Thursday, April 2, 2009

coming to Asia

Here's a few things I love about coming to Asia:

Funny signs
there are lots of small grammatical errors in the English translation of signs, that are good for a smile or sometimes a laugh-out-loud. My favorite of the trip so far was the sign that welcomed me on the jetway into the airplane in Japan, with its ironic use of quotations... it said:

We hope you have a "safe" and "comfortable" flight.

Taiwanese people like things neat and organized and very very structured. This was the only time in my life that I have seen two men whose job it was to turn the suitcases as they came up the conveyor belt so they all were laying neatly with the handles turned out for easy pick-up.

The MRT is a very fast, very clean train system, which I will be using to get around Taipei everyday. I was amazed at how clean it was-- its the first metro system I've been in where the stations actually smelled nice. And there are lines painted on the ground at every door entrance. People boarding the trains line up in two neat rows on the left of the doors, so they can load as people simultaneously exit to the right. Some people might find this precision and organization suffocating, but so far I like it! I know what to expect, and don't have to be so aggressive to make it on the train like in other cities.

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