i used to never like taiwan.
granted, i had never been before, but growing up in cantonese los angeles, i didn’t like hearing the sound of mandarin spoken and a taiwanese restaurant in monterey park accounted for one of the worst meals i had ever eaten (to this day even) so i grew up with an anti-taiwanese bias.
this was amplified when i got to university and there was a taiwanese guy on my floor in the dorm who LOVED to flaunt his money. he drove a bmw 3-series (this was kind of a big deal) had a 27″ television in his dorm room and talked about how bad cal was at this and that and that he was going to transfer to penn at his first chance. my roommate and i became steadfastly anti-taiwanese, in large part due to fred.
however, my first work assignment when working at my second job in hong kong was working on a project in taipei for two weeks and as time went on, i was spending more and more time in taiwan. just through my hazy memories, i was spending 2-4 weeks a year there between 2000 and 2002 working on various projects on the ground in taipei, taichung and kaohsiung and i gradually fell in love with the place.
taipei is not the prettiest city in the world (my friend sam says its “blade runner-esque”) but the people and the food more than outweigh the plainness of the city.
and sometimes, it can look pretty neat.
last week, i had some meetings in taipei, but it turned into a big excuse to eat and eat and eat.
this is from our first lunch in taipei. more to come.