I’ve spent the last 6 days walking the New Taipei City district seeing parks, city streets, small and large markets. It’s been a lot of fun. I really enjoyed ending up a few times at the New Taipei Metropolitan Park which is a series of inter-connected walking trails and mixed use areas. Today though will change things up and begin seeing downtown around the main subway station in some direction. I will be getting a 3 day pass to ride the MRT and then journeying forth for daily walks from any of the subway stations I happen to stop at. Today though will see the main subway station and find the high speed rail office there. I need to buy another 4 tickets after getting the first one at a 7/11 last night which was interesting and somewhat challenging since the machines to get the tickets are not in English and the folks working at the store had to help. Next time will get the tickets downtown after I buy them online.
I also have spent my first week at the Airbnb in Taipei which has been really good. It’s a cheaper and basic place to stay but yet has the comforts like really good WiFi and a washing machine and its a block from the subway station I need. The coffee choices are really good here too. I would not have thought that Taiwan has a very established coffee culture with small and large shops dispensing food and a variety of iced and hot drinks. Nice to find!
What the move also means is its time to give the iPhone 11 some new sights to see with the photography and continue to test the twin lens that it ships with for capturing urban, city, park and nature scenes. Overall I am very happy with the ease of its use and the quality of the photographs it takes. I don’t really need the 2x zoom at this point since I can crop pictures and get pretty amazing quality or just walk closer to a thing. Kinda like what happened with the FujiFilm X100F. I still would not want a dedicated camera back for my uses in this experiment. It’s just too much to carry around each day.
Also a little progress report on only carrying a iPad Air 2019 and the Smart Keyboard perhaps. If you are looking to replace the laptop with the iPad and perhaps you fit my category which is to slowly move around countries but want a way to record, document, blog and journal things; the iPad Air with the keyboard is a good move. Some of the things I’ve enjoyed with it include easily watching YouTube videos in bed or on buses or trains, using on an airplane is easier and transporting across flight security has become so simple, and finally are all the cables and charging and dongles and things I lost by moving to the iPhone and the iPad. I won’t try to make a list because to me the weight loss is significant. You basically get back the ability to hobo around cities and have a digital companion if you want in a small messenger bag but still carry both iPhone and iPad.
Finally in this move to Taiwan and onwards, I have simplified the every day carry bag to a cross shoulder daily carry messenger type bag that my darling L got for me in Saigon. The bag has numerous zippers and pouches and will easily carry wallet, passport, tickets, pens, iPad and iPhone and it fits easily under the seat or slung over my shoulder like a messenger bag is supposed to work. I am never told to take the bag off my shoulder or put under the seat. This means I also lost the dedicated daypack and its heft to things in favor of a daily carry bag which will double for all transit and movement through terminals with tickets easily reachable. I still carry the Tortuga Outbreaker 45L travel backpack. It’s the best I have found for what I do. I did drop the numerous packing containers and settled for just one for small gear like underwear and socks. I can pack better without packing containers that just add more to weight and limit the size of things.
I’ve been carrying the Tortuga bag for just about two years and its also a carry on bag. If I want but I have gotten lazy of late and check it in. It will fit in overhead compartments easily and it has no stupid wheels. Have I mentioned I hate roller bags immensely?
So anyways, that’s the story for today and the next few weeks in Taipei plus the no plan plan I always settle on. I have some more tickets to buy on Taiwan’s high speed rail so I can get around to the cities in some weeks and then get back to central Taipei for two days before flying to Philippines for three weeks. Thanks to Taiwan for giving me 90 days free of charge on a visa exemption to enter. I will use up 60 of those days gladly.
Now in a bit on to breakfast and coffee and then the subway to downtown. New adventures await!