Posted by: sea2stars | February 11, 2010

Taipei

This weekend I went to Taipei, which is the capital of Taiwan. We went to this great little brewery and had good pizza and beer. I was quite pleased to find that the pizza actually tasted like it does in America. Their weren’t even choices like kimchi, seaweed, or corn pizza on the menu, possibly an indicator that pizza might taste the way I would like it too. It was the most American thing I had done in 6 months and it’s amazing how a piece of pizza made me think I might like to stay in Taiwan after all, or maybe it was the beer.

The part of Taipei we were in had shopping and street performers and we watched this one guy spin around in a hoop. The whole time I was watching him I kept wondering when you decided that you might have such a talent. I mean really, how many giant hoops are just laying around and if you happened to see one, what makes a person think, “Gee, I wondering if I can spin around in it?”

We then went to the Taipei 101. Which is now the second tallest building in the world standing at 1670 feet, only recently surpassed by the Burj Dubai building in Dubai standing at 2717 ft. As a side note, the tallest structures in the world are not sky scrapers they are actually off shore oil platforms. The Mars platform in the Gulf of Mexico being the tallest at 3250 ft.

One of the reasons I went to Taipei was for an art exhibit on Vincent Van Gogh. It was a very interesting exhibit that contained most of his earlier drawings before he found his unique painting style. I was quite surprised to discover that he was terrible at drawing. He had an incredibly difficult time drawing facial features and usually drew people from the side because it was easier. It was still an enjoyable exhibit that showed how his art evolved through time. Unfortunately I was unable to take pictures to share with all of you. But seriously the coolest part of the exhibit was outside where you could Van Gogh yourself and be in one of the painting.

The next day I got up early and went to the National Palace Museum. The museum was absolutely amazing and incredibly comprehensive. The museum is a collection of artifacts that belonged to the imperial family of the Qing Dynasty, the last dynasty of China. All the artifacts were originally in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Internet sources say that the valuables were shipped to Taiwan to prevent the pieces from falling into the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army in the 1930’s. The local Taiwanese will tell you that the last emperor was mad about being expelled from the Forbidden City and decided to take the possessions with him to Taiwan. Either way, it was very fortunate that these items made it to Taiwan and were not destroyed by communism. I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures in the museum but if you would like to see some of the collection just click on the link National Palace Museum.

The palace museum had a lot of amazing artifacts. They had a lot of artifacts from the bronze age. Jade is very precious here and their were a lot of jade artifacts. Jade was used for tools and also carved for religious reasons. One of the coolest things I learned, or possibly the nerdiest, is that their use to be rhinoceroses in Asia. They are the one horned rhinoceroses and the horns were used carve very elaborate bowls and cups.

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Responses

  1. Seriously – this was your day? OMG, I went to Target yesterday and bought a cup of coffee. You make me proud, little cousin, and fiercely jealous.

    • Thanks, I am having fun, but sometimes I wish I could just go to Target, where they have my size, I don’t have to play charades for 20 minutes with the sales clerk and still not have her understand me, and I could get a decent size coffee.

  2. I get that. The good news is Target will always be here when you get back.


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