Archive for October, 2007

08
Oct
07

Top of 101

Taipei 101 is still the tallest building in the world, though I believe there is a building in Dubai under construction that is going to challenge it for the title. (Edit:  Apparently the Burj Dubai has already beat Taipei 101 for height, though it is still under construction.  Thanks to Mark and Protocolsnow for the head’s up!)

I should have finished tip-tapping up my visit to Tai Da E-Ren with my parents, but I didn’t, so perhaps this will be chronologically out of order (not that this blog has been particularly orderly in general– alas, my blog is an all-too-accurate version of myself).

I’d seen Taipei 101 for its New Year’s fireworks display last year, but had never taken the ride up to the top to catch the view before. Before my cousin and uncle returned to the US, we were generously treated by a friend to a visit. Taipei 101 is probably the most expensive tourist attraction at around 300 NT (if I remember correctly, and I very possibly don’t…). It’s apparently owned by a private company. We bought tickets with a time that we were allowed to ride up to the top, and returned to follow the line into an elevator with glowing stars in the ceiling that zipped us up to the viewing observatory. Once there, we got nice audio guides that took us from one corner to another, telling us what the gleaming lighted streets were.

While you can see the city spread out before you like a picnic blanket on a nice day from one of the many mountaintops that surround Taipei, it’s still worthwhile to see the views from Taipei 101, simply because it’s a bit more in the middle of things (though the way I map the city in my head, it’s kind of towards the side).

A view of the gleaming streets.

A slightly out-of-focus corner decoration of the building (a tripod would be recommended for trying to shoot all this stuff– I don’t have one, and while I can hold my breath a long time, it’s the standing still that eludes me).

Another street view.

Pretty top of a building in the Xinyi district. (Whoo hoo for 12x zoom and holding my breath!)

The Miramar ferris wheel off in the distance in Neihu.

Another interesting building top.

Damper Baby– the large exposed damper which is the counterweight that protects 101 from tumbling in earthquakes and typhoons.

Don’t ask me how they figured out a blood-type for it.

Apparently there is an even higher outdoor observatory which you can fork over more NT for, but we were quite content to take the speedy elevator down to the ground and back into the mall, which I find notable for Page 101– one of my favorite bookstores ever.

An old shot of 101 from the outside (for some reason the night we went to visit, I forgot to get the outside photo….)

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01
Oct
07

Against co-habiting six-legged beasties: a diatribe and manifesto

I interrupt what must be the lamest “marathon” of blogging to vent. I really truly DID mean to completely get caught up this one-day weekend (since last weekend was a 4-day affair thanks to mid-autumn festival, we had to work on Saturday). However, upon tiredly arriving home on Saturday night, I was greeted by two roaches merrily flitting in and out of my desk drawer and its contents. My desk is right next to my bed. Being a hardened sort thanks to life in New York City (where one summer I hopped into the tub, twitched the shower curtain closed as a huge brown water-bug bounced companionably right in with me as I gasped and hopped rapidly out, into a towel and scolded it for impropriety as I killed it), I didn’t screech or wail. I merely glared at them as they jeered and taunted me with their waving antennae. I vowed that I would clean out my room and so doing, cause them to meet an untimely death.

I had thought I’d cleaned out the threatening population of roaches as the summer began– scattering boric acid about here and there, cleaning all my clothes, drawers, etc. However, keeping in mind that I never ate that much in my room, since eating out is much more companionable (I’m friends with the local servers who know me as the charming hua-chao whose Chinese is clueless), I don’t understand why they insist on being my roommates. I’m hoping that I’m not a magnet for six-legged beasties the way I am for mosquitos (oh dear, they are six-legged beasties too), impetuous embraces by gravity, and red-faced drunk men on the subways of Seoul.

People tell me that roaches are especially an issue in Taiwan which is, after all, a tropical climate very conducive for them. (When I mentioned to my cousin I was battling them, he grinned and said, “Welcome to Taiwan!”)

The term for disgust here is: yeuuuuuuuuuuugggghhh. Continue reading ‘Against co-habiting six-legged beasties: a diatribe and manifesto’




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