After nearly a year of traveling, we were down to our last day. Rather than do something big, we wanted to do the things that made us happy. So we opted for three tried-and-true activities we had done before: we went to a cat cafe, a puzzle cafe, and a brewery. Then we retreated to our capsules to sleep.
The Original Cat Cafe
After three cat cafes in other countries, we were finally in the land of the original cat cafe. This is a somewhat odd claim, since I’m sure there are various cafes around the world where one or more cats hang out, but it appears this was the first place to officially make it a business. And they also have a couple of cat-friendly dogs. It is called, appropriately, Cafe Dog & Cats.
The tea was ok and the cats were friendly. There were over a dozen cats, so plenty of lazy fluff-balls to pet. The dogs were nice too, even if they did seem confused why cats get more attention. We showed up just after noon (opening hour) and the place was empty at first. Eventually more humans visited.
I had wanted to stop and visit the former home of the American consul-general to the Republic of China (now a cafe and art-movie theater) but Elizabeth convinced me that it would be boring. So we went to a puzzle cafe.
The Puzzle Cafe
Cat cafes are a fun novelty. The puzzle cafe — called Galette — is something we would do in ordinary life. It’s a cafe with slightly overpriced (though very tasty) tea and coffee drinks and a set of puzzles to assemble. The puzzle part is free (well, paid for in the drinks markup). It ends up costing a lot less than buying several puzzles to complete at home, and it had a nice atmosphere. We had visited a few days earlier and really enjoyed it, so we decided to go back. We even were given a member card, though we need to go a few more times before we become true members. Membership confers the right to use a cloth to roll up and store large puzzles, so you can work on the puzzle during multiple visits.
You can make fun of me if you want, but I would do this in ordinary life if there was a good place to do it (I’ve found locations in the U.S., but none in San Francisco. If you know of a place, please comment!).
Between the puzzle cafe and the nearest Metro station, is 23 Public by 23 Brewing Company. There we had beer and good conversation, including with a 30-year-old Taiwanese-American man who lived in Pennsylvania but had returned to Taiwan to do his year of mandatory service.
We tried the Gold Un Ale but preferred other beers. I liked the 23 IPA and Elizabeth preferred the Passion Fruit Islander sour. This was the first place we’ve been abroad with several sours.
After beer, we retreated to our capsule hotel. Yes, we stayed in capsules, which are nice because they give more privacy than normal dorms, but don’t cost as much as full rooms. They have TV and headphones. Also the hallway on floor 9 is named Fatty Street. They took one look at us and changed our reservation to put on that hallway.
That’s it. Then we flew home. I was pretty happy with Taiwan, but I really love California.
[This blog post describes our last full day traveling abroad, in Taiwan, March 27, 2017.]