Day 27 & 28: National Palace Musuem & First Day Back in Taichung

by Theresa

Well look at that. We’ve come to our last day of  #TaipeiMania13.

Or kind of. The morning of Day 4 was hectic, to say the least! All I knew of the day’s plans were that we’d be seeing the National Palace Museum and then taking a bus back to Taichung.

Here’s what actually happened: my roommates and I woke up on time, got ready, packed our bags, and headed downstairs for breakfast. We started eating, and a while later realized that the guys were nowhere in sight. You don’t think they’re still sleeping, do you? Maybe we should go check on them. The meeting time comes and passes, and we happen to find half of the group waiting, whom inform us that the others just woke up. So we wait…. Everyone’s ready. Then we find out, no, in fact, you cannot leave your bags in your rooms all day; bring them downstairs and we’ll store them for you. Go back upstairs, grab bags, lug bags into storage room. Okay, now we can go! Head to the MRT! No, wait. We need to go to the bus. Meet at the bus stop and sit down to wait. Bus comes. Why can’t we get on? You have to wait in line? Why weren’t we waiting in line? Go wait in line. Get on bus. Ride bus forever. Keep riding bus. Okay enough of the bus. Finally! We’re here! Let’s get tickets. Give us your student IDs, you’ll get discounts. Okay here are your tickets. Here are some maps. Here’s an audio guide. Let’s go! No wait, you can’t have bags. Let’s go check our bags. Are these bags okay or do we have to check them too? What about cameras? No cameras?? Darn. Okay now we can go! Have fun, you have one hour! One hour!? Okay, so 15 minutes on each floor.  Ready, set, go! Wow that was so cool. I could have stayed in there for days! I bet you can’t even see everything in a few days. Let’s take a group photo before we leave.

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Beautiful. Okay back to the bus–this way! No, this way. Wait, this way. Okay let’s make sure we wait in line this time. Can we even fit onto that bus? Everybody squeeeeeze. Back to the hostel to pick up our bags. Everyone, hurry! We only have three hours until our bus to Taichung leaves. Go to the MRT.  Run into a graduate of AU. WHAT?! Okay time to get off, we’re at the main station. Now we have to get to the bus station. It’s just right over here. Now up the escalator. To the left. Through this hallway. Down the escalator. Up the escalator. Turn around. To the right. Through this doorway. Turn around. Down the escalator. This looks familiar. Over here. Walk through this shopping mall. Up the escalator. To the right. To the left. Down the escalator. Okay time for lunch!

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Now let’s go to the gate. Down the escalator. Turn in a circle. Walk three different directions. Regroup. Over here. Down the escalator. Down another. Down another. Through this hallway. Let’s take an elevator up three floors. Now we’re in another shopping mall. Is that Coldstones? Back to the elevator. I don’t even know where we are now. This looks like a station gate. Someone go find out which gate we’re supposed to be at. Yes, you can go to the bathroom, but hurry! It’s time to go!

And then we got on a bus and ended up in Taichung.

Abracadabra! 

I completely passed out on the bus ride back, so I had no interest in doing anything thought-provoking in the evening. Unfortunately, I was late on my deadline to blog for the university, so I stayed awake just enough to finish writing, grabbed some banana milk for dinner, and called it a night.

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Day 28:

Monday! It was a great feeling to wake up on campus for the first time in almost a week. I truly did miss those hostel beds–they were clouds from heaven–but I was excited for the day, knowing that (1) I had this waiting for my breakfast:

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and (2) I desperately wanted some routine back in my life. Off to class I went! Monday was a short day–just three hours in the morning. Then my lǎoshī helped me order a vegetarian lunchbox, which just about made my day!

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You’re looking at two different kinds of marinated tofu, deeeelicious sautéed cabbage, the most interesting mushrooms I’ve ever had, a fruit sushi roll, some weird pickled thing that tasted like expired dirt (in the top left corner), and whatever those dark greens are in the center that I cannot get enough of. All on top of a beautiful pile of sticky rice.

Needless to say, I chowed down on the whole thing and barely had room for dinner that evening.

I spent a few hours doing laundry, exercising (it’s about time!), catching up on homework and blogs, and watching a movie or two, before heading to the night market for some greatly-craved mángguǒ bàobīng (mango shaved ice). 

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If the color and (imaginary) flavor didn’t grab you from the get go, the enormous size of it all certainly should! It’s almost entirely ice with fresh fruit, so there’s no guilt, and you can shove your face until your hearts desire.

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