Teaching in Hsinchu, Taiwan [2]

I’ve been here for fourteen days already – wow! It feels like months. Is that a good thing?

After my lovely trip to Taichung last Sunday I felt ready for the new week. I felt positive.

I went out early to find some new coffee shops, and near the FE21 mall I found Do Wut on Hefu street, just off of Ximen street. Wow. It is an absolutely lovely place with plenty of space. They advertise it as a relaxing place and it really is. It’s quiet, they have mist sprays and amazing coffee.

Coffee prices range from NT$80~160

My boss pre-planned my Monday classes for me, which made it much easier as I teach 3 x 90 minutes, without a break! They’re alright classes, but my second class are a higher level and they’re just lovely! I definitely like them.

Tuesday, I was swapping classes with a colleague so my boss planned that class, and I planned the other. Then after work the three of us went off in search of a bar – it wasn’t a difficult day but I was ready for a drink. After a long walk (30 minutes) we found The Red – Lane 33, Minzu Road

The bartender was awesome. He spoke perfect English and was really friendly, and the prices were decent!

NT$200~250 for a cocktail

NT$130 for a corona

And between NT$200~350 for food from a Thai style menu.

They had 3 tv screens with darts, baseball and football and the atmosphere was lighthearted.

There are another two bars down this lane, so you can always pick and choose.

The funny part of Tuesday came at home time. After we’d finished our beers the guys cycled home. I couldn’t find a bus or a taxi, so I thought I’d rent a bicycle and try that. Big mistake.

It took me about 30 minutes to get out of the city centre – I just kept going around in squares, not having a clue where I was and not easily able to check google maps. Eventually, I found the massive road that leads straight home. Another 45 minutes later and I was home, drenched with sweat and barely able to walk. I’m so unfit it’s embarrassing.

Here’s a little video of my trip.

Wednesday morning I wanted to go back to Do Wut but on the way there I passed a cafe called Schäfer on Ximen street. It was sooo peaceful and relaxing! The coffee was NT$30 for a take away, but I wanted to stay in. I paid NT$160 for a pour over and NT$15 for a cookie. Both were delicious and you could smell the chocolate from the cookies as the lady brought it up the stairs! I spent ages playing about with the wooden figures too, what a child!

Thursday. ugh. Thursday, I’ve already written about my teaching part of the day, which you can read hereeee if you like.

In the city I found HILA – A small company that have five coffee shops around the city and only charge NT$75 for any type of coffee. They are a take-away only cafe but use recyclable materials for their cups and lids. Their coffee machine is bright pink and they have an array of multi-coloured cups on top – it just looked amazing and the coffee was fabulous. So rich and delicious!

After that I stumbled across K.more and fashion – a lovely little cafe that also sells fashion items like purses, hair things, phone cases and jewellery, and the guy was lovely!

Friday was a good one,  I couldn’t sleep for some bizarre reason, maybe delayed jetlag? I was talking ‘boys’ with my friend. After that I really needed to clear my head so I went for a jog / walk / hike around my apartment, in an area I hadn’t yet explored. It was up a huge hill, but once you dropped down through the trees there was a small trail that overlooked the city and it was just beautiful.

I stumbled across at least five coffee shops, which were all closed as it was 7am, but I also found the most amazing Starbucks I’ve ever been in. So I stopped for a blueberry bagel and a mango&passion fruit smoothie, which was sickeningly too sweet. I definitely felt better and then went into the city to wander around.

It was too hot for me to drink coffee and as I was leaving Big City I saw a cute, floral hole-in-the-wall. It was a brand new tea and cake shop that served cakes in little trays on top on your tea. (See pictures, it’ll make more sense). They had 50% off everything which meant my peach tea and chocolate Madeline was only NT$42 – about £1 !!

I started walking towards the train station but I was starving. I noticed a fake garden, that still looked lovely, and decided to sit and enjoy my tea and cake there. On the road behind me was a row of restaurants – the western style one was extortionate and next door was a Burrito cafe.

I ordered a veggie burrito without thinking anything of it, and when it came up it was full of egg, mustard and another sauce. It t atsed a bit funny but I knew i’d be sick. I had to pick it apart and try and eat around the dairy products. Ugh. Anti-dairy/meat/fish is a real problem sometimes!

Thankfully my classes were decent, although I had to send one boy out for being a little bugger! But my final class on a Friday are 16-17 year olds and they’ve all got a really good sense of humour, they work hard and they’re lovely people.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND finally. Saturday. Today.

Despite getting woken up early, I was able to relax a little by browsing through instagram and finding some more coffee shops to visit. The bus ride in was awful. Remind me not to take the bus on the weekends. Kids and parents and old people all shouting over each other, bustling and what-not.

I found Caves bookstore (at the top of Dongda Road, Section 2) and thankfully they had a decent selection of English books and also Chinese language study books. I didn’t buy anything today (#proud) but I know they’re there if I want them.

I walked back via the Aircraft museum – SO COOL!!!

and the cafes that were closed last time, were finally open today! I chose FIKARAST – and I’m so glad I did!

I had the most delicious Colombian pour over and a banana and chocolate pound cake, topped with chocolate sauce, bananas and whipped cream (Both NT$120) and got to sit and relax for a couple of hours. The owner David is also a really nice guy. They’re open 11am – 8pm and serve a range of coffees, teas and I think, beers in the evening too.

I had a class to teach today, which I wasn’t looking forward too but it actually turned out to be my favourite class yet. There were 14 students ages 15-17 and they were brilliant. Funny, inquisitive, open-minded and genuinely lovely people. They asked me questions about my life and my tattoos – they seemed fascinated with them! So it was really positive.

After work my housemates and I searched for somewhere local to eat, and found a hole-in-the-wall style place where no one spoke English and they didn’t seem to understand my Chinese – all I wanted was 2 beef noodles and 1 bowl of vegetables but it wasn’t that straight forward. SO embarrassing! 

Then we went to BARFLY – (Ren-Ai Street) to watch football, which was streamed online with youtube music in the background #awkward and pretty expensive drinks. I don’t think my housemates were impressed and we left at half-time.

And now, it’s time to relax a little.

I’m thinking a fair amount about how to make my posts, and this blog in general, as interesting as possible – so if you have any suggestions please leave me a comment on send me a message on Insta / FB / Twitter. I’d really appreciate it!

Thanks for reading and happy Saturday! xo

3 thoughts on “Teaching in Hsinchu, Taiwan [2]

Add yours

    1. Hey Rachel! Thank you sooo much, that’s made my day! Basically a pour over is a method where you have a filter, then ground coffee, then you pour the water over the coffee and let it brew. There’s loads of different ways but that’s the basic idea 🙂

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