Taipei, as the capital of Taiwan, is nonetheless having the most resources and talented people on this island. Business, night life, education service, and even police are centered here. Many people come and go without leaving a trace, just like other cities in this world. If you are a foreigner, you do not have to worry about your daily life, there are many places where the problems can be solved. Here are few things that I think may be different from your own country.
Food paradise for 24 hours
Though the population of Taiwan is probably less than most of the countries in this world, with the highly density in the same time, looking for foods on this island is a piece of cake when you are hungry. Since hundreds of years ago, people started to sell foods or daily supplies on the streets, now many night markets are popular in each city. Besides, we are the people who like to mix different culture of foods, for example, you can see Miso meat ball soup( A common Japanese soup made by soil beans with local meat balls ) in Taipei which is rare in other places.
#Pizza Hut cafeterias
There are cafeterias in Taiwan for customers to enjoy foods at Pizza Hut, of course you can still order pizzas from them and choose to deliver to your place. It’s all you can eat buffet with drinks, desserts, salads, chicken legs, and pizzas !! For weekdays, it only costs USD $10.6 for adults, for weekends, you only have to spend USD $12.3 which is quite satisfied, isn’t it?
I don’t know why there are so many convenience stores in each city, and it’s like one street with almost two or three stores, wondering how many people would visit in a day. There are four main kinds of convenience stores in Taiwan, from 7-11, Family Mart, OK mart, to Hi-life. The most popular one is probably 7-11, or Family Mart. Except buying instant foods or drinks, at each store, you can pay your bill, whether its electricity, water sewage, or phone; print your papers or document but be sure to take your USB drive or you can upload to the iCloud in advance. On the top of that, you can choose to receive your package from online shopping which is super convenient and sweat especially for those who do not have physical P.O. box here.
In general, 7-11 sell things a little bit cheaper than Family Mart, and drinks imported from Japan are included. Family Mart is more localized compared to other stores, and they do sell some canned sauces or small kitchen wares for people to cook foods at home in case you run out of basic ingredients or forget to pick something at Wellcome supermarket.
The house price in Taipei or Taiwan is generally high, and normally young people can not afford to buy a new house even if they work for their whole life without eating or drinking. The wage is low, but the house price is not affordable years after years. Many college students or office workers flock together in Taipei with rental houses for their life. Unlike Germany, the government provides houses for each person to live without really buying a new one. Generally, Taiwanese would prepare a new house before we retire. Some people pay the down payment for their children, so kids could pay the rest of it to keep their house. If you are a foreigner in Taiwan, you can rent a monthly apartment or suite in Taipei.
Books are cheap
After digital edition of books on shelf, traditional bookstores are fighting for their survival. They sell stationery, other cute stuffs or even snacks to attract previous customers to stay. A book here usually costs me about $ 10 to $15 USD dollars depends on the content and the hard copy. So, if you would like to visit the real bookstore, you can purchase a physical one and stay there for a while or enjoy your coffee if you can find one. Eslite is the bookstore where English novels are available, and their branch stores are usually connected with the shopping center. Traditional Chinese books are difficult to find in other countries, so if you can read the language or you would like to collect something else, Eslite is recommended for you. If you are crazy about other local languages, just message me, I will try my best to help you.
Diversified ethnic groups
There are lots of ethnic groups in Taiwan, and recently more and more people immigrated from Vietnam, China or other countries, changing our society little by little. With so many groups, the official language is Mandarin Chinese based on the policy half century ago, and it’s very hard to change that even now.
According to a video filmed by a Chinese student when she was in Taiwan, most locals do not have strong national ideology. To them, foreigners are either with blue eyes or blonde hair people. Nation boundary seems meaningless, without it we could barely survive, not to mention that the big China is waiting to devour us. Most people here do not know the difference between American, British or other European; hope you guys won’t mind it.
Most citizens rooted in Taipei were originally from China with KMT party/government, so apparently, their voting papers go to them, which we call the blue party. Except the current ruling government, green party, other minor parties were formed in different names under the Chinese ideology or ambiguous neutral. Only few of them are aligned with the current party, such as Taiwan State Building party which seeks the real independent movement for locals but supported by few, so this new party is still under testing by both Taiwanese and communist China.
Current day life
After the Covid-19, some stores may be closed and flights are banned as well. So if you would like to visit Taipei, please check more details before your departure. Wish we can overcome with the virus and ready for the new change together.