Day 3: Taipei, Taiwan

Sunday, 15 April 2018 – Day 3: Taipei, Taiwan (25.0330° N, 121.5654° E)

Nihao…A BIG wet windy welcome from Taipei, Taiwan the Republic of China (ROC)–where everything used to be made.

Day 3 report…but what happened to Day 2 you ask? Well, we were surfing earth’s time-space continuum for thirteen plus hours aboard a China Airlines 767 from SFO, which thankfully, safely alighted us here in Taipei. Missed my wife Pamela’s birthday altogether—sorry honey, maybe next year!

We have established our home base at the Palais de Chine Hotel in Taipei, a traditional Chinese establishment centrally located near Taipei’s major logistical hubs in the heart of a rather dynamic city. It could be worse…but our travelers are smiling though a tad discombobulated…they just traveled 16-hours ahead in time to a strange culture…We should all shake off the effects of our trans-Pacific flight in no time, although I highly discourage napping today.

Teams quickly refreshed and were sent out for a moderately easy and introductory two-day urban Par 3 Scavenger Hunt in one of the safest and easiest-to-navigate public transport network that links this cosmopolitan capital with a bounty of natural and man-made wonders. High-speed rail, subways, buses…use them all!

Our 2018 tribe at San Francisco Bon Voyage dinner sans two teams…

We will see our teams again tomorrow evening (Monday night) at 8:30PM.

Teams have 5-Bonus Scavenges to choose from and 40+ regular site-doing scavenges, including:
-Making paper, making lanterns, making noodles…
-Visiting a Zen meditation center to get Zen
-Attend a Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) game
-Take a dip in a communal hot spring
-Play board games with locals

It is said that traveling is like flirting with life—go flirt folks…have fun and have a great day!

I am on a noodle scavenger hunt myself…then…

Off to fish market…

Visiting  Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall…

Locating surprises that await in the night market…

Our Taipei home away from home, the logistically located: Palais de Chine Hotel

A few knee-jerk observations from Taipei…Taiwan is not part of China. I know this because unlike China, Taiwan is a democratic country—and it shows with their President only having a 50% approval rating (No his name is not Trump, it is Tsia Ing-wen, and he is a she: Madam President Tsia Ing-wen!)…as the economy is not growing as much as her voters would like it to, but her rapid empathetic response to a recent earthquake here, helped show off her obvious skills. Taiwan is slightly bigger than Belgium and about the size of Massachusetts for our friends who don’t know a solitary geographical thing about Belgium. Taiwan is of course China’s contrarian runaway bride–and they want the renegade province (sic) back despite not ruling the island since 1895, then called Formosa.

Oddities: Taiwan has the highest density of convenience stores in the world—snacks and beverages on the go-go…Get this: Most Taiwanese don’t like the rain; and it rains often here as it was on our arrival…yet, walking in it, even in a bit of rain, is a no-no. Why? I think this has to do with pollution and fears of acid rain falling on their skin?! Maybe not… Taiwan also has one of the highest recycling rates in the world—no trash anywhere here and easy places to discard stuff…Taiwan also currently has the lowest birthrate in the world—don’t see a lot of babies here, but a lot of twenty-somethings on phones—so you never know!?…but Taiwan is home to 23.5 million folks that call this island their home—making Taiwan one of the most densely populated places in the world…Metro Taipei has 7-million residents (about the size of Houston)…Taipei is a very livable city–calm and clean with free nation-wide Wi-Fi…and one of the lowest poverty rates in the world (although homeless can be seen near the train stations) and one of the safest cities you’ll probably ever visit…the subways work well and are cheap—about .35 cents a ride…and folks here wear surgical masks not out of fear of catching someone elses infectious disease—but as a courtesy to others because they feel sick! Think about that…

So that is all news I have…till tomorrow.