This post will encompass Tom and I's stay in Taipei. It began with a few days of vacation, which was then followed by 10 days of training. For obvious reasons, the pictures mostly come from the vacation part!
The day after Tom arrived, we met up with Heather again and headed out to Danshue. Danshue is a suburb of Taipei that is a fishing town. It has a nice area where you can visit shops along the water. Sort of like Venice Beach, but without all the....crazies. Well, without most of the crazies. It's a town with a lot of culture, and supposedly, a lot of good snacks. People describe Tainan as being both of those too (but moreso). Anyway, so we got there and walked along the ocean. We looked at the view (which was only ok, since they were doing construction) and got some snacks from a few shops. Then, we came across this costume thing. So we took a picture! For once I felt pretty good about my own eyebrows.
Just after we took this picture and started walking on, we were startled because the costume suddenly stood up, making it muuuuch more imposing and then walked by us! He was dancing too.
Then we looked behind us and saw more of them coming. I know pictures don't do justice, but they were really quite large and quite unnerving. And again, they were dancing. Or dance marching.
So we took more pictures with them! (Ignore the finger in the corner)
They all came to this point, turned walked into that covered area and then onto the stage that you see in the center of the picture if you blow it up.
We sat down and watched the show from here.
This is what the area looked like.
Later that day we went to this little waterpark. The next day, I believe we went to the zoo. The zoo was great! It was in a really pretty area with very lush vegetation. It was also very well manicure, which is a sharp contrast to all the zoos I've been to in the last few years. My favorite parts were probably the pandas and the fact that orchids were growing out of the tree trunks. The pandas were surprisingly fascinating. It was very interesting to see these big bulky animals that were completely docile and eating bamboo.
At one point we went back to the CKS memorial to show Tom and we tried to go to the temple (but Tom forgot his recommend). That's about all I remember. Then, training began! It was miserable. We stayed in a shabby hotel (which I'm not complaining about - it was free) and everyday we would walk with the rest of the trainees to the Hess Headquarters skyscraper about endure training from 9 - 6 or something. I can't remember the exact hours. The training style just wasn't really my favorite. It was like EFY, except we were all adults and we were training for a job. Oh, and it was longer. Plenty more to say on that, but I'll skip it since this is a public blog. The only pictures I have from those days are of the view from our window at the hotel.
Taiwanese people looooove plants and they are everywhere you look. A loooot of the balconies look like this one with plants overflowing off the ledge. There are also plants lining every sidewalk. They aren't owned by the city, but by the shopkeepers and residents. I think it's great.
And that covers Taipei! Next up is probably the Moon Festival.