Tuesday, April 26, 2011

week 31_First Impressions (Jason!)

First Impressions…. From the Husband’s Point of View

              I am very happy to report that my first visit to Taiwan was an absolute success

                After a grueling yet uneventful flight, I arrived in Taipei late in the evening to find Super Wife waiting for me just outside customs. It had been way too long since I’d seen her in person (Skype doesn’t count), so the hug lasted an appropriately long amount of time (of course I didn’t cry, who said I did? Ok, maybe a little). We got into a cab and spent an hour driving towards our (my) new home. Of course being night,  I couldn’t really get any idea of how big the city was, but it was obvious from the scooters, street vendors, and the 101 story building in the distance that this was definitely not Dallas

                The next few days were a blur, and I find that as I try to think back on them my head is filled with cloudy images of strange squiggly signs and skinny, black haired people darting in an out of subway cars and city buses. Food wasn’t a problem, since I had the lovely wife to take me by the arm and protect me from fish balls and “stinky dog food”, or whatever that stuff was. By the way, I’m all about going local with the food, but there are limits. Another comfort was the refuge of our super posh (but teeny tiny) apartment in the heart of Taipei. All the glass and polished wood, the fancy shower and the fantastic view of Taipei 101. The pictures that Lizzie had shown me over the Internet didn’t do the place any justice (though her picture taking skills have gotten great, right?)

                Our first real adventure was to Taroko Gorge, near the city of Hualien. Lizzie has already written about the trip itself, but let me add my two cents by saying is was as fantastic as she said it was, plus a little more. Imagine deep crevices in the ground where the phenomenal forces of nature have torn great cracks in the earth that go so deep you can sometimes barely see the bottom. Then you look up and even though the view is clear for hundreds of feet up, you still can’t see the tops of the great mountain peaks because of the thick mist surrounding their tops. Imagining a super deep Chinese gorge with mist covered peaks and treacherous cliffs? Good, that’s exactly what it was like. I should probably also mention that we were staying in a mod hotel in the middle of a convergence of two of the gorges, and since the lovely wife arranged it all, she gets two, no, three extra brownie points.

                Another happy surprise from the gorge trip was that while we were there I received an offer to come and interview for the China Post, the largest English language newspaper in the country. The day after we returned, I went to their main office and after an interesting test and interview for the vacant copy editor position, I was invited to come in for a five day probationary period so that the head of the copy department could decide if I will be a good fit. Fingers crossed, but I have a good feeling about this. The five days will start once I’ve returned after having come back to Dallas to wrap up our affairs in the States.

                The interview having been completed, I had almost an entire week to hang out with Lizzie and explore. We ate delicious food from fancy restaurants and little street corner vendors, we went to night markets and museums, and we gave each other long overdue hugs and kisses as often as possible since they were long, Long, LONG overdue!

                I absolutely love Taipei and I can’t wait to be there permanently. Taiwan is an amazing country with so much in store for a young couple just really setting out on their own. Who knows what kind of adventures are waiting for us. I can’t wait to find out.
                                                                                                Written somewhere over the Pacific…

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