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UHD students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences traveled to Taipei and Tainan, Taiwan from Dec. 29, 2012 through Jan. 9, 2013. Read about their adventures as they explore night markets, temples, monuments, museums and karaoke bars, writing about it all as they go. Experience their joy as they gather among hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese to welcome in the New Year with fireworks under a full moon in the amazing city of Taipei. Follow them day by day as they travel the country, meeting students from the National University of Tainan, sharing with them and with others the pleasure of cultural exchange.
Lauren Parkerson - Greetings from Taipei!
Our journey so far has taken us from Detroit to Tokyo to downtown Taipei, and what a journey it has been. I am not going to deny that the trip over was brutal; however our reward has been great. The sights, the people, and the treasures that this city has are unbelievable. I have never been so immersed in a culture so quickly. There haven't been too many other Americans that I have seen thus far, and to be honest, I like it. Everything is so new and different to me. Our western culture has not totally penetrated the Taiwanese culture, and it is refreshing. Last night is a great example of what I am talking about. It was New Year's Eve here, and we went to the most amazing fireworks show off of Taipei 101. With over 800,000 people at the event it was a sight to see. The main thing that I noticed was that the people here know how to celebrate. Walking through the streets there were families and groups of friends that we polite and civil. There were no drunken stragglers, or petty fights in the streets. Everyone was there to have a good time with respect to the people next to them. I can say that having been to New Orleans, Las Vegas, and New York for New Year's Eve, this party is different in a good way. I am off for acupuncture, a traditional Taiwanese way to detox the body and enjoy relaxation.
Paula Doan - Poem: 49, Sec. 3, Cheng-De Road: 6:30 a.m.
Morning in the city
waking a new day, a new year.
Sun peeping between the buildings;
a buffet of life.
Waking a new day, a new year;
the clean canvas beckons a brush.
A buffet of life
on the grimy city street.
The clean canvas beckons a brush
to color the gray lives
on the grimy city street.
The woman pushes her cart of rainbow fruit.
To color the gray lives
the woman pushes her cart of rainbow fruit
Because somewhere he is hungry for breakfast.
the broken man hobbles down the sidewalk never looking up
because now he is hungry for breakfast.
The rainbow fruit can nourish his soul.
The broken man hobbles down the sidewalk never looking up,
passing the scooters parked on the sidewalk.
The rainbow fruit would nourish his soul,
but he ignores the 7-11.
Passing the scooters parked on the sidewalk,
sun peeping between the buildings,
and he ignores the 7-11.
Morning in the city.
Christian Smallwood – We were so lost!
I am having so much fun in Taiwan! My friend, Kim Williams, and I set out to visit a few night markets in Taipei and got lost! While looking at the "Metro" maps (what we would call the subway) we were trying to navigate our way to visit markets that open from around 4 p.m. to midnight and sell various items such as fresh fruit, candy, clothes, souvenirs, etc. and we must have looked confused, because a Taiwanese native named Andy approached us. He was so helpful! He offered to show us around Taipei. We went to a few night markets in the area, visited a street called "Herb Street" where we were able to taste several herbs native to the country and Andy explained to us what each one was for. Also, we visited Longshan Temple. Also, Andy explained to us how the Taiwanese pray, communicate with their Gods, and what each God represents. All the homeless people in Taipei gather outside of this temple and after the natives give offerings to their Gods and pray, they often give the homeless these offerings. Andy also showed us where some locals were filming a movie! Hopefully I would be an extra in the background, Hollywood here I come! Taiwan is such an amazing experience, I hope I can come back and possibly study here for a semester. Truly, everyone should experience the wonders and beauty of Taiwan!
Leroy Adams – I love the Night Market
This was a night at the Shilin Night Market imagine a Flea Market and Carnival games combined and you'll have an idea. These two gentlemen were kind enough to sell me a watch and take this photo with me. In the photo you can see a plethora of watches of many different brands, colors and sizes. I love the Night Market!
Adrianna Martinez – Like a fair
The Shilin Night Market it is like a fair. There is a section with all kinds of food. It is impressive to see the incredible number of people who cram into the food section. There were stands of people selling all kinds of products and snacks and there were carnival-like games as well. The food was a new world to me. We tried oyster omelet, the Taiwanese version of lemonade, fried crab, fried oysters, and noodles. We found Greek food, a kind of a seafood empanada, shaved ice cream, Chinese apples and pork empanadas. Even though all of these things sound so familiar, they are not like the ones we eat at home - they have their own taste, their unique flavor.
Anthony Mindiola - “I Didn’t Travel All This Way to Rest”
By now I’m tired and the jet lag is catching up with me. Breakfast is good and the French fries that on the buffet table are not that bad. We have plans as a group to meet at the Shilin Night Market. This is a very popular night spot for locals and tourist. At this point I don’t feel like a tourist because I’ve done my research on the night markets and I know what to expect. Everything can be bought at a night market and all kinds of food can be tasted. I decide to take a power nap to reserve my energy. Well, when I wake up I’m late and come to find out I miss the bus. I wasn’t the only one to miss the bus because I over slept, so did my roommate’s.
If there’s one thing I credit myself with that’s being on time. We just heard a lecture from professor about being on time. The three of us are up and out the lobby as if we were late for class. We grab a cab and are at the market no less than 30 minutes late. We run into some students and they say we didn’t miss much of the evening. We also ran into the Dr. Sample who understood that we might have been out doing our own thing. The night market turned out to be a good time and I was able to buy two cute Asian dolls for my daughters, the kind that you don’t see in the States. I get back to the hotel and I think I’m going to rest and call it a night the weather outside is wet and cold. At about 9 pm the phone starts ringing and the invites to step out and see the town start coming in. One of the catch phrases echoed by my classmates is, “You didn’t come all this way to rest, let’s step out and see Taiwan!” Needless to say, I join them for an interesting evening.
Most shop and vendors are off on the first day of the New Year spending time with their families. But we do manage to find a place that caters to our group of about 10 with an array of food and drink. I don’t know the name of the place, but this is what it was called. The waiter was real nice and understood that all we wanted to do was sample as many different food that they had to offer. We were the only guest and we were given the VIP treatment. There was an assortment of seafood, meats, and noodles, all bite size. I think we all had our share to tasting everything and considered it a meal. The price was very reasonable costing about 7 US dollars per person. I think the wait staff enjoyed our company on a slow night they even offered to take our picture while we ate and they served.
Lu Reyes and Chris Elmore Photos, Thoughts
The interesting coffee cups with a lid, but no handle at Hotel Santos, Taipei.
I don't usually eat chips, but I bought both immediately. Lay's potato chips in seaweed and chicken flavor. Purchased from 7-11. These Pringles are smaller than usual.
A stroll around the supermarket revealed this: packs of 4 imported strawberries that cost roughly $10 USD.
Drinking mango flavored Taiwan beer at their brewery. You can purchase their various products and snacks. You can enjoy them immediately, because they had tables outdoors for drinking and smoking.
Neihu Wholesale Flower Market on January 1, New Year’s Day 2013. The flower market was fully open before 9 a.m. unlike other businesses which were closed all day.
Fabric purchased from the Tongle Wholesale Market.
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Last updated or reviewed on 1/6/14