Wednesday Walkabout

I got up early this morning and hit the university track for a few laps.

At 7.30am it was already 75 degrees F (24 degrees C) out. By the time I got home I was dripping in sweat. Not from my workout but from the insane humidity. We have had perfect weather our first few weeks in Taipei – in the 70s (20s), sunny and with very little humidity. Everyone has been telling us to enjoy the weather while we can. Apparently the summers here are intense – very hot and very very humid. I’m talking 90% humidity! Wowzzers!

After a cold shower, I had my breakfast and planned my day in consultation with a map of the city.

I had a few things I needed to buy for our apartment and a few places I wanted to check out. I left around 11am at which point the temperature had risen to 80 F (26 C). I decided to do as the Taiwanese do and carried an umbrella around to protect me from the sun.

I set out from our apartment building towards Da’an Park

And walked alongside the park

Past a neat building with park space facade

until I got to Renai Road.

Renai Road is one of the beautiful tree-lined streets in Taipei. It’s filled with very expensive looking apartment buildings (guards standing outside) and lots of very high-end car dealerships and designer stores.

As you go along it get a bit less tree-lined and a feels a bit more like a typical city street. Eventually I found what I was looking for on Renai Road – Florida Bakery.

Florida Bakery is well known for it’s exquisite cookies and cakes, great breads, and Mexican food (During its early years in Taipei the bakery supplied baked goods for US military advisors and later for airlines. Perhaps this is where the Mexican food comes in?).

I bought some German-style bread, tortilla chips, and two cookies for Luke and I to try.

(If you are wondering about the significance of the ‘Lin’ basketball cookie, check out: http://www.linsanity.com/).

After munching my cookie I continued walking on Renai Road until I hit the Eslite Dun Nan Store. The bookstore/shopping mall has some really neat boutique stores inside and so I spent some time browsing all the cool vendors and tasting heaps of yummy samples. If you come visit us we will be sure to take you here.

At this point I was getting tired and in need of some caffeine. Luckily there was a Starbucks on the GF. I was feeling adventerous and decided to (in the spirit of being in Asia) grab a Green Tea Latte.

The color is pretty off-putting. The taste took some getting used to. I drank it but can’t say I would order it again.

After Eslite, I made my way up Dunhua Road to Ikea.

I bought a few things for our apartment – wine glasses, a kitchen mat, silverware organizer, and candles. Ikea is great for those bits and pieces you need but don’t want to spend much on.

After Ikea I made my way to Sogo at the Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station. As a side note, one of the things I love about Taipei is how pedestrian street crossings have a handy little countdown letting you know exactly how many seconds you have to cross. Clever.

This was my first time in a Sogo, which is a chain mall in Taipei. I went there specifically to check out a grocery store called City Super which is a very upmarket and is known for having a lot of Western goods.

I wanted to go to City Super specifically to check out their peanut butter selection. Since arriving in Taipei Luke and I have searched high and low for a peanut butter without any added sugar or salt. We have tried at least four different brands.

I am happy to report that the search is over. Mission accomplished. City Super had just the jar we’ve been looking for. I hurried home via the MRT eager to present the jar to Luke.

Luke approved.

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