Sunday, July 13, 2008

Exhaustion, Day 2

Yes, that's right. I should be telling you more about my fantastic day yesterday. Or my amazing day today. But I missed the 8:30 train back from Taipei, which meant there wasn't another one until 9:30, so I didn't get back to my hotel until 10:30, and after IMing with the hubby for a few minutes and catching a quick shower, I'm really going to have to get some sleep.

Bad blogger! No donut!

Actually, I'm OK with no donut, as long as there is bubble tea. Hubby is fairly certain he'll be leading the bubble tea intervention once I'm back in Austin.

I did get the much anticipated photo this morning. I hope it lives up to your expectations.

And that's why I stay here. 'Cuz I'm classy people.

In other news, I'm coming to the conclusion that Asians (Taiwanese?) have a different idea of personal space than Americans do. At some point long ago, I had read that in Asian cultures, personal space was much larger than in America (whereas in Europe it's much smaller). I haven't found that to be true here: people seem to be very comfortable in very close proximity to each other. And what I find really odd is that people bump into each other in crowds and don't acknowledge it at all.

Another instance of the same sort of psychological thing happened on the train on the way home tonight. I had a reserved window seat in a row of three. The other two seats were taken up by a family of three -- mom, dad, and daughter of about six or seven. Now, I have to say that by the time my kiddo is that age, this is no longer a lap child. It may be a hassle to buy an extra ticket, but come on. It appeared they were hoping the third seat in their row would not be sold. Mom hopped up with daughter three or four times during our half-hour ride to walk around.

Here's what I find curious, especially given their propensity to wander: none of them could be bothered to stand up or move out of the way to let me in to my seat. I had to struggle past the three of them laden with a purse, camera bag, and shopping bag from the national museum.

So what about you? What's been your culture shock moment traveling elsewhere? Doesn't have to be out of the country; it could be in a different part of the U.S. I'm just curious whether I'm the only person to experience this sort of thing. Sound off!


Flabbyironman said...

huh. I was picturing something different in the hotel entrance. I'm not entirely sure what... maybe something a little less grimey. :-)

It's amazing how much information they cram on to things though (or at least how many languages) I can't imagine how you would go about designing with having to have so much stuff on your piece.

Janet Chang Makovy said...

Hey Lisa,
You need to stop posting pictures of the food and fruits that you have, I am having a major craving for Chinese food that I can't get here and also very home sick about now. David and I had our passport pix taken today, hopefully we may take a trip to Taiwan soon. When you come back, we should go to a couple of places here that has bubble drink and shave ice. Can't wait to see all your pictures and hear all your adventures. By the way, the BBQ corn and leechees are my favorite, among many others. Sorry you did not get to try fish head. Sounds like you are having a good time, other than being tired. I will keep checking your blogs until you are back.
Enjoy yourself.
Janet Chang Makovy

Lisa said...

Yes, everything is pretty grimy -- it's a function of the high humidity. Once a building is a few years old, it looks like that.

Janet, sorry for the homesickness! If I could bring you home some leechee, I would. I have a bunch in my fridge right now. =) But I don't think they'll let me bring it back to the U.S.

Cindy said...

Doing some catching up tonight - love the hotel picture!! I can't wait to hear more about the temple and the cold springs. Sounds like you're still soaking it all in. Whew - what a whirlwind! I'm exhausted reading it!

Piper said...

My guess would be they thought you would not be so impolite as to climb over them and would go elsewhere so they could have the seat :)

Seriously, the space thing is a HUGE problem. About a month ago I had to explain to a co worker for about 15 minutes why it was a problem that she stood so close to me while I was trying to fix the copier. She (Kenyan) really did NOT understand why I was so "mean" as to object to her standing where she was touching me while I was trying to find the lost paper.