I don’t know how much people know of Taiwan, seeing as how I’ve been coming to Taiwan since I was little. I wonder what images Taiwan brings to mind for these people. Do they think of the countless restaurants and food carts? Do they imagine the bright lights of a night market, the pushing and the heat? Here are some of the things that Taiwan has meant to me on this trip.
Beef Noodle Soup: This particular soup is not spicy and is not the one that is normally associated with Taiwan. However, it was the first beef noodle soup I ordered in Taiwan at the Taipei Main Station Underground Mall and it was delicious. Beef noodle soup is incredibly popular in Taiwan, usually braised with soy sauce and tomatoes to make a dark broth and is usually a little spicy, because Taiwanese people like their spicy foods.
Shuang Ho Hospital: I’m interning at Taipei Medical University. The school has three affiliated hospitals. This is one of them. Taiwan’s hospitals are incredibly clean and have great facilities. Of course, I have never been in a hospital in America so I can’t compare, but compared to the rest of Taiwan, they are top notch. Shuang Ho Hospital especially, since it is very new, built back in 2000 something. Their facilities are also quite something. It is such a large hospital, and they’re currently working on building a second building behind what is in the picture, so it will be even bigger!
Raohe Night Market: Though not my favorite, this night market evokes more of an emotional memory for me. Ever since I was little this was the night market we would always go to on a trip back to Taiwan. This market contains more food stalls than some other nearby night markets, and the food is quite delicious. Most Taiwanese delicacies you can find among these food vendors. This one also has small games for children and adults to play, such as fishing! [A favorite among children.] My most vivid memory of this place is pulling up to the night market in a taxi with my parents and aunt. The whole trip would pass as a blur but once we pulled up everything was brightly lit. Something pungent always hits the nose first when the door opens but the next big thing are the people. Especially as a child, seeing that many people [who are all taller than me] was exciting and yet scary at the same time.
Pavilion of Dreams: The culmination of advanced technology in Taiwan is on exhibition at the Pavilion of Dreams. As you walk into the pavilion you are handed your own personal wristlet. This wristlet allows you to personally interact with the exhibit via RFID [ I believe]. Anyway, after the first big flower show [as pictured] you pick one of five dreams that you want to grow from [I picked career]. Then you capture the flower that is given to you [I was given a leaf…] and proceed through the exhibit! There are different visual displays as well as physical interactions, etc. It’s a little difficult to describe. At the end your flower [leaf] transforms due to your interactions and choices throughout the exhibit. The flower gains some characteristics from some other flowers and then floats away into the “stream of life”. You hand in your wristlet and get a printout of your flower’s end result. Here’s mine:
I kid you not, this started out as a heart-shaped leaf. Look at how it grew!!
Taipei 101: Last but not least [for now], the biggest symbol of Taiwan. Taipei 101 has the world’s fastest elevator, bringing you to the top in an earpopping few seconds [don’t know the amount]. I plan on visiting it soon and watching the sunset from the tippy top but until then here’s a picture of the building [that I took myself from the hospital’s 13th floor!] You can see this building from all over the place in Taipei.
My trip in Taiwan is half over, but that means there’s still more to come!