Greetings, not from Osaka, but from Taipei! We are currently on holiday in Taiwan. Our first impression of Taipei is great! It’s slightly warmer here than in Osaka, and so it already feels like the spring here, people are friendly and helpful, food is good, and there is lots to see.
We took the taxi from the airport to the hotel last night, and I am happy we did, as otherwise we would have never found our hotel. Even when the taxi driver pointed at the entrance, it took us a good 15 minutes to find the reception – partly because the hotel had changed its name since our booking, partly because the reception was on the 12th floor, and party because they had done a pretty good job in camouflaging the hotel amongst the local street vendors’ shops (see a photo of the entrance to the hotel below).
But when we did manage to find the reception, the hotel staff were extremely helpful, they even wrote down the name of the closest English speaking hospital in Chinese for any emergencies. You see, I forgot to take with us our daughter’s emergency injection, a glucagon vial + syringe, which we are meant to use if her blood glucose level falls so low that she passes our and/or convulses. We’ve never had to use that injection before (but many other parents of Type 1 diabetic children have) and our preparation for the journey was a bit chaotic due to the fact that my husband got to Japan only two days before our holiday, and me having been very busy and stressed for work until literally moments before we headed to the airport, so I just forgot all about the glucagon injection (until we were already in Taiwan).
Well, so far so good: No-one’s passed out or convulsed, although I did nearly have a fit when I discovered what my husband had packed.
When we were packing our bags for the trip, I asked my husband to pack the scales. Given that we have to carefully monitor our daughter’s carbohydrate intake, so that we can give her the equivalent amount of insulin to counterbalance the carbs that she’s consumed (thus, we need to weigh pretty much any carb-containing food before she puts it in her mouth) I assumed that the term ‘scales’ was enough to translate to ‘kitchen scales’. But obviously it wasn’t since when I checked our hand luggage at Taipei airport for some travel documents, I discovered a full size personal scales in my husband’s hand-luggage. Like what the hell!? Have you lost your mind? Why have we ferried a bloody personal scales from Osaka to Taipei?! Maybe my husband is sending me a message along the lines of:
Just in case you wanted to see the damage that those 3 pork buns you munched today have done…
In any case, for the next two weeks, we’ll be weighing 4-year old’s portion sizes on those personal scales i.e. things like three grapes or 20g of porridge oats! But on a positive note, at least I can keep my own pork bun intake in check.
When we got to our hotel room, while I was getting the kids ready for bed, my husband went back out to buy some bottled water (apparently it’s not advisable to drink tap water in Taiwan) and some food as an evening snack before bed. I mentioned to him that he shouldn’t buy any fresh foods, due to the fact that fresh food in Taiwan might have been washed in tap water (or not stored properly) and may therefore have hepatitis A, typhoid or the germs that cause gastroenteritis (this is not my advice but the vaccination clinic’s advice in Osaka). So I suggested that he should buy something like pot noodles or cup-a-soups, crackers, fruit with peel on (like bananas), and some wine. He came back with some sushi! I didn’t kick off because instead of wine he had found some Strongbow cider, the encounter of which makes my brain scream Hallelujah!
I should say that despite my slagging off my husband, I think that generally he is quite switched on, especially at work. Maybe he is a bit like one of those nutty professors who talks about brain science all day but then can’t remember where they have parked their car. To back this up, his handwriting is indecipherable, even to him. I think sometimes he writes half a word then can’t be bothered writing the rest and so finishes with a little squiggle.
After having now spent one night in our hotel, I think our room is not bad, but my husband is a little disappointed, namely because we don’t have a good view from our room. And not just a good view, we don’t even have any windows! Well, unless you count this little fellow (see photo below).
Our hotel room window
And if you do count it, then I suppose we do have a view. The window just kind of gets a bit in the way of things (see photo below).
But who cares – we are not going to spend that much time in our hotel room, when we’ll be exploring what Taipei has to offer.