Sam McGee in Taiwan

Today I am feeling a lot like Sam McGee. It may say 13 degrees Celsius on the thermometer, but riding my scooter in this cold, wet weather has left my legs feeling numb and my nose has been replaced with a frozen cherry tomato. Any longer on that thing and I’ll be “chilled through to the bone”.

The weather in Taiwan differs quite a lot between the north and the south. It was difficult for me to imagine while I was shivering in my apartment in Danshui (Tamsui) that those lucky souls in Kenting enjoy their sunny beaches all year long. However, no matter where you are or what time of the year it is, the humidity is always looming over the country. This means the hot summer can feel like a steam room and the cold winter can sink right to your core for four months straight. Add the ridiculously strong winds of Hsinchu on top of the humid cold weather and you have one of the worst places in the country to ride a scooter. Add the fact that buildings in Taiwan aren’t insulated, just hollow concrete blocks, and you have one of the worst places in the country to live in sans space heater. So instead of a furnace to stuff my body in, I’ve decided to seek out something slightly more comfortable.

Sam McGee was too whiny and dramatic.  All he needed was a hot chai tea latte from Starbucks.

Sam McGee was too whiny and dramatic. All he needed was a hot chai tea latte from Starbucks.

This is why I am sitting in Starbucks for as long as I possibly can. I don’t know of too many places that seem to present their customers with a bit of warmth, and it’s quite possible that Starbucks doesn’t either. Perhaps Starbucks feels warmer because of the heat generated by the ever-present lineup of students seeking an overpriced latte. All I know is that Starbucks has been my go-to location if I find Sam McGee begins to feel like a kindred spirit.

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