One of the neat features of working here currently is that the company sponsors a yearly outing for individual branches. It just so happens that B- is here with me for a couple of weeks and just in time to join me.
The branch where I’m stationed decided to go to Hsinchu (新竹). This weekend also happened to be the passing of Typhoon Mindulle which passed to the south of us. We in the North and Northeast was pretty lucky and was unscathed. The typhoon warnings didn’t deter the group and we set out via train (Taiwan Railway Administration FYI). The express took 1 hr and we headed over to the Howard Plaza Hotel Hsinchu. Hotel is nice, comparable to a Westin or Marriott – a 5 star business class hotel for Taiwan. Free broadband in the rooms. All and all, very nice accomodations.
Once we checked in we headed to Neiwan, another hour by train. It’s this remote village in the middle of the hills which is just a tourist place. Almost seems it was just created for that because it is so remote. Walked around, sampled the local eats, like sausages, stinky tofu, bubble tea, watermelon slushy and wrapped sticky rice. The weather was cool thanks to the typhoon. Came back and headed straight for buffet dinner.
B- and I are having a great time, it’s nice to see colleagues in a different light. Helping gain acceptance of me as a new person to the company and also as a overseas chinese. Good practicing my spoken Mandarin and starting to become more fluent conversationally. Not to bad for this dude who hated learning Mandarin as a kid and who didn’t speak it for many years as a form of rebellion against the folks.
Tomorrow, another breakfast buffet, visit to another place and then back to Taipei.
Happy Independence Day peeps.