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20th
NOV

Made in Taiwan

Posted by Lester Madden under General, Travel

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Just arrived in Taipei and am completely knackered. The journey was long, seems like it was weeks ago that I left home. I left in darkness, arrived in Hong Kong in darkness and arrived in Taipei in the dark. When I arrived at Taipei airport I had a scary moment. I went to take some cash out the ATM so I could get a taxi to the hotel. As Taiwanese Dollars are not something you get at the travel exchange at Heathrow I though you can’t go wrong with an ATM. I put my card in the ATM machine and waited, and waited, and waited. After about 45 seconds I started to get a little worried, the machine still said insert card. After 2 minutes I was really worried that it stole my only means of payment. Eventually just as panic was about to set in it said enter your pin. Phew. I tried to take out 100,000 Taiwanese dollars, nope, insufficient funds, I tried 20,000 same problem. Now I thought I was really screwed with no money to get to the hotel.

As I turned around a guy came up to me and said “you want taxi? No problem I give you taxi, you pay at hotel”. Getting into a strangers car is never a good idea but he gave me a limousine hire card and look legit. Besides in my wallet all I had was: 3,000 Japanese Yen, 50 Czech whatever’s, £6.21 and 5 Tesco’s computers for schools vouchers. I was hardly a robbers dream. He took me to the taxi rank and indeed he called a limo over, no boring taxi for me. I expected the guy not to speak English, that’s why I printed out the address of the hotel. The only trouble was the driver didn’t read English, but at least we got to the hotel, somehow. At that point I was too tired to really care. I would have quiet happy slept the night in the back of the car.

 

Not seen anything of the city yet, the guys at PChome are taking me out to shops in a few hours. Perhaps having problems with the cash machine will turn out to be a blessing.

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