Showers and Starbucks, Taipei Style!
Greetings from Taipei! I am having a wonderful time! The first day was spent getting acquainted with the family and the apartment we are staying in, and of course, a trip to the local Starbucks for coffee! Of course there are a million Starbucks on the street I am staying on, so I will never have to go without coffee for long!
My boyfriend’s mom was gracious enough to host us during our stay, and her apartment is a lesson in minimalism! She does not have much furniture, let alone clutter! She lives with the absolute bare minimum, and it is certainly a lesson I need to learn from!
When you first walk in, you have to take off your shoes, but adorable flip-flop-looking slippers are provided for you. The apartment itself is huge, but, as I mentioned, bare, and very beautiful. The only true difference between this Taiwanese apartment and an American apartment is the bathroom and the lack of living room, although I am not sure if it is typical in Asian cultures not to have a living room, that might just specific to this person. I’m not sure!
The bathroom is very interesting! While there is a normal toilet, as seen in this picture, there is no shower stall or tub! The shower head is fixed between the toilet and sink, with no partition. Therefore, when you take a shower, the ENTIRE bathroom gets wet, and I do mean everything! My boyfriend said this is one style of Taiwanese bathroom, but not necessarily the only style! Nothing is kept on the floor, and there is nothing ornamental, because it would get wet! The walls and floor have big tiles, and there is a big drain where you would stand to shower. One of the benefits of having this type of bathroom is that it is easier to clean, because the water drains right out, and also that if your plumbing ever malfunctioned and caused anything to overflow, it would also drain out! Very interesting indeed! As for showering in it, I think I underestimated exactly how far the water would reach, but found out quickly enough!
After getting settled into our accommodations, we went to sleep and went our for breakfast the next morning. We stopped by the local bakery for amazing pastries, and then ate and had coffee at Starbucks next door! Of course no vacation would be complete without a local Starbucks review from a partner. It truly is amazing how true to their style Starbucks can stay, in any nation! The cafe never gets far from the style we come to know and love! Luckily, the menus are in Mandarin AND English! Even the cup is printed in Mandarin and English. We are very lucky as a nation that so many other countries accommodate English-speakers.
Lastly, I thought my partners were tired of me talking about the use of for-here-ware, well they haven’t seen ANYTHING YET! The default cup in Taiwan IS for-here-ware, AMAZING! Almost every single person in the cafe uses it! How eco-conscious! You guys are in so much trouble when I get back!