7 Nights in Taipei
Well, I’ve survived seven nights in Taipei! I’m now in Hong Kong and I do hope to have more detailed posts in the future, including some pictures. But I thought it would be good to just post a quick status update.
It is amazing how fast 7 nights can go when you are very busy and effectively “on” from about 7am to 11pm each day. Monday and Tuesday were tour days that I had to attend; Monday to the last day of the almost 7-month Taipei International Flora Exposition and the National Palace Museum, and Tuesday to the Taiwan High Speed Rail line and the Kaohsiung MRT (metro). Then Wednesday through Friday were our more standard meeting days, which included me giving presentations for about 2 hours each on Thursday and Friday on four separate topics – all of which, I’m happy to report, went very well!
Throughout the meeting I had (well, I really want to say “suffered through”) four formal Chinese meals and four additional less formal (buffet style, and three of the four had labels in English). Those are really the hardest part of the whole thing for me. By the way, it isn’t just the food; there is also the chopsticks (related to the food, of course), the stilted conversation, the challenges interpreting what people are saying (due to different languages), etc. The four formal meals were all 8-10 courses, usually starting with a sort of appetizer course that featured several different things. I don’t even know what all I had; some of it was of course not bad or even bordering on good (like dim sum and some prawn-err, shrimp dishes), but others were downright awful. One of the bad ones that I can recall was abalone. I at the time had no idea what this was, but Wikipedia has just enlightened me – edible (so they say) sea snails, of which I had what I think was the meat/flesh.
Anyway, as usual, the week was amazingly exhausting. Saturday I tried to do my best to see some of Taipei and the Taipei Metro, and then got up early to go to the airport this morning. Now I’m at the end of this first day in Hong Kong and ready to collapse. So I’m heading to bed now, but stay tuned in the future for my impressions and some pictures!