Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

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This is one of the major landmarks in Taipei. And here is a kid who cares more for bubbles and running around in circles. If you turn up at this place in the morning you will find legions of Tai Chi people appearing like some slow motion Kung Fu movie. And in the evenings you can find the yoofs all break dancing and listening to music – although for some reason it is all rather more friendly and less confrontational than urban subcultures in the UK. If you see a punk, they will be immaculately roughly dressed in branded punk clothing… more a style statement than anything political, I think.

In the same location you can find two large halls. National theatres that show operas and… well I could maintain my aura of being well versed and cultural in these aspects, but it is all a lie. And you can see the Mitsukoshi department store tower in the background.

When the doors of the memorial shut (exactly what happened as soon as I arrived, as it happens) everyone rushes off, without hanging around at all. It’s a hilarious habit of the Taiwanese that they only do activities for the shortest possible time, before running on to the next thing (usually eating). For example, at the beach, while us Euros are hanging around staring at clouds, all our Taiwanese friends sit down (avoiding the sun) ‘do’ the beach, tick it off the list and run to the next activity. It’s hilarious, and quite bemusing for us guys who like to chill and practice doing nothing!

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