Taipei City, Taiwan, April 2016. From Taipei Main Station I’m to take the Metro to Ximen, get out at exit 1 and find my way to Starbucks where my guesthouse host will meet me and show me the way to my room – yes that’s how complicated this place is at finding an obscure address! So many lanes one can get lost in around here. More about the accommodation in Taipei in a later post, but for now I need to get my bearings and find a source for some fast cash.
Like it or not Google is becoming one of life’s essential tools in this digital age that we live, especially for independent travelers. Take my case right now – no money, no way of accessing my UK bank accounts. Yes, same story as a few hours ago, the machines are all spitting back at me with bad news – no cash. So how can Google help me out of this mess? Its become quite apparent that British and Taiwanese public banks are incompatible despite the machines taking in my card, knowing my name and giving me options on how much cash I can withdraw only to say – no way not today!
I need a British bank, yes, that could be the answer. Standard Chartered worked for me in Nepal, lets Google them and see if they are here in Taipei. Yes, good news at last – quite a few it seems, clustered around the Northern edge of town, near a district called Songshan.
First stop tomorrow then is Standard Charted Bank and hopefully a resolution to my situation. Thank you Google.
Here’s a quick stomp around the area, my first look at Ximen, Taipei.