Charity Auction

Last weekend, the Community Services Center ( a local non-profit dedicated to supporting “foreigners” during their stay in Taiwan) held its annual Charity Auction.  I had heard about this organization from a German journalist living in Taipei writing for a German news agency and offered to help the night of the event, being held at the Grand Hyatt, next to Taipei 101. I took the day off work and spent the morning helping to set up the slide presentation that would play throughout the evening. It was amazing watching the ballroom being transformed into a lush setting for the 200+ guests that would arrive after dark.

those are live roses under the gilded birdcage!

That evening I donned the only dress I’d brought with to Taiwan, along with 4″ heels, and headed to the Hyatt. What an amazing evening! The event raised over 2 million NT and I had the opportunity to make some new friends. Now that’s what I call a win-win!

Taipei World Design Expo

Entrance to Songshan venue

As a teambuilding activity, all of our company’s Taiwan-based tech writers took the day off  on Friday to go on a field trip – and what a day it was! Taipei was selected to host the 2011 Design Expo divided among three venues: Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (great name!)  and two Nangang Exhibition Halls. We met at Songshan @ 10am under gorgeous skies along with hundreds (thousands perhaps) of like-minded design aficionados. After waiting in line to get a program we entered the Expo. Much like a county fair, there were exhibits in various buildings; we opted to start in the “back” and work our way to the front, since it was obvious that the exhibits closer to the entrance were mobbed! Every type of object (for work or play) you could imagine was represented. My favorite was the floor housing the “Golden Pin” award winners for innovative design of products sold in Taiwan!

The eponymous golden pin!

Room after room of colorful, useful, imaginative products! I love this stuff! I could have spent all day there but our plan included catching all three venues in one day, so, off we went. After a wonderful lunch at a nearby pizzeria, we road the MRT (blue line) to the end-of-the-line: Nangang. The giant exhibition halls housed more industrial displays with vendors from all over the world. My personal favorites were the BMW booth with it’s upbeat music and crazy lighting and a local handbag designer:

Designer handbags

speed demon

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