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Trip Report II - Taiwan

January 01, 2001 - January 19, 2001

Taiwan was great =) I have so much unpacking to do =D

My new nickname is "The Bride". W's family is pretty well known in the Hsin Chu area, so almost everyone on the block, the store owners within a 5-block radius, the local police and superintendants that hang around the family, all their family and friends knew that Will and I were in town.

But not many people knew my name, so whenever anyone talks about me, it's The Bride this, The Bride that, what does The Bride want to eat? =) And even though it seems like everybody and their little sister in Hsin Chu are getting married, _I_am_The_Bride_. It's kinda nifty to be that well known. =)

Will's family owns a 5 theatre cinema that plays Time Warner movies. We saw "Christina's House" - I think it was trying to be a horror movie... the only interesting thing was the guy who plays the teenage boyfriend, Eddie, is played by Brendan Fehr who, I SWEAR looks exactly like a young David Duchovny and I'm absolutely stunned that he has NEVER appeared on X-Files as a young Fox Mulder.

We also saw "Get Carter" and Jackie Chan's "The Accidental Spy".

We did our engagement photos. We walked in with street clothes, clean hair and clean face. They did the makeup, hair and provided all the clothes. We had 6 changes of clothes - 2 white wedding gown sets; 2 evening gown sets; a Japanese geisha/samurai set and a Chinese Qing Dynasty Emperor/Empress set =) They drove us out to the external locations. By the end of the day, I had 20 layers of hairspray, about 9 layers of makeup and sore face from smiling. At least lunch was provided...

I'll be scanning them in soon =) We got two huge albums of 30 11x15" pics each, the negatives for 62 shots, and 58 extra prints with no negatives. All for NT$45,000 (about US$2300, CDN$3000). The albums are "Artisan" albums with deep thoughts, poetry in fancy fonts, etc. except, they invariably have spelling errors and horrible grammar mistakes. We have the most fun laughing at the words - "I saw big bright ger fainted in the dust".

Winters in Taiwan are nice, it's anywhere from 13-18C. The only thing is that they don't believe in indoor heating. They have air conditioning, but no heat. So, while 13-18C is a nice _outdoor_ temperature, it's bloody freezing for an indoor temperature. We had to use little portable heaters at night.

Traffic is bananas. It's just like China except with scooters instead of bicycles. It _always_ looks like rush hour and rush hour looks like a national evacuation. The only traffic rule is: "Just don't hit anybody". Any piece of flat real estate, including the shoulder and the meridian, is fair game for driving on. Unless someone is selling immitation Hello Kitty trinkets on it, in which case you swerve around them and continue driving on the shoulder. If you weren't suppose to drive somewhere, there will be something blocking your way, like someone's immitation Hello Kitty trinket business or a living room.

A green light means "go" and red light means "if you hit someone, their gang will drag you out of your car and pummel you on the spot". If there's no light, then do whatever. If you're turning, the lights don't apply to you. =) There are amazingly few accidents and everyone gets to wherever they want to go in a reasonable amount of time.

Clothes fit me off the rack. I must have a typical Asian female body. I can get pants that fit my ass, my thighs, my waist AND my hips AND it's the right length. Woot! =)

Taiwan has their own phonetic romanization non-system. They make it up as they go along. I've seen the same character translated 4 or 5 different ways in English.

We went to Taipei, a short 2 day trip to the southern tip of the island, GaoXiong ("KaoHsiong", as they spell it) and a 3 day trip to Hong Kong. We went to Ocean Park and the TaiPing mountain top in HK. I caught some germs just before we left, so by Day 3 in HK, I had a pretty bad sinus cold. I just stayed in the hotel room and slept =P

Just like any Chinese family, W's family kept taking us out to eat. My excuse for not eating much was that I was getting married soon and I already have my wedding gowns, so I couldn't gain weight. I joked that I needed a sign on my forehead that said "Please do not feed the bride" like a zoo animal. They have a food court on the ground floor of the theatres, so we had our pick of anything we wanted every day. W and I just got stuff to share. =)

I love shopping for little things in Taiwan, it's inexpensive and there's a Hello Kitty version of EVERYTHING =)


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The Bride of the First House

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