Monday, August 9, 2010

Taiwan: Foreign Travel and International Experience -Take Two

Disclaimer : I repeat My name is Simba and I am not a racist. :-|

We were waiting at the Bangkok Airport for our continuing flight to Taiwan.As we navigated the airport to reach our Security Check In point, at one place I stopped for a brief second looking in horror at what lay ahead of me.Escalators!! I have had a strange phobia for escalators ever since I can remember.I avoid them at all costs .In shopping malls or any other place I always take the stairs.The phobia is mainly because I always have an queer feeling that my jeans will get caught at the end of it and I also don't like the queasy sensation one gets when one steps on an escalator.
           So in the airport I looked left and right for stairs but nope there were none.Refusing to freak out in front of my senior teammates lest I come across as a rustic character.(Hindi mein bole toh gaon ki gawar) I plucked up my courage and gingerly stepped on it.The initial queer sensation having subsided  I was extremely alert and timed my stepping out of it with precision so as to avoid my jeans getting caught.Time and again i encountered escalators after escalators in the airport.My phobia started diminishing slowly and I even came to the conclusion that they were not that bad after all(provided u stay alert and time ur stepping out with precision of course).Now  I can confidently say that one good thing that happened in the trip was that i overcame my fear of escalators. :D
My Room at The Leader
We finally boarded the plane and reached our destination.Taipei(Taiwan's capital city)was beautiful.During the journey from the airport to the main city we passed through a scenic landscape but the main city was a bit of a concrete jungle.We arrived at the hotel(The Leader) and after completing the check in formalities we headed for our rooms.Our rooms were luxurious without being ornate.They had a comfortable and homely feel to it.But the bathroom!!!  I gaped at it aghast. It had a translucent sliding panel for an excuse of  door and with no latch.Yes you read right No latch ! It was not defective in any way it was designed like that. :-| And they called this  a five star hotel.Hmph!

Later I wasted a good ten minutes trying to figure out how to work out the various knobs on the shower.It was the kind that had  water sprinkling from all sides.Cant these people keep anything simple? I reflected critically.Take a look at the pic in the side to fully understand the extent of my dilemma.Later as we waited in the lobby we were joined by other participating teams.They were mostly South Asians.As I looked at the sea of faces around me I was confounded as to how to tell them apart.:-o How to tell apart Vietnamese from Japanese from Hong Kong participants from Taiwanese from Koreans?? But right then i was transported to my kindergarten days when we used the Chinese Japanese Batameez (*slap* ) Sorry Please Jingle(accompanied by actions) to dupe our friends.I recalled that for Chinese we pulled our eye slits upwards and fr Japanese downwards.Therein lay the difference.I scanned the faces and was immediately able to pick out the Japanese girl with eye slits slanting downwards (Yes yes i know i am a genius :D )
Food(I think) we were served.
For the food we were served take a look at the pictures,A picture is worth a thousand words they say.I survived on Subway submarines during the entire trip and  devoured on the Theplas my Gujarati teammate had brought from home.Every time i raided his stock of food i thanked the Almighty profusely for Gujaratis and their habit of packing enough eatables to feed an entire army, for any trip.
Taipei is very famous for its Night markets(they are basically Street markets) which is an excellent place to shop for clothes, and gifts and try the local cuisine (if you are the daring type of course). One thing i liked about if was that shopkeepers  had their prices on display and didn't try to rip you off by quoting exorbitant prices just because you are a foreigner.The night markets we went to were Gong Guan Night Market and Shilin Night Market.
Taipei 101 at night
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
A very famous landmark of Taipei City is Taipei had the honor of being the tallest skyscraper and having the fastest elevator before Burj Khalifa overtook it in 2010 on both these counts The first five floors have a shopping mall.The view from the top is no doubt spectacular.I also found out that from 6:00 to 10:00 each evening  the tower's lights display one of seven colours in the spectrum.
Another remarkable structure is the The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall  erected in memory of Chiang Kai-shek,

former President of the Republic of China. It incorporates traditional Chinese Architecture and is a  mesmerizing piece of work.
Now allow me to describe a little bit about the Awards ceremony night of the Elsa Wto Moot court Competition.We had decided to wear ethnic Indian clothes for the function.(And oh btw we were placed third in the Competition :D ) I wore a salwar suit ,the other two girls wore Sarees and the guy member a sherwani.Needless to say the other foreigner participants all went gaga over our traditional outfits.All of them wanted to pose for photos with us.I guess i ought to be flattered but right then i was feeling like a Mickey Mouse in Disneyland with whom everybody wants to take a photo. :-|
The competition was over and the next day we were headed for Hong Kong.The Hong Kong experience coming up in the next post.Stay tuned :D

P.S -All photos (except the shower one is from my camera :D ) 
P.S.S :This post was short before I added pics.I swear!!! :( :(


  1. I remember your fear of escalators! You simply refused to use them in Lucknow when we went for Quanta. :)
    And by the way, you are a mickey mouse. Its high time you start realizing that :P

  2. abbe short and big ki bacchi, write ur heart out be, without bothering who will comment, how will comment :O
    nice post again :D
    escalators ka phobia se even i got over...hey hey i hv to write a post on that, yo yo :D
    nice pics =) seems like an awesome happening place :-w

  3. Mads got over escalator phobia...? when was I going to be informed... :-w

    Sorry Sreeja... I love the way you've described the experience and I having had my first taste of phoren luxury recently can nod my head all the way ;) But you went for a competition... that is sooo nice :D congrats! :) :)

  4. @Neha : U remember my phobia? :D >:D<

    @Madhuri: Writing my heart out only. lekin i go on and is turning into a novella :P
    U write abt ur phobia jaldi se.Will love to read :)

    @Akansha:Thank you :D
    Which phoren land did u visit?

    P.s what was the sorry for? :-o Didnt get u. :-o

  5. Akansha, oh yeah i forgot to tell u. Hyd mei i got over. Abhinav and Ashwin left me once so i had to come by myself =(