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With only 2 hours of sleep, I was able to find my way…

Posted on: November 6, 2016

Yup, only two hours of sleep. Long story. I transferred to another room later that day.

Breakfast at the hotel was blah so I just had two pieces of toast and a cup of coffee and I was on my way.

The thing was I didn’t know where I was going. I had no plan. I only had the map my hotel provided me with and that was for the immediate vicinity. (That map was my lifesaver extremely very helpful during my entire stay though. It had the map of the Taipei train system).

So what I did was to walk. And walk. And saw this


Interesting. What is this?


Why, it’s the National Taiwan Museum. Not the museum that I was supposed to visit again but who knows? I may have extra time on my last day to see what’s inside.

I walked around for a bit and it turns out the Peace Park is just adjacent to it. Good way to kill time on a Sunday morning.


A squirrel in the middle of the city, sniffing around for food


Oldies doing tai chi on a lazy Sunday morning

Students listening to an outdoor lecture

Then I lost my digicam case. It had an extra 8GB SD card in it but the more important thing is that I lost my camera’s sole protection against the evil things in my bag that could damage the screen or lens. How I would manage in the next six days without it, I don’t know.

I retraced my steps and at the same time inspected one of the pavilions.


Then I retraced my steps again and prayed for a miracle that a good soul was able to pick it up and leave it somewhere for me to see.

And yes, a good soul there was. He/She left my camera case hanging in one of the posts in one of the decorative bridges in the park. God was watching over me.

I left the park through the other exit on the opposite end. And saw this.


I don’t know what it is but the map says it’s one of the government buildings dotting the area.

When I was walking back to my hotel, I saw a rare thing: a telephone booth. And they’re still working. Apparently, Taipei’s population is NOT entirely tethered to mobile phones, unlike Manila. Which is a nice thing. The high mobile phone penetration rate (almost or already 100%) in Manila rendered payphones obsolete. Remember Dingdong Avanzado’s song, Tatlong Beinte Singko?


I think in some parts of Taipei these are also wifi zones.

And I tried learning the bus routes. Really, I tried.


But it seemed like I have to stick to trains in the meantime. I’m not afraid of walking that far anyway.

On my way back to my hotel, I almost got myself into trouble. I landed in the camera street of Taipei a.k.a. Hankou Street.


But self control I had, Master Yoda. It took a lot of self control, though. I promised I will not go over budget on this trip because of some stupid purchase like a new mirrorless digital camera and all the lenses I can stick in it *heart flutters*. That could easily run up to PHP 100,000 (USD 2,000) in one go. Good thing too that most of them are closed on Sundays.

I hurried back to my hotel to banish temptation and rest up a bit. I studied the map and saw that Ximending commercial centre was not far. I knew I won’t be able to buy any clothes or whatnot (not really into shopping for clothes anyway and I won’t be able to fit into their clothes) but it seemed to be the place where the young Taiwanese go. I wanted to watch people.


Lots and lots of cellphone accessories

And Studio Ghibli stuff

These items are breakable so I thought it wasn’t wise to start accumulating Totoro and No Face items.

Street performer from Japan

Students from a nearby music school, I think

I don’t remember where I had dinner (it was probably too blah that I easily forgot about it). I had a beef noodle bowl in a restaurant near a foot massage place a few blocks away from my hotel. I had the foot massage first (a promo before 6 pm, TWD 800 [PHP 1,237] for 60 mins for shoulder, back and foot). I remember the massage, not the dinner.

Overall, this is one of the best birthdays I ever had. Alone. I own my time. I’m not taking care of someone else. Everything is according to my own terms. No plan. Nice surprises. No big spending.


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life in business journalism

crazy. exciting. boring to some but hey, you get to understand the world better when you're a business journalist. you learn to be patient with tons of documents, make sense of numbers and charts. all geeky stuff. this is my story, behind the scenes.
November 2016
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