Day 36 pm

I was walking a friend to the bus stop after returning from our furniture shopping trip (read: left work, walked down and across Tunhua to the bus stop, rode the 906 20 minutes to IKEA, loaded up a shopping cart with – what else? –  IKEA stuff, which was stuffed into a giant Costco bag, lugged up several flights of stairs to catch a cab home, and up five flights of stairs) and we took a short cut through the night market (read: a teeming mass of people buying, selling and moving VERY slowly through a quarter-mile long corridor of sights and sounds and smells) when we noticed many of the vendors covering their booths and pushing them (it was still prime selling time) quickly towards the street. It turns out, many of the vendors aren’t registered and the police were cracking down on them. Ouch!

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Day 36 am

I’ve been in-country for a little more than a month, in the apartment for just over a week…seems like time is flying by! Every day I notice little aspects of Taiwanese life that amuse and intrigue me.

Yesterday on the way to work, I came upon a construction site. Instead of using people as “flaggers” they had a mannequin (complete with face and arms) doing it! (If I can figure out how to upload the pic I took with my new phone, I’ll add it here.) Here ya go:

Traffic Dummy

Today, walking along Dunhua, three armed men (guns are not legal here for the general population) in black uniforms with flak jackets and helmets on, carrying bags, ran to a waiting vehicle. Say what? Are they robbing the place? They had official-looking insignia on their uniforms. Or maybe they were EOD, having just foiled some sort of bomb threat, taking the offending explosive back to be dismantled. I mean, it’s really HUMID out. Who would wear dark clothing with added padding and then exert themselves in this heat ? Then I figured it out! They were monetary couriers (like Brinks guards) transporting cash to/from financial institutions (and there LOTS of those here)! Yikes! Remind me never to get in their way. (Sorry, it happened so quickly that I didn’t get a photo but I fear the consequences had I whipped out my cell phone to take one.)

Ah, just another exciting morning in Taipei. 🙂

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As for me, I will take the road less travelled…