Greetings from TaiwanSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 21:11
Hi Friends. I'm still in Taiwan. It has been a very busy trip, and I want to thank the fabulous DP mod squad for keeping things up around here while I've been away. I lived in Taiwan for two years, from 2003 - 2005. I didn't know a thing about this place before I came, but it is a place that I have grown to love very much. The people are kind and friendly, and I dare say it is freer than the US in many ways. (See pictures of the free market below). No airport searches, no taking shoes off before boarding planes. On my flight here, just before I got on the plane in San Francisco -- just as I was about to go down the tunnel to -- AFTER I'd already been searched inside out and upside down, shoes off and everything -- I got stopped again and had my bags pawed through.
The days here have been full visiting friends and family, so I haven't had much time to write, though I have seen so much. I thought I'd start by sharing some photos, and filling in the details when I get more time.
Taiwan is a modern country. It is the third largest buyer of US debt, behind China (Taiwan is NOT China! - more on that later) and Japan. Here are some photos that show what a frugal country this is:
Here is a traditional, free market in Taiwan. This is just about 5 minutes from my mother-in-law's house, on the outskirts of Taipei city:
Would you eat this meat? There is no inspector nor license for this meat vendor:
Anyone can come here, set up shop, and start selling:
As a child, my wife's family went through a period of financial hardship. She sold vegetables at this market that her family grew in vacant lots. Now she's finishing up her PhD in Neuroscience at Boston University, and working in a joint Harvard-MIT lab.
Here are some of the delicious, exotic, and cheap delicacies on sale in the market:
Lychee fruit - yum!
Here's what the area looks like outside, on the main road. It is part of Western Civilization.
Dumplings anyone? Cheap and good!
There are a lot of scooters in Taiwan, something you see throughout Asia:
Our neighborhood is part of the old part of Taipei. But there is a more modern part as well, about 30 minutes away by bus. In fact, the tallest building in the world is in Taiwan - the Taipei 101. The new tallest building was slated for Dubai, but I believe that construction has been suspended. It is really quite a beautiful sight.
Today I'm going to the debut of Windows 7 at Computex Taipei, one of the biggest computer / electronics shows in the world!