I had a lovely last lunch and dinner with colleagues and friends in Bristol, a couple of big cups of tea, and then flew away…

Jenny and her Mum very kindly rescued me from 桃園 at midnight despite having to wait hours for my late landing - The tractor thing that pushes the plane backwards before it can taxi onto the runway went pop and delayed takeoff at Heathrow!

J-e-e-e-e-t-t-t-t-t l-a-a-a-a-a-g-g-g-g-g-g …slept for ~14 hours before rejoining the land of the living, still not quite in the correct time zone, but near enough~

Tuesday was house hunting day: 聿泊 and I had trawled 591 the evening before and had a list of contenders. By the morning some had already gone, but we discovered a couple of new additions too. Having called 23 different landlords, visited more than 10 flats, had 2 bowls of yummy noodles (European style for lunch, 台灣牛肉麵 for dinner), the day was done, I was shattered, 聿泊 was amazing, and a new home in 永和 was all mine!

Undoubtedly that feat would have been impossible had 聿泊 not searched, called, organised, transported, fed and explained everything so brilliantly for me - Super謝謝啦!

I chuckled inside each time the polite version of 《哇,白皮豆腐,是不是很吵的酒鬼?》 came up in the discussion and thought 「I appreciate the need for this question given my neighbours in previous flats …shame some visitors / TV have created that reputation though」.

The selection of flats was really varied, even within the smallish locality and price bracket we were considering - everything from tiny to spacious; tin shack on top of a block of flats to solid marble prison, like a 4 star hotel but underground with no windows; super-clean to extreme bio-hazard; and one or two with a delicate 香菇 flavour, which 小泊 pointed out would likely be ok in the balmy summer but the dark tepid dampness of winter would mean you’d soon have your own mushroom farm in the flat~

Wednesday and Thursday were days to see little people. Terryさん, 聿泊 and me had a delicious dinner together with 淑雯, her cute new baby daughter, and their house maid Chia-yen ;) at 「Greasy Spoon」in 萬芳. Greasy spoon is certainly a misnomer. The well presented, almost delicate, cuisine is asian influenced westernish style and the surroundings elegant but in an informal way!

Thursday was the first time I’d seen 儀儀 and Cocolino先生 in a while - he’s grown up a lot in a year and a much more chatty chap too. We had a good play inside and having caused a little chaos there, we all went out for a bite to eat and some basketball in 環河西路 park area.

Friday I spent doing practical things - Visited the NIA Offices to get myself registered with a Taiwanese ID number, which then allowed me to get myself a shiny 台幣 bank account, although it’s only got a tenner in it~

Saturday started with a good breakfast of 餛飩湯, 蔥油餅 and 豆漿 - I like the breakfast shops where everything is made to order, and “grand-mother” is sitting in the corner making new 蔥油餅 ready for the fire! We had a sunny cruise along the north-east coast in the afternoon, saw some kites, abalone farms and cooled off with 剉冰~

Bye bye Bristol - Hello Taipei!