Last Days of 2008

Well…2008 is almost gone. Nothing is coming back for us, so it might really be the right time to revise what we’ve done during the last 365 days..good or bad, smart or not so smart, responsible or irresponsible… There are 2 days left but I don’t expect any miracle to happen during those last hours..only thing I hope is to really enjoy the celebration at the Taipei 101(if I can really go there).

What happened while I was away for those 3 days? We spend all the time in Taipei and I thought at first that it was really going to take a long time to explore the city, but once we went there and walked around we realized that central Taipei is not as big as it looks. The whole city is definitely huge, but not where we walked since we could explore most of the areas just by walking.


That shot above is really symbolic and I wanted to take it ever since I arrived in Taiwan but never had the change before. I think the picture says it all…I’ve never seen so many scooters at one place in my life…The essence of Taipei traffic 🙂

IMG_5819Another thing that is quite noticeable as well is how the government in Taiwan can’t decide which pinyin form to use. At first the sign was meant to be “Chung-Hsiao”, but later it was changed to “Zhong Xiao”. The second one is more appropriate in my opinion but all the cities in Taiwan are written using the other form( Taichung …TaiZhong). The whole problem comes from the fact that Taiwan doesn’t use pinyin in schools at all(unlike China) and many people are getting confused writing Chinese words using Latin letters.

Basically that Friday we visited most places along the south-western part of Taipei including 2-28 Peace park, The Presidential Building, National Museum of History(again I was speechless after I went in), the Botanical Garden, Ximending, Camera Street(no idea on the Chinese name) and Nova Computer mall…I didn’t buy anything which was good as well 😀

IMG_5827 IMG_5845 IMG_5868 IMG_5873

Later we were finally able to get closer to this 🙂


Taipei 101 – the most impressive building in whole Taipei. Currently the tallest building in the world(but not taller than the CN tower I think) it is indeed an architectural masterpiece. But before we went closer we passed by Sun Yat Seng memorial hall where the guards had a special ceremony.IMG_5893From the inside the 101 looked really familiar – a typical shopping mall. The only difference was that it’s huge and looked really nice for the holidays. It reminded me somehow of Yorkdale, but just a little bit. We went to the ground floor where the food court was and I was so delighted to buy some cheese bread from the bakery. I told Vivian that if there are such bakeries in Canada for the same price I’ll be shopping in there every single day 🙂 After that we walked around and were tempted to go up to the top of the building but $400 seemed way too much.


The events on the following day were a little unexpected but it was a good “bonus” for us. We wanted to go to Yang Ming Shan mountain and one of the AIESECers(Xiao Yu) was going to take us there. What we didn’t expect was that her cousin agreed to drive us there. This way we were able to explore the mountain and visit one more special place as well – I don’t remember the name but I think the pictures can explain well enoughIMG_5960 IMG_5990 IMG_5969 IMG_5968

I am so glad that I was able to see that place, because I never really realised it even exists…cause it looks so unreal 🙂

Around 5PM we went back to Taipei and visited Miramar and the night market as well. I was looking for shoes even though I had almost finished my money by that time.

Sunday I didn’t feel well at all…I had soar throat and I felt really hot. Fortunately I felt much better in the afternoon after lunch and after walking around some stores in Ximending 😉 Checked around for some cameras as well but I’ll consider buying after I exchange money.

Now I’ll stay for only 2 days in the school and tomorrow I am leaving again for Taoyuan. It’s a holiday in here


2 thoughts on “Last Days of 2008

  1. melissa says:

    Hi Stan,

    A couple of q’s if you have a minute–

    I’m interested in systems of Romanization on signage in Taipei and really like your photo above of Zhong Xiao.

    Did you take it recently? Where was the sign, do you remember?

    Also, would it be possible for me to possibly use it in the future in my teaching and my research?

    Happy New Year!


    • Stan says:

      Hi Melissa
      Sorry for the late’s just I was a little busy last days.
      I don’t think I can help you much with the romanization because I am not very familiar with that as well. That picture I took last Friday(Dec.26) near the Taipei Main Station at that intersection.
      Of course, you can use the picture.
      Happy New Year as well.

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