I flew back yesterday to a considerably colder Toronto. Hong Kong and Taipei was warm but comfortable. Most of the folks we saw on the street wore sweaters, jackets or hoodies for the low 20s weather. I didn’t have insomnia when I was on vacation. It could be the amount of walking we did everyday. I still woke up at least once a night, usually around 4:00AM. The trip was a good break after a long hiatus from traveling. I worked right up to the day I traveled. I overpacked and had extra undies, tshirts and socks that I never used. I did some planning but not extensively. We only booked hotels for the first few nights in Taipei and in Hong Kong. The remainder of the hotel bookings for Taiwan was done in Taipei.
It felt strange to travel again although I wasn’t backpacking it or roughing it. Taiwan was very enjoyable and J did all the talking. I was like a deaf mute that tagged along. The subway or MTR in Taipei was wonderful. It’s efficient, it works well and 99% of the people abide by the rules. The trains stopped where they should, people lined up where they should, people stood right and passed on the left on escalators, people did not rush the trains when the doors were closing. They just stood in front of the open doors. I saw people rushed to give up seats for the elderly. On the streets, cars rarely honked unless it was to alert others. Taipei just seemed like a clean and efficient city.
The only first world problem I had was in Kaohsiung. The hotel I picked wasn’t a 5 star hotel and since we were there for only 2 nights, it didn’t seem like a big deal. It was more comfortable than other hotels I stayed at. In the toilet, there was a sign that toilet paper shouldn’t be flushed. I’ve seen them before but that was years ago. But I survived (although I contemplated buying an air freshener for the toilet).
If you do get a chance to travel in Asia, I would recommend visiting Taiwan.
Hong Kong on the other hand felt even more crowded than I remembered. We didn’t do a lot of serious sightseeing during this brief visit. I was there mostly to visit my relatives. I also paid respects to my grandparents at a cemetery and I was surprised to remember where they were after all these years. But it also felt like someone was guiding me.
I’ll probably do another blog entry on the 2 countries.
But now, it’s back to the real world. On my first day, I made a quick visit to my doctor as I have some health issues to take care off. That’s a bit worrisome but I think things will work out. I think I’ve let the stress of my job overwhelmed my perspective on health and looking after myself. After this weekend, it’s back to work on Monday. My body is still on Hong Kong / Taiwan time. And I really miss that sign on the hotel that says, “Please Make Up the Room”. To a messy person like me, that’s better than sex.