Monday, 25 June 2012

Artificial Environment

Yesterday I was introduced to a lot of new people and most of them were Americans. One family was very kind and invited me over for dinner; they were going to have spaghetti. Of course I jumped at the chance, I love free food and they even have a daughter my age. They live in a huge condo type building a few minutes by car from Taipei. This was big news to me since I hadn't ridden in a car, excluding a taxi, since I arrived in Taiwan. Mostly though, I just hadn't met anyone who owned a vehicle until then. I hangout with a rough crowd you see. 

So since I’m used to taking the MRT everywhere, and standing for long periods of time, sitting in the car was a luxury and I quite enjoyed it. We parked underground and took the elevator up to their place. The elevator was freezing cold in an attempt, I assume, to compensate for the heat outside. Here I thought Canadians were the crazy ones about their A/C! It must just be my brother Dan.

      While I stepped inside the place I was struck by how North American it was. There was a granite island counter top in the middle of the kitchen, and they had a spacious living room area. All the cupboards were annoyingly high, and of course we can’t forget the plasma TV. The only hint of being in a different country was the view of Taipei 101 from the sprawling windows. Once accustomed to the new setting I reverted back to my Canadian etiquette. I took my shoes off at the door and helped set the table. I remembered where the knives and forks go and even folded the napkins by each plate. The meal was very good and they gave me garlic bread!! Yum. 

Afterwards, we chatted at the table and played cards games. We used a deck of cards I had stowed away in my backpack from home, I knew they were going to come in handy someday! For extra measure they even have maple leaves on them in case anyone is confused about their origin. After a while it was time to say my goodbyes and I walked to the Metro station. It wasn't until I was riding the escalator down to the platform that I took a deep breath in, exhaled, and felt like I had found Taiwan again.   


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