Weekend in Taipei

on Sunday, November 16, 2008

I went to Taipei this weekend. It was probably the best time that I’ve had since I arrived in Taiwan. I went with a guy from my work named Andy. He’s a dual citizen of Taiwan and Australia because his parents sent him to Sydney when he was a kid to learn to speak English better. When he grew up there, he was put in charge of his parents cosmetics factory. I failed to comprehend how much money was floating around in this guy’s family until this trip.
When we got there his brother picked us up at a night market near the high speed railway and took us out to eat. We went to a really nice Mongolion hot pot place and met some friends there. I think one of the things I liked most about this trip is that everyone I met (with the exception of Andy’s parents) spoke English extremely well. Anyway, his brother owns two adidas factories in mainland China and also helps out with the cosmetics stuff when he can. Very cool people, they were all very nice and fun to talk with. To tell the truth though, after 3 months of only being able to have a fluent conversation with about 3 other people, I would probably think just about anyone is cool that can speak fluent English.
After dinner we went to Andy’s parents house, which is basically a marble palace. It’s a 5 story apartment that is perched on the side of a mountain. You can see all of Taipei from the top balcony.
He introduced me to his parents, and they are pretty cool people. Typical Taiwanese, very polite and hospitible. They don’t speak English though, so communication was kind of difficult.
In the morning we went to the National Palace Museum, which incidently has much of mainland China’s most vaulauble treasures. A fact that has become somewhat of a sore spot between the Chinese and the Taiwanese. It was pretty cool, some of the stuff was pretty weird though. Two of the most valuable things on exhibit at piece of stone that have been carved to like like food. One is a jade bacchoi cabbage, and the other is a composite rock that has been carved to look exactly like a piece of boiled pork.
After the Museum went to a place called Forkers (an american burger place) with Andy’s sister, her husband, and her friend, all of whom speak perfect English. It was really fun, His sister’s friend is going to come to Kaohsiung in a week and we’re going to go hiking.
After lunch we went to the world’s tallest building, the Tapei 101. Pictures really can’t do this building justice, it’s freaking huge. It also contains the world’s fastest elevator, which goes about 60kph. It goes to the observation deck in 43 seconds. I never considered myself afraid of heights until I went there. When I looked over the edge, I couldn’t move, I had to slowly back away.
After the 101, we went to eat at the macaroni grille, and then went home. It was a way good trip and I made some cool friends.
Taipei is a lot different than Kaohsiung. The air is cleaner and it’s a more stylish and diverse city. It’s more foreigner friendly as well. There’s a ton of people and tons of things to do, no matter what time it is. I hope I can get back there soon again.


janece said...

I want to be YOU when I grow up!!!

The Bruce and Maria Wellers said...

Great pictures of Taipei! I had forgotten just how huge that city is. I'm glad you are making friends that speaka yo language.