Photos by MJ Klein
Hui-chen and I traveled to Tainan recently to visit our good friend Mr. Charles Yapp. We also met up with blogger/photographer extraordinarie, Michael Turton.
We’ve taken the HSR quite a few times before, but never to the Tainan station. I’m an experience junkie and thus we have some new photos to show you of the Tainan station. If I ever get around to it, I believe that I have some of the earliest video footage of the HSR and I should upload that somewhere…. but hey, it takes time!
Ticket windows and self-service machines. The station is open and very airy. By the way, if you use the self-service machines to buy tickets and pay cash, all your change will be in coins. We got NT$400 back in NT$50 coins. My pocket was hanging heavy with eight 50s.
Remember back when Dan Bloom discovered the fact that the tickets do not make any reference to the Taiwan HSR? Well, the tickets still don’t say HSR or have the symbol on them, but, you can still commemorate your ride on the Taiwan HSR!
I bought this HSR pen from the Hsinchu station 7-11, which carries a supply of the HSR merchandise. The pen cost NT$400 and actually, its a very good pen. Also, in True Taiwanese Fashion TM, it has a neck lanyard so you can wear it like a mobile phone around your neck.
But wait, when I went to the counter to pay for it, the cashier told me that I get a free gift. Thinking it was something stupid like their current promotion Hello Kitty (grow up, people!) I was pleasantly surprised to have been handed this little item:
What? The stations have stamps? Yes, they certainly do! Take a look at this scan of my little booklet:
In the upper left is the name of each station printed on a blank page, except for a circle on the right upper side. Supposedly you are only supposed to use one stamp and put it in the circle. However, Hsinchu had 4 different stamps so naturally I had to put each one in my book. I’m such a moron though that I put the lower right hand stamp upside down (yeah, I did look at the stamp before I placed it – I’m a weenie, ok?). I had to ask where the station stamps were located, and I was told that they were at the information counter. They were just sitting there, out in the open. I suppose you could stamp your used ticket, or anything else if you wanted to.
So, the whole ride down to Tainan I was thinking that I could get 2 stations in this single ride, and how I’d missed opportunities in the past, etc. (why do I torture myself over nothing?). When I got to Tainan, I went straight to the information desk and presented my little booklet.
However, at Tainan, they keep their stamps hidden and the person working the desk stamps your book. Humph…. I guess they want to make sure that all the stamps are correctly oriented, i.e. right side up.
guess they want to make sure that all the stamps are correctly oriented, i.e. right side up.
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