Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kaohsiung Tomorrow!

Tonight is the last night we'll be spending in Taipei for a while. We're catching a high speed train to Kaohsiung tomorrow afternoon to begin our stay there! We have accommodations booked for the first two weeks but after that we're not sure what's going to happen.

Taipei has been rainy and windy for the past few days, yet still hot as ever. Today we took the Taipei metro and were incredibly impressed by their system. If you don't already have a loadable swipe card to use, you can buy single fares. A one-way single fare for the distance we needed to travel was 20$ NT or about 66 Canadian cents! That included a transfer. The machine you pay the fare into dispenses a plastic token which is magnetized or something because you scan it as you go through the turnstile down to the platform. To exit the station when you leave, you deposit the plastic token in the exit turnstile. It's so convenient and sustainable! Reusable fare tokens!

The platforms themselves were also impressive. They were very well labeled and the different lines are colour coded, named, and numbered. Another really impressive feature was the barriers up at the edge of the platform. There is almost zero risk of falling down or dropping something onto the tracks. The plexiglass doors of the barrier open when the train arrives and everything is so organized and streamlined. Calgary Transit could learn a thing or two from the city of Taipei, for sure.

We're starting to miss our friends and family back home a little more acutely today. We got some very happy news this morning (or last night, for those of you back in Canada) that our friends John and Laura eloped to Thailand while we were gone!!! While this is very exciting and awesome, it also does make us both a bit sad that we aren't going to be there to congratulate them in person, and that we will be missing many more happy occasions over the course of the year. We're already excited about getting together and catching up with all the people we're missing, as well as cooking celebratory dinners for everyone who will have had some good news this year! :)

("Though John and Laura are a unique example as they were legally married before we issued the moratorium on marriages while we're away, the moratorium is still in place for those of you who aren't yet married." - Brett)

So anyways - congratulations to Mr. and Mrs.!

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