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Taipei Update

Joanne 2007-11-29
After a great weekend with friends in San Diego and getting some last minute stuff taken care of (such as buying this Blackberry that I am typing on now -which we LOVE) the drive up to L.A.could not have been smoother.

The flight did not feel like 14 hours, 6 maybe. The plane was quite empty, only 90 people. Apparently a full house would be 400 - so almost everybody got a row of either 3 or 4 seats to themselves. Getting to lie down to sleep makes all the difference. The food on the flight was Asian style and we loved every bite of it.

We had chosen a hostel before landing, we hoped there was space got on a bus and made our way 40 minutes away to the center of Taipei.

The time change has played a little number on us, we get up each night between 2 and 3am, our tired bodies say go back to sleep,our minds say get up! It doesn't help that I have a head cold and so breathing while lying down is a challenge.

The city feels like a mixture between Las Vegas and New York with all the people in the streets and neon signs everywhere! The city is very alive, surprisingly clean, and safe. The big difference being, even though there are people everywhere it does not have the same hustle and bustle feel that NY has, it is much calmer here, no one honking their horns or trying to run you over. I have yet to see a beggar. It also feels like these 2 North American cities because it is a consumers dream. You can buy anything and everything here!

All the signs are in Chinese characters so we can't understand any of them. It's funny because there have been a few times that we have tried to ask a question and the person responded by pointing to the answer which is written, all we can do is smile, nod our heads to say thank you and shrug our shoulders.

We walk, take a bus, or the MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit-the metro) to where we want to go. It's incredibly efficient, clean, quiet and smooth to ride on. If we don't already know where to get off, it really helps to have the name of the place written in Chinese characters to be able to show it to the bus driver, and but again nod and smile.

In a few days we will make our way to the countryside, not sure where yet, but it will be interesting to experience the contrast.

It is winter, and in the Northern Taiwan that means it is chilly and rainy, our sweaters and rain jackets accompany us daily.

The streets are filled with food stands with all kinds of goodies. Sometimes we don't know what we are trying and if there is no one to translate we go on looks alone and simply bite in. Yesterday we tried snakes blood with rice, it was pretty good. Everyday as we walk the streets we try new things as they call to us or when a line up is long- we figure it's probably a local favorite that must be sampled.

The countless food stands in the streets and alleys are so good that we have only been to a restaurant once. Today we are getting together with one of Paul's old DivX co-workers, I'm guessing we will go to a restaurant.

Besides the jet lag, the one true re-adjustment is not being able to freely communicate with those around us, something we grew accustomed to and loved doing in South America.

Photo: Photo taken 2007/11/30 at 00:16 [CIMG3950]
Photo: Photo taken 2007/11/30 at 03:13 [CIMG3954]
Photo: Photo taken 2007/11/28 at 19:19 [CIMG3820]
Photo: Photo taken 2007/11/28 at 19:27 [CIMG3831]
Photo: Photo taken 2007/11/29 at 04:03 [CIMG3886]
Photo: Photo taken 2007/11/29 at 20:38 [CIMG3897]
Photo: Photo taken 2007/11/29 at 21:47 [CIMG3919]
Photo: Photo taken 2007/11/29 at 22:04 [CIMG3931]
Photo: Photo taken 2007/11/29 at 22:05 [CIMG3938]
Photo: Photo taken 2007/11/29 at 22:06 [CIMG3939]
Photo: Photo taken 2007/11/29 at 22:46 [CIMG3946]


Permalink by Jennifer Aboudi   |  November 30, 2007 03:40 AM

Greetings my fabulous and brave nomads!

Glad to see that your taste for adventure brought you back to north America for tradition. I'm still full from my feast!
I'm taking advantage of the small window of time that belongs only to me (between 6 and 6:30am) to enjoy your posts and revel in our similarities. As I read about foreign lands, languages, trust and all kinds of curveballs I realize that our backdrops differ drastically, yet our revelations are almost exactly alike! While raising twins hardly seems like travel, you never know where it's going to take you next and you're always grateful for the lessons learned and their impact on your foundation and belief systems.

Here's to growing, learning and smelling the roses no matter where you are!
hugs and kisses from us all.
Jen, Danny, Carli and Joseph

Permalink by Gug   |  December 2, 2007 01:11 PM

Ahhhh - the food from street stalls, I get nostalgic thinking of those morsels :)On another page, around this time of year, the Landstrasse in Linz has the sounds and smells that come to my ears,nose, and pallette.

Permalink by Travis   |  December 13, 2007 03:35 AM

I can't believe you guys are in Taiwan... I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I'm off to Indonesia to meet up with Carissa tomorrow. We'll be there for ~2 weeks. Let me know (soon!) if you'd like to talk to our friends in Taipei. Our pictures are at http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLandingSignin.jsp?Uc=zwahbcb.2t9qvtkr&Uy=18dmm7&Upost_signin=Slideshow.jsp%3Fmode%3Dfromshare&Ux=0.
I highly recommend visiting the Juming Museum. Here's info on how to get there. http://www.juming.org.tw/juming-en/hotogo_en.htm.