First, sorry to all of our loyal blog readers out there. The internet at the hotel has been down (disaster!!), so I have been unable to post. This is what we did on Wednesday. Now that I am behind, I may never catch up!
To make up for my laziness yesterday, I spent the day sightseeing all over the city. My first stop was the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. Chiang Kai-Shek was once Taiwan’s dictator. The memorial houses a museum with exhibits dedicated to his life. It was interesting to see these things, although I’m not sure that this guy was very nice. The city is slowly trying to change the name of the memorial to National Taiwan Democracy Monument, and in a few places I saw that signs had been changed to reflect this. Unfortunately, my camera battery went dead as soon as I got here! So I’ll have Nick post some pics from the internet and a link to its website.
My second stop was in Ximen for some lunch. Ximen reminds me of Times Square – minus the prostitutes. It has lots of shopping and large movie theater. They are heavily advertising the new Bat Man movie. Nick and I may go and see it tomorrow (it’s in English with Chinese subtitles). I walked around many of the various shops and I was hoping to find a Chinese restaurant with an English menu. I guess I was looking in all the wrong places, because I didn’t find one. I ended up at KFC, which was a terrible idea. I became pretty sick afterwards, and I will NOT be eating KFC again while here!
In the afternoon, I went to the National Palace Museum. There was a 50% discount if you used your student ID, so I convinced the lady that my Indiana Driver’s License was one.
Wednesday night, Nick and I rode the MRT to someplace called Miramar Entertainment, which has a mall and movie theater and some other random stuff. The main attraction is a huge Ferris wheel, the second largest in Asia. It is so big, in fact, that it takes 17 minutes to go around it once! Ok, don’t get too excited, it moves pretty slowly. Anyway, it gave us some beautiful views of Taipei at night and it was very romantic!
Next, we bopped over to the Shilin night market, the biggest and most famous in Taipei. There is tons of stuff to see there and a lot of food, some of it is delicious looking while some of it is…well, interesting. We came across a booth selling a toy that we thought would be wonderful for Nick’s nephews, but the proprietor (along with about half of the others on the street) suddenly started wheeling away her cart, and politely said, “I’m sorry, I have to hide from the police.” A person next to us explained that some of the sellers are illegal and they have to hide when the police periodically come through. We tried to find the booth again after the police left, but no luck :).