Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year! Ein Gutes Neues Jahr!

Christmas in Taiwan was as expected a different experience than before. Then again- the typical commercialization of it was also plainly visible here, especially around the Taipei 101 area with a little Japanese Wonderland and Christmas songs blaring from everywhere....We decided to go there on Christmas day-we are children of our time- and so our Christmas dinner consisted of Indian food, that we found at one of the exquisit foodcourts of the huge shopping malls there. We walked around and just enjoyed watching the lights and listening to Christmas music played by some kids who had their faces painted with European and North American flags.
For New Year we headed out with Fred's cousin Megan(NiuNiu) and her husband Alexander to see the Taipei 101 fireworks. We were only 4 of 200 000 people, mostly teenagers who had the same idea, and so traffic turned out to be pure chaos.We were still stuck in the taxi and miles away from 101 when there were about 15 minutes left till midnight, which left us worried if we would really make it. We decided to get out and make a run for it- us and everybody around us and so this huge mass of people came wobbling towards Taipei 101. And finally, with about 3 minutes left, we were close enough to see the building and we positioned ourselves. Then the countdown started, and there it was, the New Year with a great show of we thought....unfortunately after all the struggle to get there to see the fireworks, they lasted about 2 or 3 minutes, which left probably everybody a bit dumbfounded...but that was it...we tried to move with the mass of people and just went into a cafe to wait for all the people to disperse. Later that night we stopped at a little restaurant to get some food, which showed me that I have adjusted quite a bit to my life here. Why- you might ask- well, I still ate there even after I saw a little cockroach crawling up the walls. I wasn't very hungry after this, but I still ate there...mostly veggies, but still...;) Only shows that one of the things that I have learned is, that oftentimes flexibility and the willingness to move beyond paradigms open up whole new worlds- admittedly both good and bad, but all in all predominantly good. Western hygiene standards usually don't apply here and therefore you just have to make the best of it, otherwise you might miss out on a lot of things. Some of them being the foods at those kinds of places, that still can and usually do taste miraculously delicious..;)and the people who are friendly and generous.

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