Taipei – Before I forget

Just a grab-bag of stuff from my recent trip to Taipei before it completely fades from memory:

  • Singapore Airlines Business Class especially on the newer 777-200 planes (777-200 ER specifically) is wonderful – ample leg and seat room; power points in each seat; personalized service.
  • The KrisFlyer Business Class lounge at T3 in Changi is enormous – it’s quite easy to get lost there the first time you go in. It’s also a marked contrast from the tiny spaces that pass for lounges in other airports.
  • When flying to and returning from Taipei – I cached up unread items in FeedDemon and downloaded some podcasts. Although the caching in FeedDemon wasn’t very good (almost no images made it) I had enough to read/listen to that I almost made it through the entire flight without watching any in-flight stuff
  • On the flight to Taipei, the guy in front of me was watching Never Back Down. When I couldn’t open my laptop for various reasons, I wound up watching the movie and finally decided to see it for myself. I’m still regretting that decision
  • On the other hand, on the return flight I watched a couple of episodes of Flight of the Conchords and quite enjoyed them. I intend to grab some more episodes and watch them – even though I know my wife will be annoyed with my odd viewing choices again 🙂
  • Despite the endless increases in ERP charges, COE and what have you; it’s only when I travel abroad I realize how car-crazy Singapore is. The streets of Taipei are filled with two-wheelers in stark contrast to the traffic here. Of course that means you have to be constantly on the lookout for madcap drivers who try to squeeze past you with millimetres to spare.
  • I had only visited Taipei before in the latter half of the year and found the weather remarkably pleasant. Thus, it came as a rude shock when I encountered the sharp heat of early summer this time around 🙁
  • The food in Taipei was a revelation – whether it was a hole-in-the-wall pasta joint, or crowded local restaurant or the chi-chi People’s Restaurant, every single meal I had was top-notch.
  • The highlight of the trip (food-wise) though was a teppanyaki dinner. We were cajoled into going by a colleague who loved teppanyaki and I have to say I’m glad I went along. Teppanyaki is definitely not for anyone except hard-core carnivores (calorie-counters need not apply as well).
  • Carnegie’s on ladies’ night was an interesting experience.
  • It was quite discomforting to see at work how much we came to depend on the one person who spoke good english and mandarin/min-nan. When you are trying to understand stated (and unstated) requirements for an complex system, having two layers of translation in-between is surely a sign of bad things to come.

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