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Costco in Taiwan

Everywhere I look, along the streets of Hsinchu, there's nothing but sign after sign of Chinese characters selling who knows what. I do know what Costco means, and was excited to check it out. Last year, Hsinchu opened its first Costco and it seems to be a big hit, especially the free samples. Kelly and I took a shuttle over to the local Costco to get a glimpse of what will be available for me to cook with and have access to, and I was especially thrilled when I saw some of my favorite ingredients, Nestle chocolate chips, Quaker Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, and Skippy peanut butter, to name a few. The labels were in English and Chinese, and the store seemed to be thriving.

Apparently, I was the highlight of the day for some of the children, who weren't used to seeing blondes. This one little boy and his big sister, about 5 and 12, kept following me around, and smiling and mustering up the courage to try out their limited English vocabulary. They would say something to me, like "Hello" and I'd reply back the same, and they'd start laughing. The little boy showed me to his mom and she smiled and nodded a greeting to me. Just as they were leaving, he tried out his other familiar phrase, "Good-bye!" and laughed again. His sister must have practiced the phrase in her head until she was brave enough to approach me and say in a cute Chinese accent, "Where are you from?" Then giggled and walked away after I replied. Kelly wondered if she even knew what I said back to her. I'm the only blonde I've seen here in Taiwan. In fact, I'm the only caucasion woman I've seen here too.

We're still living in the hotel and hope to get into an apartment soon. If we end up with the larger of the two places we've narrowed our selection to, then I will need to buy a countertop oven. That was our main purpose to go to Costco, to see how much an oven would set us back since most kitchens here don't have them. It was $8,400 Taiwan dollars, which is about $261 US dollars. It's a bulky convection rotisserie oven, which would be kind of cool to cook a turkey or chicken in, rotating around on a spit, but it would take up a lot of counter space. I can't fathom cooking for a year without an oven, so most likely we will be getting it. Unless we end up moving to the other new place that actually comes with an oven, but the apartment is much smaller.

We're going to Taipei this weekend to check it out. Should be fun!


Shana said…
Wow, this is so fun to read about your adventures. Pictures, please!!! I can't wait to see everything you're describing! Love,Shana
Heidi said…
I am glad you are feeling a little more settled! This is sounding like quite the adventure!

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