I had quite a long and productive day in Taiwan. For today, I spent a majority of my time studying for my MCAT, so as you can tell I was very tired and stressed. To alleviate my stress, I bought a can of Daijoubu (DJB), which is a new energy drink being sold across convenience stores.
Since DJB means “no problem” in Japanese…the drink allows you to handle life’s tasks with no problem either. In any case, it’s pretty much just an energy drink. Not sure about its efficacy, but at least it’s not bad to taste. In fact, it tastes VERY similar to Red Bull, just not as “strong”. Almost feels like if it is the “diet” version of the regular. While it’s not particularly costly, I don’t think I’ll be buying it much, at least until my girlfriend returns from Vancouver (wink wink nudge nudge).
To find a nice place to study for my MCAT ( and save on A/C electricity bill), I went to the local Starbucks that only opened a few weeks ago. The Starbucks isn’t much different than those you’d find in North America. The menu is pretty much the same, and the taste is not that different either. While most companies adjust their prices for Taiwanese salaries, the Starbucks chains do not. That’s right. A venti frappucino costs about NTD 175. That’s a pretty large bento (even for me)…and I’m sure not many people are willing to pay for such a luxury. While that holds true, the people you see in a Starbucks are essentially using the $ they spend for the same reason as I did. 30% for the drink; 70% for the A/C.
In the US, most Starbucks offer some form of free wifi. While Starbucks is an American company, they certainly don’t believe that here in Taiwan. In fact, they go so far as to troll you with a “Free Wifi” (see 2nd option) which allows you to connect, but the router rejects your packet requests. WTF.
Alternatively, usually big restaurant chains such as McDonald’s or MOS Burger all offer a service called “Wifly” or “WLAN” which is a PAID wifi service. You can pay with different options such as single-day or 30-day “network cards”, and it is roughly USD $20 for the 30 day pass. For most travelers that need wifi, that’s not too bad of a deal. However, for locals, that price is actually still quite steep and many people just opt using their 4G phones to tether. So if you’re expecting free wifi at a local Starbucks or McDonald’s, get ready to cough up some dough to access the wifi.
Anyways, I’m just experimenting with different restaurants to study at, and to date, both Yoshinoya and Starbucks only offer Wifly, so that’s an issue. I’d seriously doubt finding somewhere that has decent seats, A/C, and free wifi. If I do, I’m sure the seats are probably already taken… =3=
Oh well. Asians. Cheapskates. That means I’m one too. #truth