Looking for Travel Tips for Taiwan

If things work out, I might be making a trip to Taiwan this year.  I hope to be there for at least 2 weeks.  I’m looking for travel tips for Taiwan – interesting places to see, hidden gems, places to avoid, tips to get around, where to stay and of course where to eat.  Right now, I’m starting to checkout some travel sites.  EVA air now flies from Toronto to Taipei.  It’ll be good to fly direct.  I hope they will have some seats on sale.  

It’s been awhile since I’ve actually traveled on vacation.  My old backpack sits in the corner of my bedroom looking rather sad.  It’s just waiting there patiently for me.  I don’t think this trip will be a backpacking type of trip though.  It’s just to get away for awhile. 




Reaching Out

It was a bright and warm Saturday morning.  I dropped into one of the many coffee shops in my ‘hood.  After I got my coffee, I walked towards the front to sit by the window.  The big leather couch is usually crowded but there is a small table just off to the side.  But today, no one sat at the front.  Instead,  there was an elderly homeless woman sitting in the big leather couch.   She appeared to be taking a nap.  I paused and grabbed another table off to the side.  I would glance up occasionally from my book at look at her. She would nod off, wake up, look around as if to see she was in any danger and then nod off again.  She had this faint smile on her face just before she nodded off.  I was surprised no one from the staff had approached her.

After awhile, I noticed 2 women sitting down in in front of homeless woman while an employee from the coffeeshop sat beside her.  I overheard bits of conversation “social worker… do you have a place to stay… identification… I understand…”  The 3 women all appeared to be genuinely interested in helping her.  The homeless woman didn’t appear the be defensive or angry.  After about 10 mins, the employee had to go back to work and the homeless woman continued to chat with the 2 women.

They were still chatting when I left.  It was nice to see a bit of humanity and hope.


I like the early Sunday mornings in my neighbourhood.  The sidewalk is sparse.  There are some joggers and dog owners.   The homeless are sitting on the park benches.  Gentrification has overlooked them.   They reclaim their ‘hood after the hipsters have left for the night.  I duck into a coffeeshop for my weekly luxury, a large soy milk latte.   I notice there is a geeky looking Asian guy with glasses sitting in the corner table.  His dark blue shirt is a nice contrast to his khaki shorts and red canvas shoes.  He is staring intently at his MacBook.  There is a small pile of papers on his right and a coffee on his left.   We glance at each other as I sit down on a table across from him.  It is a poor choice as he is off to my right and I am directly in his line of sight.  I can’t see him unless I turn my head to my right.

But I’m not one that is usually gets noticed. I get out my book and settle down.  In a few moments, I was carried away into another world.   After 20 minutes of of reading, I started to feel guilty about taking so much time to relax.  But then in the background, I heard the Eagles “Take it Easy”.  So I do.  Another song by Arcade Fire catches my attention but I don’t remember the title.   I see movement on my right.  I glance at the Asian guy who has bent down to plug his laptop in.  I notice he has hairy legs.   I guess he’s going to be there for awhile.

Soon I was lost in the rhythm of the coffee shop.  The coffee machines, the buzz of conversations and the music combine to create a mellow soundtrack.  As I sip the last of my latte, my mind start to turn to the chores for today.   One of it was to prep for my work on Monday.  It was discouraging to return to work after a week off.  I did get some chores done and got a lot of rest.  Doing nothing actually felt good.   It was expensive in one way.  I had a lot of work done on my car.  I wish I was like a car.  All I have to do is put in a new battery, replace parts and fluids and I would feel better.