Edit: Added photos, updated information. Many more pics of Taiwan on the Flickr here.
On Sunday, we left Hualien and headed to Kaohsiung. It was a 5-hour train ride, and we had to stand for about half of it due to the holiday weekend. Connie already had appointments set up to see potential apartments, so we started back on that hunt right away. Apartment hunting is tedious and tiring, but we finally settled on a place Monday evening and moved in that night.
We found a good place I think. Here’s the first pic! It’s $6500 NTD ($220 USD) per month. For comparison, similar places we looked at in Taipei were usually $17000 NTD or more. The apt is centrally located, near the Formosa Boulevard MRT station. There’s a night market outside the door, and yesterday we ate hotdog buns filled with pasta. They put mustard on top and it was delicious.
We’ve been setting up the apt the last couple of days. Lots of research at Ikea, Carrefour, and Costco. Ikea is the exact same–they’ve latched on to some universal constants. Carrefour is the French Walmart: cheap, annoying, and available in Asia. And Costco is almost exactly the same, just so more tea in the coffee section. (They accept US Costco memberships!) So now we are equipped with a hotplate, a coffee maker, and this table (delivered by Ikea for $7 USD).
All in all, we’ve spent maybe $150 USD getting set up, including power supplies, fridge and bathroom stock. The money part is not too much, but the amount of effort involved is staggering. It has taken many 10-12 hour days, walking, comparing, shopping, carrying. Connie wants to work and apply to grad schools. I want to put time into my projects. We plan to start actual work almost everyday, but we’ve been too worn out so far. I think having furniture and coffee will help.