Sunday, 12 May 2013

Taichung Beats Taipei

It was the first official business trip I have taken in over 2 years I've been with the company, despite having visited offices in five other cities. I'd almost forgot the business trip protocol already. Rey and I landed at Taoyuan and proceeded to the bus station to get a grey hound-looking bus into Taipei city. Who takes a bus when they are travelling on business?!

Over Sat and Sun, we went to Ximending to hunt for 辣妹, Shilin for so much street food and six new pairs of shoe (yay!), WET bar & Woobar @ W Hotel for those pretentious we-must-have drinks, Sparks @ 101 to burn all the calories from the yummy food, Xin Beitou to get lost in semi nature (with Erica whom I met in Edinburgh 3 years ago!) and to end the weekend, we got so lost in Taipei Main Station that we spent 30 minutes trying to get out of the station. These were all that one needed to visit and do in Taipei.

Rey and I have now termed getting foot massages as "getting new feet". It makes sense, really. After the massage, one does feel like one has new feet, no?

And with all the false lashes every Taiwanese girl has on, Rey even termed that "putting eyes on". LOL. This little kid from MTV makes me laugh.

We planned to get a normal train from Taipei to Taichung and again, who takes the normal train when on business?! Thank goodness the tickets were sold out and we had to travel with the High-speed Rail instead. When Rey and I pulled up in Taichung, we (I, really) were pleasantly surprised by the tall buildings and how modern the city is. At that moment, Taichung had sealed it's fate as our favourite city in Taiwan, at least for the week. And I kid you not.

Nobody I knew who worked in the DC liked the locations of the DCs. Nobody. Well, Rey and I headed out to the DC to get some work done and we were glad that we will only be spending all of half a day there. Now, I understand why nobody I knew think a DC would qualify as an amazing work location. But nobody said we couldn't be goofy and have fun with safety helmet and neon orange vests.

So after 4 days of hard work in Taichung, we concluded our recruitment event with huge success, much to my manager's delight. *pats self on back* Does this mean I can ask for a raise? ;)

So back to Taipei we went on Thursday night and down with a cold Rey went on Friday morning. Working out of the Taipei's office at 101 on Friday meant we finally got to try xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung for lunch! But Rey being down also meant it was a quiet night for him. I got lucky and a new acquaintance (who shall be christened PH) I've made decided to bring me out for a Japanese dinner. I am not a huge fan of Japanese food and I was prepared to be disappointed by the Japanese fare in Taiwan. Boy boy boy, I was blown away by the sushi that melted in my mouth and the caviar that gave an understated finish to the simple looking sushi. The miniature crab could make me forget about my absolute favourite chilli crab for a brief moment. I think I can never have sushi again in other places. And the company proved to be delightful over the 3-hour dinner.

I have always maintained that I don't go to parties. I bring the party. PH, AJ and I proceeded to Myst (which snubbed Rey and I the previous Sat) and brought the house down with our silly dance moves. It was 4am when I got back to my hotel and once again, I was extremely pleased how an unplanned evening turned out to be amazing.

When I finally woke up the next morning, it was a bad episode of moving to a new hotel to find it in such terrible state (don't get me on the smell!) and then moving back to the vintage hostel I was at for the first night. After Rey left APAC with nothing but good memories, I spent the rainy afternoon lazing in the hostel. Then PH picked me up at 9pm and off we went to a Bulgarian restaurant that I picked from Tripadvisor. It was the #1 restaurant in Taipei and I figured "Why not?"When we arrived at 10pm, it was empty and I didn't think the restaurant was going to uphold its reputation. I think it was the flowing conversation over the next 4.5 hours that made dinner better than it was. Oh, and the messages PH's "brothers" have sent him during the day about how to make an impression in front of a lady helped crack me up. :)

The next day, it was lunch with PH at a very, and I meant very, local fish noodle place. Then we spent a couple of hours wandering around Taipei Main Station (imagine my horror when I had to step into the area again!). I truly appreciate PH's company over the few days because I feel very comfortable even with just silence between us.

Alas, all good things must come to an end and a very comfortable mercedes ride to the airport saw me flying home to the best country in the world - Singapore! ;)

I have to admit that the second trip to Taipei definitely beats the first and I'm not surprised with the company, both literally and not. 

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