I handpicked each of these photos below in an attempt to summarize Taipei, Taiwan as seen through my eyes. Each of these photos represents a much larger story or cultural aspect which I will hopefully delve into post by post at later dates. But I felt it was time to stop with the niche stories and give you a broader perspective.
Xinyi District near the famous 101 building, which you can see in the back left.
You see some graffiti around, but usually the less artistic types like this are carefully removed.
Corners of a Taoist temple in the city.
Typical view of Taipei city
The 101 building, world’s tallest building from 2004-2010. I must have taken this on a Thursday because it’s lit up in green. Starting on Monday night with red, it is lit up according to the colors of the rainbow – ROYGBIV.
Da’an market. These type of soy products are common in markets and restaurants.In fact each 711 convenience store has these products floating in hot water. You select what you want and pay by weight. I was always struck by how all the products like this are similar in color, and not usually an appealing one for a westerner.
Walking home, I snapped this photo of a brother and sister with their MdDonalds to-go bags.
There are small city parks everywhere in Taipei and they are most definitely used at all hours of the day, especially on weekends as seen here. I have many more photos like this, showing people of all ages using the parks for all kinds of reasons.
Along my jogging route
The next five photos depict what the nightlife is like in Taipei
All this is a planned part of the performance. This type of club is somewhat common; often it’s about a $20 USD cover charge for all you can drink. Classier clubs charge just as much but only give you two drink tickets. Sometimes those clubs have performers as well.
Part of these girls’ show is to walk around onstage pouring this disgustingly sweet liquor into people’s mouths.
Barcode in Xinyi district
Most Taiwanese don’t go out to clubs or bars at all. They hole up in their room alone or with friends playing computer games. People whose parents disapprove or don’t have their own computer or internet come to this internet cafe and pay $1 USD per hour to feed their addiction. It’s common for the place to be filled up like this.
In an underground level of one of the malls near an MRT station, I saw these young kids playing some kind of card game.
Rain is a big part of living in Taipei. A scooter driver always has a raincoat in his/her seat.
I snapped this photo in the house of a lady I tutor. There are six people in this family including the grandmother and grandfather who live on a separate floor. The two children age 4 and 7 have their own floor consisting of three rooms as well. There’s an elevator to get between floors.
711s are usually filled with people at any time of day.
As with many foreigners, teaching English is a big part of the experience. The classrooms are a fraction of the size of public school rooms in the U.S.
Not knowing Chinese has its effects. I could figure out how to use this remote to turn on my air conditioner, but it wasn’t until the wet winter was over and many things in my room had molded that I learned it had a dehumidifier function.
I will definitely do an in-depth blog post on Taiwanese fashion in the future. I have many more photos like this.
Typical couple scootin around. Oh, this is a motorcycle actually.
Street dance performance in Ximending shopping area.
Parade on a special Lunar Calendar holiday that comes only every 12 years. I felt so lucky to have been able to see over an hour of it.
This isn’t exactly a typical sight, but if you wander into the smaller alley ways you see more and more of people’s taking their lives outdoors. Living space is crowded and some people like congregating on the sidewalks anyway.