Taipei, Taiwan – Day 1
Escaped the typhoon in Manila and made it to a new “country” – depending on who you ask. The Taiwanese say it’s their country however the People’s Republic of China disagrees. Why and how is Taiwan different from China? Well, in every way. The Taiwanese defied all odds and have created a vibrant, liberal and democratic society with respect for something we in America have – FREEDOM. They believe in gender equality, human rights and free press – things we often take for granted and things that are difficult to obtain in countries in this part of the world. The Taiwanese refuse to pander to the ideology of their neighbors and despite the fact the USA doesn’t recognize it as an independent country due to its political relations with China, I do. I’m tempted to go against my earlier decision to count countries (196) based on the state department’s position in this regard and change my number to 197 or maybe even 199 as Hong Kong and Macau have accomplished the feat of establishing their own democracies as well.
Anyway, the Portuguese name for Taiwan is Formosa or Beautiful Island. Sounds like a place you might want to go right? The cost for my airline ticket from Manila to Taipei was $76USD on Cebu Pacific and from the air at night, Taipei looks kind of like an intricate spider web. Boy am I excited.
First things first. Comfortable accommodations near a metro station with wifi so I can ensure I’m back to 100% health wise and can finish up some work. I found exactly what I was looking for at the Diary of Taipei near Ximen Station in the Ximending shopping area – make sure to book the one at No. 152 on Zhonghua Rd. I got a great night sleep and the best shower in the world thus far. Hot water and extraordinary water pressure alone can revive the injured, the old, the sick and disabled i.e. Me 😉 Interestingly, the hotel’s 4th floor is occupied by gamers. There is a even a big sign that says “Xi-Men Wanted” given it’s located at Ximen Metro Station which made me laugh. Anyway, it has what appears to be thousands of computers and Taiwanese people playing and creating the games people play all over the world. Sounds like a good gig and probably can be done remotely. Just a thought for you millennials who are true nomads at heart.
Second – food! And not just any food but a really cool restaurant downstairs from the hotel called #|@>^£| or something like that 😉 You order your dim sum on a computer and your order and even your drinks are served on a conveyor belt from the kitchen right to your table. Think of a child’s train set weaving from the kitchen throughout the restaurant and stopping at various stops along the way to deliver food. It was so cool and a first for me as was one of their delicacies I tried called Creamy Custard Buns…like or not you must try! (I later found out the name of the restaurant is Dim Sum Line and was the best meal I had in Taipei.)
Anyway, this district is a vibrant area and just the wake up call I needed to go back to work and prepare for my US conference calls for the day which don’t begin until 10:30 p.m. Taiwan time.
That’s all for now with a little more enlightenment than I started the day with and a whole lot healthier from Taipei, Taiwan.