Taipei In A Wrap

In Asia, everything is cute or compact. What’s cute is usually compact as well: miniature toys, toy poodles, girls… but what’s compact is not always cute. The room I stayed in at my distant uncle’s over the summer was a Taipei standard. Oh, an 8 x 10′ box, perhaps? The mattress was smaller than a twin and hugged the ground without a box spring. My baby pink, Hello Kitty sheets were much appreciated (since they have two sons and no daughter, but for someone who’s room is black & blue back home, I did not find them that cute). This time, I stayed at my distant aunt’s and pretty much slept in the 6 x 10′ storage room with a sleeping bag “blanket”…but I didn’t mind. Though this trip still paled in comparison with my summer adventures, the last two weeks I spent in Taipei were fantastic.

101 alley doggies love love2 santa traffic

Besides spending quality time alone in the library and Eslite bookstores (think B&N or Borders with 6 stories), I also…

  • Met up with my old colleagues in the Shida or Shilin nightmarkets numerous times, where we did stuff like…play jenga
  • Ate brunch with Tina and the gal behind Hungry In Taipei (who took Jon and me to another place for lunch two days later)
  • Sat in a kitschy, empty bar with Andrew and Jon before we decided to grab Taiwan Beers from 7-11
  • Went night-shooting with Jon and hit up Wu Fen Pu afterwards (before getting lost on the way back)
  • Spent an innocent night in a park on seesaws and seahorses with four boys (after hitting up 2046), where we discussed everything from HKU’s new-found fascination with “Shen-pong” (Andrew Shen’s beer pong) and Andrew Lo’s dad hating on MMIAF/MDIAF

…and more. Una and I also talked to Wunan Book Publishing three times, once during a formal meeting at their office where we were surrounded by inquisitive folk firing away question after question in pure Mandarin. I bust out my Chinglish to the best of my abilities. Since I’m back, we are somehow going to manage creating this picture book via The Internetz only. This will be a true testament to web 3.0’s capabilities (seeing that Teresa and I—both internet people—can’t get this other book together within a year).

With that said, it still feels great to be back. Saturday, my dad and I cruised down Calaveras Rd. towards Sunol, and Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” came on the radio. We turned the volume up and rolled down the windows.

child grabs a bubble at the Shilin nightmarket (it was dark, and thus the blur)