Day 3 highlights: finding True Fitness and meeting Aya Bboy
I was so happy to find dry grounds outside this morning, a nice change from the mist for the past two days. I started the day by helping Jacqueline look at some apartments around the area. It was quite a walk to get there because we were also looking for food on the way, so we kept stopping and stands, gasping “Oo, what’s that?” and stall forever before we moved onto to the next vendor. I ended up getting a crispy pork bun (good but so messy to eat while walking!).
The apartment was really nice! Jacqueline felt at home right away so she agreed on settling into this one rather than look for more later. The landlord was really sweet and honest about the venue which made it even better, and she even offered to take us directly to her office located near Taipei Main Station to finalize the rent. True Fitness, the gym that Prof. Zhuang told me about, was conveniently on the way, so we stopped here and I got some great information. The building is n-i-c-e. I’m going to take a hip hop class with Wesley on Saturday and meet him beforehand for some chit-chat. I’m so excited!
Taipei Main Station is also a mall called Q Square with small high-end retail stores all lined up for convenience:
Need a quick touch-up but forgot your compact? No worries, the vending machines have you covered:
They’ve got nail polish, concealer, foundation, lotion, and I think even mascara. Jacqueline and I LOLed hard at this.
Outside of Q Square:
We walked into some alleys that had more vendors like the ones in the night market, and of course who can forget the numerous motorcycles parked on the side:
On our way back to Cat’s PJs, we explored a little more of Q Square. This is the most elaborate directory I’ve ever seen:
Merchandise from a Taiwanese Starbucks:
I wish the U.S. had cute mugs and boxes like these…
Jacqueline noticed that at some of the central MRT stations, there are blockades that prevent people from crossing the safety line – very efficient:
On our way out to Taipower Station, which is closest to Cat’s PJs, we found an advertisement for the Metro Street Dance Competition coming up in August:
From what I’ve gathered so far, dance seems to be a pretty normal image in Taiwanese everyday life. We found some brochures near this ad that focus specifically on arts , such as the Film Festival and Drum Festival, both pretty big deals in the community. I have yet to see dancers in the metro station, but I heard that most of it happens during the evening.
After coming back to the hostel, Lucas and I went to this noodle shop near NTNU where I ordered “red oil hand-made noodles.” There’s a stand of various cooked meats and vegetables that you can pick for them to chop and prepare in a garlic soy sauce, so Lucas mixed some pig ear, seaweed, and dried tofu to go with our noodles. Only in Asia would you find such a random concoction. Unfortunately, my camera battery was charging, so I couldn’t take photos of any of these. I do remember that they were all quite delicious.
Marissa joined us at Mo Relax Cafe to relax and catch up on our internet surfing for the day, where I finished my post for Day 2 and looked up spas/hot springs to try out in the near future. I also tried to figure out where other dance studios were located to look up for the next day. Finding True Fitness made me even more excited and determined to check these places out.
We kept asking Lucas what we should do tonight because he knows all the good places around the area. After pondering for two hours while multitasking on our computers, we decided to check out Roxy, which is a rock-type club. A short while later, Lucas’ friend asked about karaoke, so we decided on that instead.
Dinner was at the night market again because we wanted something quick and easy before we headed out for some Wednesday celebration. Poor Lucas was dragged by wandering tourists again, but we had a savory meal of a saucy fish-ball mix and onion pancakes:
For dessert, we went to I-Baked where they sell homemade cookies that you can buy individually or make an ice cream sandwich. I had mint chocolate chip ice cream hand scooped and sandwiched between two soft and crumbly dark chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips on top:
Afterwards, we all met up with Lucas’ friends (one from the U.S., one from Finland, and one from France) at a Karaoke bar, where we attempted to sing Chinese songs but ended up going with English songs for the last half. Tim, the one from the U.S., invited us to go out to Luxy, a club nearby, so Marissa and I decided to check it out. So glad we did! The venue:
There were a good handful of guys here and there that popped and locked around the club. I don’t know if it’s just the clubs I’ve been to, but it seems like showing off freestyling at clubs in the U.S. isn’t very encouraged, but in China and here it’s pretty common to see dancers doing their thing. On our way out, we caught some guys doing some breaking footwork:
It turns out this guy, Aya, is a breakdance instructor at a studio called Dance Soul right down the street! It was like we were meant to go to Luxy tonight so that I could add one more studio to my list of to-searches next week. I checked out the website, and it seems like it’s pretty established for dancers in Taipei. Awesome.
Marissa and I are definitely going to dress it up next time we go to Luxy, because this time we were in a summer dress and t-shirt and jeans. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet even more dancers next time!