These are going to be random images from all over, so bear with me...
This is the view from my 11th floor window. It's a really cool little playground between high rises. Next to the playground is a preschool/ kindergarten.
And here is the view of the room itself; my "home" for 10 days.
And here's the lobby... getting ready for Chinese New Year.
These wooden statues, which were amazing, were lined up in front of a building that was little more than a shed that looked like it would fall over in a breeze.
This picture doesn't really do justice to the power of the scooter in Taiwan. They are, literally, everywhere. As our great guide Michael pointed out; Taiwan is a country with a population of about 23 million people and there are 8+ million scooters in Taiwan. That means there is a scooter for every 3rd person in the country! That is an astounding number.
The scooters may outnumber the cars... but the cars still win in a fight. It's like this one exploded... but it didn't.
(More pictures later...)
Taiwan is a series of contradictions and incomprehensible conditions. Taiwan has a reputation for being crowded and busy and dirty and smelly and all kinds of things that are not exactly flattering. However, I can honestly report that the people have been unbelievably warm and friendly and caring. They have been so very eager to share their world with us and to help with anything. I have been floored by the kindness and generosity of the people I have met in the companies and factories I have visited, but also by the average person on the street. I kind of stick out like Godzilla here, being nearly 6'3" tall. I'm a lot bigger than the average Taiwanese person and I get a lot of stares, but I also get as many smiles and waves as I walk around. The people here are amazing and proud of their country. Many of the people I have spoken to know their countries less than pretty reputation of course, but they live with the ugly and the beautiful side by side. Sure, I don't know if I could live here, but I know that visiting isn't a problem. Yes, it's dirty and smelly in places at times, but at the same time the people erase a lot of that perception with their personality. I have been so blown away by the weird amazingness of the country and people- I mean, where else are you going to find the massive industrial/ factory infrastructure with thousands of Buddhist temples sprinkled in and around them?
Ok, time for bed now, since it is after 11:00PM local time and I have another day of 5 visits tomorrow.
I'll be back with many more pictures and stories...