travel by iPhone // a day in Taipei

one of the greatest dangers of expat life is that even living in a foreign place can become familiar over time. some days, even living in Taiwan, I have to force myself to look at things as an adventure.

today I'm going to take you along with me to Taipei for an afternoon. something that - strangely enough - doesn't seem all that strange to me anymore. so I decided to go out of my way to make my everyday a little more touristy.

I admit it. living in manhattan gave me city skyline bias. but having this building be the first thing you see when walking out of the subway [after entering Taipei on the high speed rail which runs underground as well] is still pretty impressive. the skyline is strange, because Taipei 101 is twice as tall as any other building in the city. but if you're going to play tourist, this is the right place to do it.

it seems like any city you visit has some kind of outdoor traveling art exhibit. the golden globes above [currently across from Taipei 101 as you can tell by the reflection] have something to do with the moon. I know this, because there was a painted bus parked nearby that said "moon bus."

and then... ah, yes. Taipei has one of these too. I figured a touristy set of photos needed to include the famous "LOVE" statue. unfortunately the group of middle aged businessmen who were taking pictures in front of it when I walked up decided to stand there reviewing their photos for a solid 5 minutes. after waiting that long I wasn't going to just walk away... so I hope you appreciate this photo extra for the effort I had to put in to get it.

tourists go shopping, right? Taiwan has recently opened several Gap stores. so of course I had to go in and try a few things on to verify that - yes! - they use the same sizing as in the US. meaning I can find pants that will fit my American thighs, and are not marked up with brand-label import tax. the downside [or probably, the upside for my bank account] is that the styles right now are a lot of baggy/boxy things that don't really flatter my shape. but if I find myself in need of a basic shirt or new jeans or a sports bra, I know where I can go and not be frustrated by the sizing.

and I'll leave you with a few of my favorite city sightings: narrow alleys, cat cafes, the goat park, cute old couples on the MRT, and this amazing green Volkswagen bus. do you every play local tourist in your own city?

PS: my blog reader survey is still open. you can take it here, and I'd love you forever if you did! thanks to everyone who has participated so far!

linking up with Bonnie, Courtney, Cynthia, and Yalanda for Travel Tuesday

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