Thursday, March 16, 2006

Taiwan Diary

Survival guide for Taiwan:
1. Learn chinese names of places you want to go to. Yes folks, everything and everybody has a chinese name which is usually unpronouncable. I did learn the logic behind this... you simply cannot represent english names in chinese script (sheesh!).
2. People here carry their own chopsticks to lunch. Thats how important it is to know how to use them.
3. The tricky part is not how to use chopsticks efficiently but rather how to deal with what you have to use them on. Suffice to say my culinary horizons broadened quite a bit.
4. Two words: Nap Time. Walk through an office after lunch and you will see employees sleeping at their desks. Not just sleeping but lying flat with pillows and blankets. Yes folks, this is official nap time and its freaking eerie. Its like walking though a room full of dead people... only worse... because they are actually alive. Wonder what I'll do with my hammock when I go back home :D
5. And then there is music played loud over the PA to wake you up from nap time. U2 was doing elevation on day 1 and then things got worse...
6. Scooters! Everyone and their dog rides them. And like everything else, they are miniature sized. Chicks look cute on them and all guys look gay.
7. Everybody and their dogs also smoke cigarettes. After a couple of hours in a club even my underclothes stank of tobacco.
8. Traffic is a nightmare not unlike India. Just shut your eyes and pray Mr. Roadkill gets you home safely.
9. Roads and streets are pristine clean unlike India.
10. People are genuinely friendly. Or maybe the dollar talks. Either ways, it goes a long way in easing the frustration of communicating.

Oh, and I was named emperor in one of the smaller towns i visited.