Japan with Chinese Characteristics

As I step into my last Taipei taxi, heading for the airport and home, I look out on this amazing city and think about how it compares to mainland China and other Asian nations in my travels. That’s when it hits me.

Taiwan isn’t China. Taiwan is Japan with Chinese characteristics.

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My Midnight Savior – OK

Its late, who knows what time, and I am famished. It’s been an all-night (or with jet lag, all day) bender, a Carnegie’s kinda night, and I haven’t eaten since sometime yesterday or maybe tomorrow. Who knows, I only know I need to eat.

Trouble is, this is Taipei, and while it wants to be a 24 hour city, nothing is open. Not a restaurant, not a cafe, only bars, and they’ve stopped servicing food hours ago.

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Typhoon Taipei

It’s my last day in Taipei and I can’t wait to leave. It’s not that I dislike the Japan with Chinese characteristics culture or the constant rejections by the Computex Sales Girl Soft Porn, it’s the constant, never-ending, tropical-storm strength torrential rains that are getting to me. I am tired of Typhoon Taipei

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Space is Tight in Taipei

Taiwan may be a big island, but in Taipei, as in most Asian capitols, space is tight. Tight because of a constantly growing population, increasing through emigration as well as births, and land policy restrictions that keep sprawl in check.

How tight is space in Taipei, you ask? Well check out this vertical church to the left.

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Scooting by Taipei on a Moped

Who knows what the difference between a scooter and a moped, and who cares? They are not motorcycles and not bicycles, they are that fuzzy areas in the middle and they are everywhere in Taipei. And I mean everywhere.

In every street, on most sidewalks, and close to killing you at any time, they are the most ubiquitous transportation in Taipei. While not approaching the density of bicycles in Beijing, they are none the less overwhelming.

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