The Warmth of Taipei on A Cold Weather
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As I boarded the plane going to Taipei, I had mixed feelings. I was excited to be in a country I've never been to before but I was sad that I was going there alone and I was going to miss my fiancé's birthday. It made me wonder again why am I usually alone on business trips I'm sent to and I usually get sent to places I don't know anyone. Thankfully now, there's travbuddy and so I looked forward to meeting some travbuddy friends.
Now, I don't have fear on flying but now I realize I have a little fear on landing when the weather is not clear, especially when there has been news of a recent storm. As the plane decended on Taipei airport's runway, I felt a little bit suffocated because I could not see anything but clouds and then fog...I could not see the runway at all on a day time! After I felt the friction of the plane's wheels with the ground and finally I saw lights and the airport, I exhaled a big breath of relief.
Welcome to Taipei.
My colleague from Taipei told me to bring some warm clothes because the weather in Taipei is a bit colder than Singapore. He said bring a coat. So I did and I even checked the temperature forecast before I left for Taipei. But man, I did not expect the cold to be THAT cold! I should have brought my winter coat! For a moment there I needed to see the world map again, because from what I know, Taiwan is just a little above the Philippines and is still part of Southeast Asia, isn't it? And therefore, it's weather would not so much vary from the tropical weather I knew, right?
Taiwan has a subtropical climate and Taipei already lies above the Tropic of Cancer.
I am used to business trips that require one's independence, meaning, don't expect that colleagues will go to your hotel to welcome you on your arrival or offer to show you around the touristy places. So I was so surprised when on I got a call in my hotel room from our Taipei office's managers on Sunday night to say he's at the hotel lobby. I was already sleeping actually (slept early because I was tired) so I said I'll just see him in office the following day. Anyhow, on my 6 days stay there, my Taipei colleages with were so attentive and so hospitable, buying lunch and dinner and even brought us to some Night Markets and the very first Din Tai Fung restaurant. I'm sure they would've offered to take me to other sights we could go to after office hours. I really love the hospitality of the Taipei people, they don't speak good English and most don't speak English at all but they are generous with their smiles, warm gestures and their time.
It is just then fitting that two of the friendliest travbuddies are in Taipei. Brett and Erin met up with me and were so nice to show me around. We had a very yummy dinner at Din Tai Fung restaurant near my office and then they happily accompanied me to see Taipei 101. It was a pity I didn't able to make it to their Thanksgiving dinner because our office manager reserved a farewell dinner for us at the same time. Nevertheless, that one night meetup with Brett and Erin was fun.
The weather was consistently cold the whole week I was in Taipei and my coat, as I've said, was not thick enough. But this was one business trip that I will never forget, not because I was alone, but because of the people's warmth. :)
P.S. Thanks to McDonald's Singapore's online ordering and delivery, I was able to give be a part of my fiancé's birthday even if I was miles away *wink*wink*