What a delightful blog Bob wrote! I felt like I was touring Taipei right alongside him. His pictures capture the moments ever so eloquently and complete a great description of a day in Taipei.
Please don't comment here. Instead please go to Bob's Blog and give him your comments! Let's encourage him to write more!
Like most Realtors I have a keen curiosity about my fellow human beings. What makes us different is a question foremost in my mind as I shopped, toured and generally wondered around the City of Taipei. The language and food is really different. I speak absolutely no Chinese save for Shea Shea - Thank You. Ninety-nine percent of the restaurant menus in Neihu exclude English so I have resorted to pointing and smiling and wishing for the best.
So what have I found different in this place far from home where my size makes me an oddity? Let me tell you:
A gaggle of giggling teenage girls sitting at a table chatting rapidly amongst themselves each with an active cell phone glued to their ears.
A grandmother at McDonald's helping her little daughter up the stairs while mother is yelling for her four year old son to slow down so she can catch up with him.
Teenage boys at the same McDonald's slouched in their seats with arms draped over the back and feet up.
On Taipei 101 bench a young couple sit; she with her arms wrapped around his waist and head nuzzled to his neck.
Children in awe of the "Changing of the Guard" at Chang Kai Shek Memorial. Eyes fixed on the three minutes display of twirling rifles thrown and caught in the air, banging on the cold tile floor and in a snap held stoutly across the soldier's chest.
Taxi drivers stand outside their cabs at the Formosa Regent Hotel while uniformed doormen direct black town cars and silver sports cars. Business people with black suits and briefcases flow in and out of the hotel with tourists dressed in cotton pants, golf shirts and cameras.
On Sunday I attend Good Shepard Anglican Church. The congregation repeats the same liturgy as is repeated around the world and partakes in the same sacraments. Mormons in white shirts and black ties walk the streets fulfilling their mission. Christian services brought first by the Spanish, and than the British and American Evangelist flourish throughout the island with Sunday services and bible studies in offices and homes during the week.
During the week Buddhist take time to worship at the many shrines and temples that frequent every neighborhood. I've hear chanting as I walk by a mosque.
God shows his presence in Taiwan in many forms.
A customer in women's clothing store, with the aid of a clerk, tries on a brightly coloured jacket that reminds me of Jackie Kennedy. Immediately the second clerk joins thems and tells the customer how good she looks.
Teenage girls show their experimentation with the latest fashion. Skirts and shorts shorter than any parent would want and a cacophony or colours prevail in hair and clothing..
I follow woman in the subway with Scoliosis who determinately walks almost bent over to ninety-degrees with only her cane keeping her from tipping onto the hard subway passage. She negotiates the crowd with purpose that her affliction will not deter. I am inspired.
At seven thirty in the morning I look down from my balcony and watch the school children with their backpacks, some bouncing, some talking, but most still waking up, making their way to the high school on the corner. One boy hurries to catch up with his classmates. Two more lag behind carelessly with their eyes directed to the street beneath their feet.
Late at night I peer through the front window of a real estate office. On one side of the desk is a young man sitting erect pointing to a document with a pen. On the other side of the table a young couple lean forward with anticipation and eagerness on their faces staring at the document and listening intently to the young man opposite.
When I use the washroom at the World Convention Centre I walk into a almost vacant men's room. The ladies washroom has a lineup.
I could go on and on and perhaps I will in another post ... but you get the picture.
This has been a good lesson for an old Realtor who can too easily become focused on his own world. Beyond the facade of political, economic, social and geographic boundaries we all participate in a similar world with similar conditions.
The difference in only in our uneducated perception.
The sameness is in our hearts and souls.
Each person in the world is making a contribution to their personal environment and the world. As Realtors we are part of this contribution. As Realtors we see this played out in the intimate relationship of helping people meet their needs and desires to sustain their families in a home that nourishes and protects. We are one part of the same fabric.