I'm starting my 3rd full day here in Taipei and I'm only starting to get my bearings. Yes, I was born here. And I speak some mandarin, but I'm am really a foreigner. I'm suffering culture shock. I have to do mental exercises to gather courage and start to venture out on my own here. Take a deep breath and plunge in. Not reading Chinese is the most intimidating I think. It makes me feel limited in how far I feel comfortable venturing. But not to worry, this will change soon if I have anything to say about it.
In the meantime, several interesting topics are starting to unveil themselves. This road on which a small alley empties is a road which my grandfather was responsible for building. Over 30 years ago, this area was rural and on the outskirts of town. My grandfather, the entrepreneur of his time, built a factory here. Well, it was for freezing and refrigeration services that were so new for it's day. We owned the whole building. And if I reach far enough back into my memories, I can even remember being two years old and calling out for my grandfather in the early mornings when I heard his footsteps. He would come get and bring me down to the grounds with him for his morning inspections.
Though I would rather be in South America right now, I expect there are more than enough things for me to explore and rediscover here in the home of my birth. The stories, the food, the people, the lifestyles that are so different from my own. Here are some interesting factoids:
Internet Cafe: NT$40.00
Simple Breakfast: NT$60.00
Fancy Buffet Lunch: NT$390.00