so after chinese and lunch this afternoon, i headed to nova, which is taoyuan's big box computer store. i pull out my AC adapter with the frayed cable and hand it to the computer dude who just looks at it and says 'oooh noooo'.
he says 4 minutes worth of chinese to me and i get the gyst that i need to go to some other store where they can fix it. computer guy #2 writes down something in chinese (tonight allen told me it says 'jing ho electronic material') and brings up yahoo maps, in chinese, on the computer. at that point, i know it's on minzu road and if i hit jung shan rd, i went too far.
i find minzu road (which is in the opposite direction as the guy pointed), and stop a couple blocks short of jung shan rd, outside of a bakery. since i've had such brilliant luck with people who own restaurants and other little shops, i decide to ask the girls at the bakery. they look at my little paper and just keep saying 'no address. police station there. ask police'.
i probably just would have walked into another store to try my luck but the girl actually walked me to the front door of the police station, so i had no choice, i just went inside. the taipei times just ran a big story about how the public is outraged that foreigners get off so easy because we can't speak chinese so we can't really get ticketed, and a big campaign has been launched to go after us.. so it felt weird to be in the police station.
luckily, it was like any other place i walk in and everyone kind of looked at me and pointed frantically to the one person who can speak 'a little' english. it was a police officer who couldn't have been over 25. the guy was super nice and he just took my paper and i could see the wheels turning. he pulled out his cell phone, put it away, went to the computer, went outside and looked up and down the street. in the end, he pulled out his car keys and told me to get in the police car!
he asked me where i was from, where i teach, etc as we drove about 3 blocks until he matched up a sign with what was written on my paper. the guy at the store thought we could probably fix it, but i needed to bring my entire computer.. so i went back to the bakery, bought the police officer a couple of little cheesecake tarts, (he accepted them after a little bit of protest), and went back to get my computer.
in the end, we found a new adapter that does work with my laptop. success! it was a crazy, roundabout adventure of a day.