well, I won the lowest prize but still =D
Okay so Taiwan has the lottery they created with receipts that you get at stores, restaurants, etc. They were trying to find a way to encourage customers to demand a receipt so that the business had to be more accountable for their books. So, being foreigners, we jumped on the lottery craze. People kept telling us, “Oh it gets old after the first month, just donate your receipts.” Well us three Hualien gals saved all of our receipts from August and waited for the July/August numbers (the numbers are drawn every 2 months). We had a party one friday night, checking all of our receipts, BUT people were right, nothing. Well, I’m fairly persistent so I continued to keep my receipts from September and October and once again, last week it was time for new numbers. I needed something to do on the train ride to Taipei so I grabbed all of my receipts and jotted down the numbers. There are 8 numbers on a receipt and you have to check them starting from the right. You have to have the numbers consecutively and winners start at 3 numbers. Well, I had one receipt that had three of the numbers! It’s the lowest prize and only 200NT ($6.06), but that particular receipt was from buying a 10NT ($.30) newspaper so I’m excited =)
Also, I’ll use this post to get away from my yesterday grumps and write about the past week. Last week I got to talk to Asher and Kate on Skype. It was Asher’s first international video call and I was so excited haha I can’t believe how much he’s changed since I was there to see him in person! I love reading their blog to see how the Smola family is doing and Kate is much better than I am at updates =)
On Friday Cassandra and I left for Taipei. We spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday going to completely new places thanks to our fantastic tour-guide Karin. Friday night we went to Ximending, a really fun area of Taipei with shopping, art, and good food and drinks. Saturday we went to the Jade Market. It’s a HUGE market underneath the interstate. The tables of jewelry made of Jade, Coral, Rose Stone, etc go on and on and on. We walked up and down those rows for hours, did some bargaining, and found lots of great Christmas gifts. After the Jade market we did some more shopping in the big shopping district with various clothing stores and the big department store. Then we met up with some other friends for our “Thanksgiving” dinner at Chili’s! I had been soo excited to go to Chili’s in Taipei because it’s one of my favorites at home.
On Sunday Cassandra and I changed our tickets to a later train so that we could go to the hot springs way up on the north side of Taipei. It was really crowded there and I couldn’t help but think about how dirty the water was but it did feel good. After the hot springs we got some good ol’ Italian food for lunch and then realized it was way too sunny and gorgeous to not be outside. So we got a blanket and some cards and went to a park near Karin’s house. Definitely an enjoyable afternoon even though Karin kicked my butt at Phase 10 (there were forces against me that I will not go into) =) Finally we went to the Taipei 101 area to go to the English bookstore, I got My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (both highly recommended by Karin). Lastly, before getting on our train we went to the big grocery store with lots of American food so that I could get ingredients for Chili and mexican stuff.
It was a very enjoyable weekend as it always is with my Taipei tour guide Karin =D