Looking for Taiwan

”Made in Taiwan” summarises what many Kiwis know about the subtropical island state which calls itself the Republic of China. Former Otago Daily Times reporter Joe Dodgshun got a flying taste of its rich and evolving culture in the capital, Taipei, on a stopover enroute from New Zealand.

Otago Daily Times
19 May 2015

As Nele and I entered the underground convenience store, we gagged on a Clipboard01mysterious scent, both savoury and sickly-sweet.

We quickly traced this odour to an open cabinet where small vats bubbled merrily away, filled with black eggs, yam, sausages and a cornucopia of unnaturally shaped objects of indeterminable origin.

After a long train journey, a nap on the benches of Frankfurt International Airport and the 13-hour flight to Taipei, this 6am assault on the nostrils was too much. Fleeing the 7/11, the only food store open so early, we jumped on to the first bus headed downtown.

From behind the frilly lace curtains of the airport express, we watched Taiwan awaken, while drinking odd but refreshing apple milk.

The bus threaded its way along the top of a tightly woven array of highways, three levels high, providing an outlook over the rapidly brightening landscape of apartment buildings and futuristic industrial complexes which fill the hollows between forested mountains of the country formerly known as Formosa.

Instead of being stranded in airport purgatory during our 18-hour stopover on the way to New Zealand, we were one hour later surrounded by rush hour traffic in the national capital, Taipei City.     [FULL  STORY]

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