Being a tourist in Taipei

I woke up this morning, feeling maybe for the first time in this entire trip, tired and a little homesick. I ascribe the first to the rather hectic schedule I have had the past 10 days so, continually on the move, presentation after presentation, meeting after meeting, never in a place for more than a day. The homesickness I ascribe to hanging out with Hsueh-Hua, Han-Chin, and (the one most to blame) their 8 year old son Matthew. I guess I was suddenly reminded, in a very forceful way, of the three people back home in Okemos, whom I haven’t seen or talked to in a while

The day was spent doing touristy kinds of things – all of which can be gleaned better from the photographs, some of which have been uploaded to Flickr and others will be sometime soon.

Dinner, for once, was a quiet affair, a veggie Subway sandwich, in my hotel room watching Taiwanese game and reality TV shows (not that I understood a word!).

Just a couple of thoughts about Taiwan, little things that surprised me. First, it turns out that pretty much everybody is a fan of the Yankees. This is mainly because of Chien-Ming Wang who is a pitcher for the Yankees and a national hero back home. Almost every body you meet, from a cab driver to an academic follows every game and knows the most arcane of baseball statistics.

Second, is something I saw during my first evening here at Taipei. We were strolling around after dinner through the inner streets, generally looking around the shops till we came to a small public park in the middle of this hustling, bustling marketplace and people’s homes. What first drew me to this park was the sound of country music blaring through a music system. And there, in the middle of the park, were approximately 30 people, mostly middle aged women, slow dancing in formation. This combination of Alan Jackson, smells of food from the restaurants and open-air stalls, and the gentle aerobic dance was just wonderful to see.

What a beautifully crazy world we live in.

I am off tomorrow to Hong Kong, one day, two nights and then back to India.

5 Comments

  1. Yes I did, and I think I did write about it too… I also have a ton of photos from 101. Check it out here. [The Taipei 101 pictures start around two-thirds of the page down and continue on to the next page. Enjoy.

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