Our girl loves the beach, so we took her to the nearest one here in Hsinchu to explore for the first time. The unbearable heat left us wishing for November or December temperatures, but we still enjoyed looking around, scoping out fun activities to do here in Taiwan a few months from now.
Bicycle rentals seem like an excellent option in the fall, but not during the moist and muggy August heatwave. The Tropic of Cancer runs right through Taiwan. To give you an idea where that latitude lies, picture central Mexico or the Bahamas. Yeah, that hot.
Christopher stuck his feet in the water and said it was as warm as our swimming pool back in Texas on a hot summer day.
Traffic along the beach-front was practically empty. It must not be the season for the locals to soak it all in either.
We decided to go downtown and explore the city after this.
Too bad we cannot swim during typhoon season, that's always my favorite time. :-)
This surrey looks like an excellent way to at least get a little protection from the sun.
However, the road seemed to go straight uphill.
Give us a few months' time, and we'll be back and ready to give it a spin. We liked these interesting bridges we saw.
Throughout the city, we'll spot traditional Chinese or Taiwanese looking structures like this here and there.
Driving around here in Hsinchu and Jhubei has been nightmarish. The first couple of times we each got behind the wheel, we were thankful to be alive and out of the car once we were back at our hotel room. The roads are filled with a lot more motorcycles, or what we would refer to as scooters, than cars, that dash in and out all over the place. It feels like you are playing a video game and obstacles come flying toward you from every direction at any time when you least expect it. And believe it or not, this is actually the EASY part of getting behind the wheel.
The challenging part tends to be navigating around town and trying to figure out where you are, which is close to impossible when you don't speak Chinese. Luckily, Taiwan has a fondness for English and thoughtfully puts English on a lot of signage on the highways and roads. That does help, but it is still really difficult to not get lost. It took me two hours to find my way back to the hotel room a few days ago when I went out driving by myself for the first time here, on a route that should have only taken 15 minutes. We went to Costco to get a new Garmin GPS. The roads still are in Chinese, but it should make it less of an ordeal to find my way home.
Rice, rice, baby! This whole row of rice was screaming for me to take its picture from the top of the escalator, but the Costco employee told me photography is not allowed there. Otherwise, I would have taken a picture of the largest can of tuna I've ever seen to post here too. It was massive. After buying the GPS, we could finally figure out how to get to one of the city's two big malls, then shop around. Lindsey picked this place for dinner to celebrate the day we adopted her, nineteen years ago today, when she was 33 days old.
They cook the food right in front of us.
It's still embarrassing for me to eat with chopsticks in public because I feel like a child. A fork and knife are much more efficient utensils to me. The rest of my family don't seem to be as traumatized by it.
We shopped around and bought a few things and Lindsey wanted to take a picture of this sweet little Hello Kitty bedroom.