Is Living in Taipei City All it's Cracked Up To Be?
I lived in Taipei for 7 years. Is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Yep the first couple of years were enjoyable…that’s granted but suddenly and slowly I started to realise is it all it’s cracked up to be? Living in the middle of a massive city.
Obviously to begin with it’s quite exciting, and when I say it’s a big city I am not saying it’s a mega city like Beijing, Tokyo, Jakarta, Seoul, or Shanghai etc. With the thoughts, feelings and questions raging in my noggin; here is what drove me to leave Taipei City for somewhere in New Taipei City that is not an extension of Taipei City like Banqiao etc.
Why would you? It’s so far? There’s nothing there! It’ll be shit compared to Taipei, Where will you eat? What will you do? God travel for 15 whole minutes, on an actual train and not an MRT you peasant!
Well I got sick of queuing for everything, crowds of people – people are still here just less of them, always rushing everywhere or being in a hurry to get somewhere or nowhere, overpaying for rent, renting a tiny box that doubles up as a bedroom – living room and kitchen, sick of city living, too much traffic, too much pollution, sick of annoying bastard neighbours, fresh off the boat hipsters constantly telling me stuff I already knew, sick of eye-spying neighbours; that will never stop, so re-entered the neighbours lottery, ‘better’ being the optimum word not ‘excellent’ or ‘wonderful’, rats that no one believed were there, reoccurring rat issues that no one was gonna deal with by still believing they weren’t there, cockroaches – endless amounts: flying ones, fat ones, small ones, baby ones, thins ones dead ones, flying out the moon door ones – if anyone got a dead roach bounced of their bonce I apologise, apartment problems, faulty pipes, faulty drainage, holes in the windows, the fake patio which should have been labelled crappio, never catching the bin man, a leaking washing machine, so then I left.
I moved to a small place in New Taipei City where the air is still shit, there’s lots of foreigners, the foreigners aren’t the desired type – yes they’re not white, it’s still close to Taipei City regardless of locals and people thinking their local telling you it’s miles away because it doesn’t have an MRT. Things are a smidgen cheaper, people are friendly and unfriendly in equal measure as they were in Taipei, the commute is longer because getting to Neihu is tragic, Neihu is a bastard to get to in the morning and it doesn’t discriminate against you regardless where you come from. The evenings are quieter unless there’s firecrackers or young wrong uns on scooters acting like you couldn’t batter them occasionally riding round like gangsters on scooters honking horns at stupid hours, quieter is the norm however, food is more local and harder to understand, old codgers are harder to understand because of their preference for using Taiwanese – sometimes it’s clearly intentional, parking is shitter but on the flipside anywhere is a parking space which isn’t dissimilar to anywhere being a parking space in Taipei until the end of the year is coming and the police realise they don’t have enough tickets to make their bonus’. Coffee shops are generally less busy unless it’s an evening or a weekend when every coffee shop in Taiwan is occupied by people studying or sleeping but not buying coffee. There’s equal number of night markets nearby – that’s two one new and one old but bigger in size which is grand if that’s your bag. The mountain is close, the mountain can be close in Taipei, but I have a mountain close without the added cost of ‘having a mountain close’. The restaurants are more local, the people are more local too, there’s no pubs or clubs, hence the quietness. The night market is a traditional market, and the traditional market is a night market – which is obviously dictated by the time you’re stood there, there’s a smaller traditional market too, that one lives downstairs, for every night market there’s a traditional market too, Factories, more factories but not in my part. A railway station – close not far, a railway track splitting the town in two. One side is busy and the other is not, my side is the other. A park is close, it’s small and heavily populated especially in the mornings when the codgers take over, has a sexy new swimming pool that I can occasionally get to, it’s the only sexy new swimming pool so oddly you have to queue on weekends. A pool also lives in a temple on the mountain – that one is rank minging, more and more weirdos and stray dogs for normal people, equal numbers of weirdos and stray dogs for a weirdo magnet like me. More breakfast shops in closer proximity, you could go to a new breakfast shop every day of the week and not end them all in a month, the invention of the breakfast crawl, shitter than a pub crawl with way more beef!
So to answer the question – Is Taipei all it’s cracked up to be? Well that obviously depends on the person asking the question innit!?