I Survived Typhoon Nepartak (and So Did Everyone Else, Ugh): A Ramble

I’m currently nursing my four new mosquito bites, drinking a milk tea and digesting the three buns I just ate, all while realizing that my life could not be any more quintessentially “Taiwan” than it is at this moment.

I’ve been struggling in my down time this week to figure out an interesting way to document what I’ve been up to. I’ve done a little bit of this and a little bit of that and eaten some good food in between, but is that enough to warrant a blog post? Do I actually have anything worthwhile to talk about? The answer to both of those questions is probably no, but yet here I am. After all, this blog isn’t just a way for me to update family and friends, but it’s also a means for me to reminisce on my time here when the memories aren’t so fresh anymore. And I know that a few years down the line, if I happen to remember the obnoxious URL of this thing, I’ll want read about the whole of my experience in Taiwan, not just the highlights.

That brings me to the title of this post, which is not exactly true because I’m a big fat liar. Typhoon Nepartak’s wrath actually killed 10 people, and though tragic, I expected a lot worse after repeatedly reading things like “worst typhoon in years” and “scientists amazed by its perfect shape” and “equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.” To add on to the hype, work for everyone in Taipei was cancelled on Friday.

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Nepartak ominously approaching Taiwan – look at that form!

Taiwan’s last super typhoon, Typhoon Morakot, buried an entire village in mud in 2009, so I did what any life-valuing person would do in preparation for Nepartak: went to 7/11 and bought enough sustenance to hold me over while I confined myself to my hotel room. This girl was READY to face her first natural disaster (and maybe a little excited – am I a freak?).

…But alas, like a bad date, Nepartak stood me (and the rest of Taipei) up. Gen and I sat in our beds, nearly comatose and binge-watching Narcos* all day Friday, and nothing. fucking. happened. It rained pretty heavily for a bit, but that’s more normal than it being sunny during this time of year. I kept opening up the window of our hotel room to look outside, only to turn back around unimpressed. That’s seriously all you got, Nepartak?

Ends up, Typhoon Nepartak honed in on eastern Taiwan, grounding flights and damaging crops and doing all the sweet things typhoons do, but it just brushed past Taipei. We were lucky. Although getting a glimpse of a typhoon would’ve been pretty cool for a minute, I was thankful to have nothing to worry about. The weekend was officially open for explorations – no more staying in my room and secretly loving the sedentary life.

*Excuse me, how am I so late to the Narcos party?  If you never hear from me again, I’m probably in Colombia trying to get myself involved in the drug trade (I’m obviously joking, and Pablo Escobar was actually the worst, but I’d be lying if I said Hacienda Napoles wasn’t dope).

Enough lusting after the luxurious lives of criminals, Javana, Jesus. My legal, cocaine-and-typhoon-free weekend adventures went something like this…

1) I visited the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan and looked at a bunch of small things that had literally no reason to be so small:

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The attention to detail is mesmerizing

2) I stopped by Huashan Creative Park, an artsy little place where I ate Ice Monster (finally!) and pretended to be interested in hipster crafts that I couldn’t afford:

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3) I ate at Zhuji Meat Pie restaurant (highly recommended by Joan of Hungry in Taipei) and all my beefy dreams came true:

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Coming soon to a food post near you!

4) I tried fancy desserts at Yu Chocolatier and felt like a queen, but then quickly remembered I was broke:

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Candied orange rinds dipped in chocolate

5) I walked around Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, where I was reminded that my life goal is to be relevant enough to have a giant statue of me made when I die:

6) And I visited the beautiful (even in the fog) National Palace Museum, where I realized that I’m a phony, uncultured swine who enjoys taking pictures at museums more than learning about actual history:

Now for a quick sensitive hour minute: I know most of what I post on here is more silly than it is serious, but I love writing on this blog so much. I sincerely hope that once my travels this year are over, I still have ideas and experiences that fuel my desire to write. It’s much too easy to conjure up posts when you’re abroad and doing things you’d never do at home, but I’m worried about keeping this up once I’m back in LA. Let me know if you have any ideas (and no, I don’t want to start keeping a journal).

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