As the doors of the international arrival terminal open, I’m greeted by a big warm, “Welcome to Taiwan!” coming from my dear friend Wei and her fiancé David. I am instantly relieved and happy to see friendly smiling faces after a grueling flight that is the nightmare of all insomniacs. Curse you insomnia and curse you economy seats!
After looping around the airport parking lot several times, we finally reach the highway and are speeding south to the city of Taichung, my home for the next three months. Taichung is located in central Taiwan and is the third largest city on the island. What strikes me when I first arrive is how warm it is. It’s January and my light jacket is all that is needed for the evening chill. A girl can get used to this especially after coming from the frigid New England weather.
As luck would have it, my apartment building is centrally located within Taichung and is surrounded by large department stores, restaurants, and bubble tea shops (my guilty pleasure of course). The 7-11 is across the street and the gym is just around the corner. Ahhh…convenience at its finest.
View from laundry area on 9th floor of my apartment.
My first few days are spent walking wherever my two feet can carry me. One favorite destination is the Museum of Natural Science and adjacent Botanical Garden. In a chaotic city where scooters are aplenty and the buzz of traffic is constant, I often find peace sitting in the garden. The lush plants under the glass structure attract me like a bee to pollen, and I enjoy listening to the roar of the waterfall. Sometimes these moments of calming solitude are a necessity for the soul.