We are moving on up! To the east side…
Things are going to get a little more upscale and relaxed around here in the GCC household. We just signed a 1-year lease on a 1-bedroom apartment in Taipei, 1 block from Times Square and 2 blocks from Central Park.
We are now residents of one of the finer neighborhoods in the very heart of the city. (One of our neighbors has a Bentley, which I enjoy riding past on my bike as he is stuck in traffic.)
My new commute to Chinese class is a joyful 10 minute bike ride down tree lined streets, and the hospital where we plan to welcome GCCjr into the world is just across the main street. There is even a 7-11 10 steps from our front door.
Posh living does come at a price, however. Our rent is now $1,400 a month (40,000 TWD + 2,000 TWD management fee)
But enough talk, let’s get to the tour
Toto Neorest 500
It was 20 years ago (today?), on my first trip to Japan that I first happened upon a bathroom fixture with an intelligence that exceeded my own
Granted, that isn’t all that impressive of an accomplishment, but after using the latest generation product in our new Taipei apartment I’m convinced the gap has grown
The things these toilets are capable of is truly incredible
One of Thousands of 7-11’s in Taipei
Convenience is a wonderful thing. Let’s not make life too difficult, after all. But it is often over-promised and under-delivered.
Take the so-called convenience stores that are liberally sprinkled across the United States. What exactly is convenient about them, anyway? More often than not, it is just a fancy name for a gas station that will sell you some fried sodium or a super-sized cup of syrup. If you are really lucky, they might have last week’s tube shaped mystery meat conveniently resting under a heat lamp
And then there are the automated customer service phone systems, available 24 hours a day. For your convenience. Press 1 to stay on hold. Your call is important to us
If that is convenience, I’ll take arduous
That is, until now
Ring… Ring… Ring…
“…. call is important to us. Please wait on the line….”
Hi, I need a taxi please
Yeah, I’m on 23rd St, near Denny Way
“No intersections! What is the address?”
Uh… its 123 23rd St…
I’m not sure… one second? (Hey, what’s your zipcode here?) Ok, it is 98112
“Ok, it will be about an hour”
“You still want a taxi or not?”
“Ok, an hour.” Click!
It was already pretty late, but another glass of wine would make the time flow by nicely. We just finished a nice home cooked meal at a friend’s house, roasted chicken with herbs and vegetables from the garden, and settled in by the outdoor fountain to wax philosophical with other friends also waiting for a taxi.
Praying over a Dragon Incense Burner in a Taoist Temple
For the past 2 years we have moved from place to place, figuring things out as we go. At most we had a planning horizon of 3 months, figuring out our next destination by talking with locals and other travelers
This month though, we had to make some big decisions. First, our rental home in Taipei was put on the market, requiring us to move on. (The asking price is only $1.2 million, if you are interested)
We had the idea of traveling during the 2nd trimester of Winnie’s pregnancy, and then having a destination birth. Things happen though, and our Doctor put Winnie on temporary bed rest for a few weeks until things stabilized (Don’t worry, all is well, but we need to take it easy.) Winnie is now back on her feet and ready to take on the world, at least when she isn’t ravenously hungry or completely exhausted, which is about 23.5 hours out of every 24.
Given the circumstances, we did what normal people do and rented a sweet apartment for the next 12 months (stay tuned for more details.) We will remain in Taiwan through the full term of the pregnancy, and I will be applying for residency to avoid quarterly visa runs. Big decisions! It is great to be flexible
Let’s review how this all impacted our spending