Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
When we get back, we'll wrap up this journal, including a description of our adventures at "very famous dumpling restaurant" on our last night here. But for now, it's time to pack up the laptop, and say good-bye to the warm weather, the culture, and the friendliness of Taiwan.
Xie-xie for following us on this adventure, everyone!
We wrapped up class today, and it was a good class. The topic was Organizational Staffing, and covered things like Recruiting, Personnel Selection, Performance Appraisal, Employee Retention, Cultural issues affecting Staffing, and linking Staffing to the Organization's Strategy. Fifteen students in total, including several people with a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience in HR and Staffing, and several others with really no Staffing background. It made for an interesting class, trying to balance the needs of both groups. (I'll post a class picture once I get a copy of some of the ones taken today.)
The last part of class is always a group presentation of a project they've worked on all week, and the presentations today were all really good. I was very impressed with the level of effort and understanding, and it was fun to see how they integrated the class topics into their own workplace situations. We also had lunch at Schwarzwald, a local German restaurant, which was a lot of fun.
I learned while I was here that the Baruch HR Executive Master's Program is ready to launch in Singapore, and I am scheduled to teach there the first week of June. I'm already starting to learn about the country, and to prepare for that trip. Apparently the Russia program they had been working on fell through (the partners in Russia were apparently unsavory folks), but I'm excited about the Singapore opportunity.
Tonight is the last night for us here, and we're not yet sure where we're going to dinner, or how we'll spend the evening. Heather did all the laundry, so we're pretty much ready to go. So we'll find something fun to do to wrap up our Taipei adventure and Heather's first trip to Asia, and Pei's initial trip anywhere.
Friday, February 22, 2008
|Make a photobook - it's easy!|
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Today was supposed to be rainy BUT instead it was sunny and over 70 degrees. We finally made it to the Taipei 101 building. It is very tall, but not as wide as most buildings. In the center of the building there is a damper system which is comprised of many pillars and one HUGE "damper baby" Damper Baby is 660 ton steel weight which hangs in the center of the building to help absorb the sway of the building. They are really proud of the damper giving it a super hero character named Damper Baby. They even display the Damper. We EVEN got our picture taken with the damper. The viewing area for the damper is on floor 88. To get up there you take a superfast elevator. It was like half a minute to go from the 5th floor to the 89th. Our ears were popping!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
|Make a postcard - it's easy!|
Here is more about the hotel:
"After Chiang Kai-shek's retreat to Taiwan in 1949, Chiang felt it was difficult to accommodate foreign ambassadors, as there weren't any five-star hotels in Taipei. Thus, he wanted to build an extravagant hotel to treat foreign guests. His wife Soong May-ling suggested to build it on the old Taiwan Hotel on Yuanshan Mountain, the site of the ruins of the Taiwan Grand Shrine, a Shinto shrine during the Japanese rule. Chiang decided on a Chinese palace-style architecture to promote Chinese culture to the West through its extravagance. Taipei-based architect Yang Cho-Cheng was responsible for the design of the new hotel.
The hotel was established in the May of 1952, but it was expanded several times before it became the landmark as it is known today. The swimming pool, tennis court, and the membership lounge were constructed in 1953, and Golden Dragon Pavilion and Golden Dragon Restaurant opened in 1956. The Jade Phoenix Pavilion and Chi-Lin Pavilion opened in 1958 and 1963, respectively. In 1968, the hotel was rated as one of the world's top ten hotels by the US Fortune magazine. And finally, in the Double Tenth Day of 1973, the main Grand Hotel building was completed, making it an instant Taipei icon.
In June 1995, a disastrous fire broke out on the roof during necessary reconstruction and refurbishment, and because neither ladders nor high pressure pumps could reach the fire, the roof and the upper floors were destroyed. Not until 1998 did the hotel recover from the damage and became fully reopened to the public. Following the fire, the two dragon heads on the roof were rotated 180 degrees to point inwards. As dragons are traditionally a symbol of rain and water, this was intended to symbolize preparedness against a future fire."
Monday, February 18, 2008
Today Pei, Marcus and I went to the National Palace Museum. Here we learned alot about Chinese Calligraphy. I was of course interested in seeing the art and figuring out its influences. One of the things I thought was so incredibly striking is that if there is a great piece of art that it often copied. In fact copying great works was looked upon as a GOOD thing. The more closely copied the more honor you did the artist. This is very much counter to the ideas of the western world that prizes art as individual expression.
I had to put together a slide show from the Palace Museum site. When Marcus was there last he was able to take pictures. WE however were not. So I gathered pictures of some of MY favorite things. I was there on Sunday with a quick tour group. Then again today with better company;) Sadly though, I am beginning to really feel under the weather.
The National Palace Museum Slideshow-
|Make a slideshow - it's easy!|
After the National Palace Museum we made our way to Longshan Temple and finally the market-
The original was built in 1738by settlers from China. The temple has since been destroyed either in full or in part by earthquakes and fires and in 1945, it was even hit by American bombers who claimed the Japanese were hiding armaments inside. Taipei residents rebuilt it as soon as the war was over. Determine no? Longshan is seen as an emblematic example of Taiwanese classical architecture. At the site one can worship Buddhist, Taoist or even folk deities like Matsu.
But here is my slideshow for it:
|Make a slideshow - it's easy!|
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
coming acrossed something not really flavored except kinda briney but both rubbery and crunchy at the same time. I had cleaned off the first small bit so digging some more out,. As I was putting more on my plate, I took a good look at the colors and textures. The bitterness of the dish had already ruled out a repeat performance. Then I found these little devils... I began to laugh really hard and then finished my plate before it all sunk in. You can't see it very well in the picture but they are little fish... heads and all. Not unlike an anchovy, but certainly not as strong in flavor... oh and they were crunchy. In my head the first rule of any cultures cuisine is that they eat it and it doesn't kill them so I'll live. However, eating like a native here is NOT for the timid! Again, I did finish my plate, but sadly I did not finish the whole take out box. Tried it Kept it down- sounds like a success to me. I don't think that it is something I would try again. Not so much because the fishies had their heads but more so because the bitter melon did not have a flavor I liked. Pei didn't seem so willing to guard it after all. Maybe the stuffed lion has more wisdom then I give him credit for. Well, can't say I am not willing to try something. However, pray for me... it sounds like I am gonna need it.
After a nap, it was time to go back out exporing. We went out and about to see the sites and sounds of Taipei at night! Here is a picture of Heather and I out shopping. It was kinda crazy because there were so many people. Taipei has a population of 2,630,872 people, so you see it really is a large city. There are lots of signs that are written in Mandrin and some that are in English. Sometimes, though the english doesn't make much sense to people who speak English every day. Like this sign for shoes. Which says Fancy Holiday... There are lots of signs and shirts which say things in English just to be in English even if they don't make much sense.
This evening, Heather and I (and Pei) went to the Shida Night Market. Heather got some cool photos to show this very densely packed, very Chinese location. We'll probably make it to she Guaxi Night Market later this week -- also known as Snake Alley. It's right next to the Longshan Temple, so we'll go there first, and then go get a foot massage at the Night Market. Lots of fun things for us to do here, but first, I have another full day of teaching tomorrow. So we're having a late dinner of Lamb with green onions, and noodles, and then it is bed time!