Alan Soh

I am my own columnist, sharing my own thoughts and experiences!

Taiwan Trip 2015

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I made 2 trips to Taipei in 2015, the first was made on 25 November and the second on 29 December.

The first trip was made with Charles tagging along. I spent 4 days in Ximending, Taipei while he continued staying on till 1 December 2015.

The second one was a solo trip. I spent my NYE holidays there also in Ximending, aiming to see Taipei 101 fireworks at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day. I met up with a fellow Singaporean friend Billy Loh, who was there for a Chinese Buddhist Temple retreat activity from 24 to 28 December.

I felt that doing solo travel is quite liberating, as I have full control over where and when I want to go. It gives me an opportunity to be even more self-dependent, and at the same time, be more observant of my surroundings. More importantly, I step out of my comfort zone to discover new things. Hmmm so I say, it is quite enjoyable. 🙂

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Civic mindness. This is what I observed when I spent my NYE holidays in Taipei.
Many people including myself were sitting on the closed roads near Taipei City Hall area, waiting in anticipation for the Taipei 101 fireworks to take place. Many were seen with their DSLR cameras or smartphone cameras. I expected people standing up immediately at the stroke of midnight snapping photos of the fireworks.

It never happened. Except for a few people using tripod stands, I was so surprised and amazed to see people continued sitting snapping photos of the fireworks! The Taiwanese perfectly understood that if they are to stand up, they would obstruct the view of others who are sitting down behind them.

This would not happen in Singapore.

The metro trains were running 24 hours on New Year’s Eve. After the fireworks, people were queuing to take train at Taipei City Hall Station. A stampede could happen any time if crowd control measures are not implemented. The train station was shut down temporarily. Using a microphone and a friendly tone, the station master (I presume) urged public members waiting at the station entrance not to push one another while going down the elevators to take train when the station reopens. To further lighten the mood among the waiting crowd, he even cracked some friendly jokes. Party revellers laughed. People also made way automatically for a wheelchair-bound individual, for him to be wheeled to a safe spot outside the station, with the kind assistance of a train station staff. A few other train station officers were also present, professional yet patient to answer any public queries.

As usual, the Taiwanese queued on the right side of elevators.

That human touch. A sense of inclusiveness. 人情味。体谅与关怀。This is one positive aspect of Taiwan, which I REALLY like about her. 🙂




Author: alansoh79

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