Taipei, Taiwan

July 23rd, 2009

The day after the eclipse, Andrew and I flew to Taipei to visit Mike, who was having a housewarming party.

Taipei is a fun city, the area where we stayed reminded me a lot of Harajuku in Tokyo, quirky shops, striking fashion, and colored contact lenses. I think it would be a great place to study Chinese. There is definitely an accent, but Taiwanese people speaking Mandarin are much easier to understand than Shanghainese speaking Mandarin.

The night before we left, we went to a party at a club called LAN in Shanghai, and met some Taiwanese who suggested the National Palace Museum as a good place to visit. So we went there, to the huge memorials to Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai-Shek, and we wandered out west to the river to see the local temples, all of which had intricate carved dragons at the entrance.


We went to the top of the 101 building to see the view. There is a mediocre restaurant up there, where we had something to drink while we looked out at the lights of the much smaller buildings below. The 101 building is higher than both the JinMao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center, but it seems a little lonely without any friends around.

At Mike’s party, all but one of the guys were entrepreneurs. One (25 years old) owned a frozen yogurt shop, one ran a television channel, one imported wine, another imported prepared foods and exported tea. Even at the LAN party, many of the people were entrepreneurs, including a former banker who now owns a gallery in New York, and a former lawyer who makes handbags.

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