Taiwan day one

Last time I visited Taipei was a few years ago, only for a weekend. This time I’m as clueless as before, I feel like I should understand the signs and stuff, but I totally glaze over.

People drive like maniacs here, cutting in lane, not letting other cars pass. I’m in the taxi and I see how close it gets to the other cars. But it seems like it’s par for the course. Millions of motorbikes as well. Go to any large junction and when the light is red, watch the bikes build up at the front of the line. Smell the diesel, hear the revs. Then as the light turns green, whoosh! there they go.

The hotel is in the same complex as the office, the next tower along. Room is big, with a walk-in closet! Don’t quite like the use of dark colouring though, gets a bit old and depressing compared with light decorations.

Last night my colleague took me to the Shilin night market. Hundreds of small stalls selling all sorts of food and merchandise. We ate such a lot, she ordered like mad — most of my colleagues are mom-types, and their maternal instincts usually take over when it comes to food. Oyster omlette, bamboo stick glutinous rice, smelly tofu, roasted sweetcorn (with a weird aniseed flavoured covering) and ice desert (like the ice kacang in Singapore). Then she bought some deep fried duck/chicken parts for snacks. For me she was more conservative, wings, heart, kidney. But for her husband she bought neck, head, parts that are usually thrown away.

Wasn’t that interested in the stalls, cheap though they were. Mainly clothing, jewelry, handbags and the like. Not my scene.