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From Zonghli

We arrived in Taipei around 1030pm last night, which was on time despite an hour delay in departure time. We were picked up by an extended family member and stayed overnight at their town home in Zonghli city, a suburb outside of Taipei (approx 80km?) And another 40km from the airport.

I found out this development was constructed 30 years ago. There is another development across the way in the process of finishing up construction. There are 6 floors and each floor is to be sold for $5M NTD. At 3200 NTD/100USD, this is about $150K for a floor of 5-6 bedrooms. A similar size townhome across the street rents for $1000USD equivalent per month. So this is about an 8% gross income rate. I have no idea what utilities and taxes cost.

I would call the urban design aesthetic in this area “eclectic”. American fans of the “walkable city” would be aghast, mopeds and small cars seem to dominate the traffic planning mindset.

Despite little sleep on the 13h flight and going to bed around midnight on the top (3rd) floor in humid 80 degree weather we awoke around 6am, well ahead of our planned 7am alarm. A short walk into the town proper for some steamed pork bun and potstickers for breakfast. Also tried soy congee and fried youtiao. I got a few looks from some of the patronage trying to figure out what I was doing in their breakfast spot at 7am.

Heading into Taipei to check in to our AirBnB and take a food tour.

For me it is challenging to “observe without judgment”. I find myself looking around at everything trying to “make sense of it” when it’s a bit soon for such reflections. Still, I think one way for describing the concept of culture is to say that if you are in a new place and it isn’t immediately obvious to you why things are the way they are as you observe them, you are bearing witness to different culture at work.

Also, my first Chinglish sighting!

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