Farm House in Yilan, Taiwan

Farm House in Yilan, Taiwan

It’s spring in Taipei, and that means its hot and humid one day and cold and rainy the next.  It’s hard to know if tomorrow we will need to break out the sun screen or the umbrella.  It’s a great environment for indoor activities

Winnie has taken up both oil painting and the flute, and I’ve been keeping busy Chinese class and playing the guitar.

All of the details of our expenses are shared below in various formats and depth.  Questions? Please use the comments section to add to the conversation, and check us out on Facebook or Twitter

March 2014 expenses updated

  • Housing – During Feb, March, and April we are staying in our great rental in Taipei.  It’s in a great location and an enjoyable place to study and relax.  Total cost was 31,500 TWD (~$1037)
  • Healthcare – Winnie went to see a Chinese Medicine Doctor just as a general health check.  As far as I can tell, this means a creepy old guy checks your pulse for 10 seconds and then sends you home with a bunch of herbs that smell like dirty old socks.  Somehow he expects you will make tea with them and drink it twice a day.  And for this you pay 1,000 TWD (~$33.)  We also picked up some general pharmacy supplies
  • Transportation – I’ve mostly been commuting the 7 km to and from Chinese class by bicycle, using Taipei’s public bike system known as Youbike.  The first 30 minutes of use are free, and there are bike stations all over the city.  I’ve occasionally gone over 30 minutes of use and had to pay a fee of about 30 cents for the next 30 minutes.  Otherwise we regularly take buses and taxis around town.  My student ID card doubles as a bus pass with a 20% discount
  • Groceries – A nearby organic fruit and vegetable market is not the cheapest place in town, but it is convenient. Oddly eating at home is more expensive than eating out
  • Dining Out – We eat out daily, usually more than once, and will often have coffee or tea while we are out around town. For some reason the going rate for a latte is around $120 TWD (~$4) despite everything else being much cheaper than in the US.  We also had a few dinners out with Winnie’s Mom and brother. This month this cost us almost $12/day/person.
  • Alcohol – For the second month in a row we purchased no alcohol. I feel this trend needs to change
  • Entertainment – Oil painting classes, oil paints and supplies, a flute purchase, flute lessons, an art museum, and a weekend trip to Yilan, Taiwan set us back $490.  Winnie found a world-class flute instructor and performer, and has taken to the instrument like she was born to it.
  • Misc – Chinese class, an iPhone battery pack, a cable to connect our Mac to the television, an umbrella, and a fan for hot nights were amongst some of the things we purchased this month.  Taiwan doesn’t have an Amazon.com, but you can order almost anything online and it will be delivered to your door for free in less than 24 hours
DetailsMarch 2014Notes
LocationTaiwanTaipei
Housing$1037Our sweet Taipei rental
Healthcare$51Chinese Medicine ($33)
Misc
Transportation$76Free public bikes
Typical bus ride: $0.50
Typical subway ride: $0.80
Typical taxi ride: $4
Groceries$350Mostly fruits and vegetables from the (overpriced) organic market
Dining Out$730<$12/person/day
Alcohol$0huh?
Entertainment$490Flute Purchase: $191
Oil painting classes: $49
Oil painting supplies: $65
Flute lessons: $98 ($49 per)
1 night in Yilan: $85
Misc$605Chinese class: $370
Winnie clothes: $81
iPhone battery pack: $49
Fan: $32
TV/Mac cable: $9
Umbrella: $6

Total$3,338$108/day

We will probably (maybe) look for some alternatives to the expensive organic grocery, and I don’t think we will need any more flutes, but otherwise next month’s spending should look much the same

We seldom plan anything more than 3 months in advance, and are now starting to decide what is next.  One plan is that I continue with Chinese class for another semester, but we have also discussed Australia, Bali, and Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam.  Learning Chinese is a lot of fun so it is hard to break away… stay tuned

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1 of 100's of YouBike Stations Around Taipei

1 of 100’s of YouBike Stations Around Taipei

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