lacks nothing by American standards. Outside the hotel teenagers were lauging an joking. They were used to earthquakes or tremors and were unaffected. Well, TTFN



Jennifer said...

I'm so glad you all are OK !! I appreciate all of the detail in your posts....can't wait to read the next one !!!!

Jaclyn said...

Only being less than 3 weeks away ouselves, these earthquakes are weighing heavily on my mind. I'm so happy your OK.

Sarah k said...

OH my! sounds like our Taiwan! I am so glad that you all are ok and that it didn't scare you too much! You have a wonderful time!!!!

Jeanie said...

I am so glad you guys are ok. Rich told me about the quake. We are praying for you. I saw Jani and Adam this morning at church. They are both happy. Adam was telling me all about being excited to see the boys. Jani and Denver hit it right off and started playing for a while. I hope you guys are getting along ok. We are so happy for you guys. Jeanie

Kaye said...

John and Jeri: Loving your posts!! I already miss being there and hearing your expierences brings me right back! Can't wait to see pictures of you with the boys!! God Bless our prayers are with you :)