Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Taiwan - February 2012

When my mom suggested that Troy and I go on a business trip for her in exchange for watching our kids for a week, we jumped at the chance.  It just so happened to be to Taiwan.  Embarrassingly, I had to look at a map to know exactly where it was located...and I had to read Wikepedia to know what language was spoken there (Chinese).   

The travel time to get there was 24 hours, 4 different plane flights
I loved taking pictures of all the different food.  This was on the airplane.
Everything has a mascot in Taiwan.  This was our hotel's mascot. 
We arrived late at night and took a taxi to our hotel.  It was way nice for the price and it just got better with each hotel move.  I was impressed with how advanced they are in their technology

Every morning we started off with an amazing buffet, including juices, fruits and mini octopus. Yum!

Our first morning we met with my mom's toothbrush distributor in Taiwan.  He was very helpful and friendly.  He's from Canada, but has been living in Asia for many years and married a girl from China.  He was fluent in Chinese.  I was amazed at how many Taiwanese people knew English.  So many were fluent, which made it easy for us to get around.  Later that day Scott became a special angel in our lives.  We spent the day touring Taipei with him and his assistant, Agnes.

We saw the Baby Banana Brush and Sharky Brush in Taiwanese baby stores.  Store "real estate" is very expensive so they cram everything together.  They also have streets with multiple stores selling the same types of products.  There was a baby store street, a TV street, a camera street, etc.  Makes it easy to shop around for the best deal.

There are 7-11's all over the place.  This is their equivalent to hotdogs and donuts.  I think it is hard boiled eggs and I don't know what else.

Everybody drove scooters.  They would all inch up to the front of the intersection and when the light turned green, they zoomed off.  I even saw women in business attire and old ladies riding these things.
We visited Taipei 101.  At that time I think it was the second tallest building in the world if you include the steeple.  You took the world's fastest elevator to the top.  It traveled at over 1000 meters per minute.

An up close view of Taipei 101.  If you want to see a video that does the height more justice, check out this link: Taipei 101.

The view from Taipei 101.  It is a very crowded city.  The entire 360 degree view looked like this.

By the end of the night, Troy was not feeling very well.  In fact, his heart started freaking out and he hyperventilated.  We didn't know what was going on at the time, but he was pretty convinced he was dying.  He gave me his last words and almost passed out.  Thank goodness we were with Scott (see above) at that time.  He got us into a great hospital, translated for the ER people and I feel like he essentially saved Troy's life.  We later found out that Troy has SVT, a non-life threatening heart condition.  Nearly everyone who has their first SVT episode thinks they're dying, and winds up in the ER.  Troy was no exception.  That will be for another post, but he was going to be okay, just really tired for the next few days.  We took our second day off and only spent an hour at the National Museum in Taipei.  Our third morning, he felt good enough to hop on the high speed train and head to Taichung to meet the manufacturers of the baby toothbrushes.
Taichung is located in the middle western half of the country.  The city was not as modern as Taipei, but we were very impressed with the manufacturing plant.  It was clean and technologically advanced.  Taiwan has strict regulations for its businesses, which makes the quality of products coming from Taiwan of a higher standard than mainland China.

We ate fabulous food and really enjoyed their company.  They treated us so well and put us up in an amazing hotel.
This was one of my favorite dishes.  They were little dumplings filled with all sorts of delicious meat.

That night, our manufacturer took us to a traditional lantern festival.  There were thousands of homemade lanterns with all different themes.  We, of course, had to take a picture by SpongeBob.  I was one of the tallest people in the crowd, which made it easy to see over everyone.  I don't think I'll be having that experience again. 

The fourth morning we met with the manufacturers to discuss some more business.  Then they showered us with gifts and lunch.  They gave us a huge box filled with a variety of noodles.  We also got these fancy water bottles and a large bag of Taiwanese goodies.  They were delicious.  We said goodbye and took the high speed train back to a hotel by the airport.
This last hotel was my favorite.  I didn't realize how much I loved the modern style.  The blurry wall to the right of the bed is actually the shower.  You can push a button and the whole wall instantly turns into a window.  We enjoyed a night of swimming and professional massages for all our "hard work".  We were just getting adjusted to the completely opposite time schedule when it was time to head home.  Four days in the country wasn't enough.  I would love to go back and visit again someday.

I think we were still a little jet lagged.  We I was looking forward to some American food and we were excited to see our girl's again.  We would be happy to go on more business trips for anyone who is looking.


M and M Madsen said...

Oh my goodness. What an adventure! Minus the ER part- were you calm? I would have been such a mess! I would have needed my own bed in the ER! Glad everything is ok!

Malinovka said...

Awesome, awesome trip, but so scary about Troy! SO, so glad everything turned out okay. What a great time to get away and spend some time as just the two of you. Hope you found everything well at home and are doing great.

Andi said...

I know the ER trip was serious, but the picture of Troy in the pink hospital bed...

And once I finalize my cookie store module, I'm sure I'll need someone to go to Europe to find the best chocolate? Or something like that. Wanna go?

Forest said...

Wow! What an adventure.