Well, here we go, checking in at the Austin airport, departing for our one year stay in Taiwan. We left Friday the 13th at about 7:30 pm on American Airlines to LA. We could each check two bags weighing no more than 61 pounds each and could bring one carry-on weighing 15 pounds or less. We flew on EVA Air from Los Angeles and flew in the middle of the night, from 1:30 am Saturday morning, arriving 12 hours later, which turned out to be arriving in Taipei on Sunday morning at 5:30 am. There was a driver waiting for us with a sign that had the company name on it with Kelly's name. I waved to him then he greeted us and escorted us to the curb while he picked up the black Mercedes minivan, which we filled to the max with all of our luggage and ourselves. He drove us to our hotel in Hsinchu, where we will be living.
This is the street where our hotel is, on Guang-Fu Lu (Lu means road).
The first thing that the staff suggested the morning that we arrived is that we help ourselves to the breakfast buffet.
There's always fresh tropical fruit each day. Lindsey loves the dark purple fruit that tastes a lot like kiwi. It's called fire dragon fruit and is really good. It also comes in a white variety which she isn't as fond of. The pineapple in the forefront is not as yellow as the Hawaiian pineapple that we're used to, but tastes almost identical, and is possibly slightly sweeter. The starfruit tastes a bit like grapes.
It's definitely not anything like a breakfast buffet in the United States.
I'm not positive, but this stuff could be Japanese.
The hot items seems like lunch or dinner fare.
I've eaten fried rice every day since I got here as my main course.
There's been bacon a couple of times, which seems more familiar to me.
I've enjoyed the steamed cabbage with spicy peppers.
They make these fried eggs and serve them at room temperature, but a couple of times, I have caught them when they're hot.
The Taiwanese aren't much into desserts, probably because they don't have ovens, but this is the tray that Christopher always hits each morning, nabbing one of each of these. I haven't tasted them, but he likes them very well apparently.
Here's our table that we sit at every morning for breakfast, which is served between 7 am and 10 am. It's our biggest meal of the day.
We're staying at the Kingdom Hotel, or as the sign on the front of the building says, King Dom. There is a lot of inconsistency in how words are spelled, which makes the GPS directions hard to find.
This is the first place we ate, which is about a ten minute walk from our hotel. There are a ton of little restaurants and most have pictures on them to attract customers. We looked at the pictures and thought the noodle bowls looked decent. Lindsey loves this place, the Fish Noodle restaurant, and has gone back another time for lunch. (Note: I added all these pictures after my original post, which starts after this photo.)
Today was our first day of living in Taiwan, 364 to go. My body clock is all messed up and I should be sleeping now. My first impressions are pretty good, although I'm having a hard time wondering how I'm going to survive (and thrive) one year of this completely foreign environment. Tomorrow we will go apartment hunting and look at three different schools for Christopher. I only ate one meal today, which was a soupy lamb with broth and noodles. It was pretty good, but I'm not a huge fan of noodles. It was served in a large bowl with chopsticks and a big spoon and I tried to not look hideous splashing my food as I was trying to eat the way those around me were. We all had a similar noodle bowl. Kelly ordered beef and the kids got a curry chicken noodle concoction. It's Sunday, and since we had just arrived and haven't acclimated, we didn't try to find a place to go to church. It'll be a busy day tomorrow and I'm crossing my fingers that we can feel good about the decisions we make regarding where to live and where to send Christopher to school.