Taiwan: January 2012

So, that’s it, all I have left to do now is get a few hours sleep, go to the airport and fly back to the UK via Hong Kong. My Taiwan holiday is officially over and it’s back to the real world of work, getting up at 6am every morning, broken toilets on the train, so on, so on, and so forth. But lets not be negative, so here’s the highlights…

Lets start with the big one, I’m married! A few days ago I married my fiancee of nearly four-and-a-half years in a manner that reminded me more of going to the bank than getting married. In addition I have had a couple of first class trips with my new wife, including staying in a five-star suite thanks to her wonderful aunt knowing the right people. I have met loads of my new family and generally have had a great time. I also have a nice new tailored suit to make me look great in the office.

A few other positives about Taiwan. The buses and first class trains. I will try and put some photos up since most people in the UK will not believe the level of space you are given here, especially when you consider that I am one of the biggest people I have seen in Taiwan. The busses have luxury seating with loads of leg room, some even have seat back TV’s, and you can travel 70km for about £1.50. It’s a similar journey on the train, if you can get first class tickets, you have a lounge armchair with about three feet of leg room which makes for a seriously nice way to travel. Where I lived with my wife’s family, we had tese toilet seats that are amazing, if somewhat expensive. I am suprised however that they haven’t caught on in the UK given the lack of room for a Bidet. The seats are electically warmed, and when you have finished your business, you push a button to be washed clean with a jet of warm water before having your backside blow-dried, it’s all very nice! Also, if you know where to go it can be a very cheap place to stay, with a double room in a hotel available for perhaps NT$900 per night, which works out to be about £20, for that you will get somewhere clean and comfortable; food is cheap and tasty, unless you are like me and quite fussy in which case you may struggle to find things that aren’t seafood or contain mushroom etc etc.

What’s not so great about Taiwan then. Well since I am itching a lovely lump while I write this I shall strt with the f*****g mosquitoes which refuse to leave me alone. The weather can also be a bit tempermental, what with it being a mountainous country, it does tend to rain a lot and unpredictably. The early starts and long days wern’t the most fun either. Many days I got home feeling I would need a holiday to recover from the holiday, but in reality there aren’t that many negatives.

Aside from the wedding and meeting the family and all the cool stuff, my funny memory that I will take away from this visit is the fighting taxi driver outside my flat a few nights ago, who will be the subject of a Darwin’s Notebook entry upon my return to the UK.

Right. CallamMcMillan.com, what can you look forward to when I get back. Well, there’s the usual stuff on technology, and hopefully I will get my Raspberry Pis’ There’s going to be more stupid people, more politicians and more random stuff. I am trying to secure a 28-week series of comic strips and will work towards completion of the sites development.

That’s all for now. See you all soon
Callam (Chi-Yen)

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