Monday, April 28, 2008

Last day traveling

So tonight is my last night in Taiwan, after my almost 2 week business trips of going to Korean (Seoul)/Taiwan (Taipei), I'm pretty glad to be going home.

Random thoughts:
- "fatty beef cakes" (I have no idea how to type the chinese) is super yummy - yummier than in Cali.
- People are amazingly polite and orderly (like they line up for the MRT and don't jaywalk) in Taipei
- Kalbi and Tong Kalbi are both yummy
- My stomach does not like eating too much meat
- I like the other remote Google offices almost more than Mountain View
- Business travel is actually pretty lonely if you aren't traveling with anyone.

It was fun having friends from work in Seoul. The first night we all went out to have Bul Tak (which translates to fire chicken), and it was super SUPER spicy. We ignored all the warnings from the hotel concierge and the resturant person about "very spicy"... One person in our group starting tearing up it was so spicy, it looked like he was crying the whole night :)

I managed to make it to the DMZ one of those days - it was pretty interesting... We got to walk down to this tunnel the North Koreans supposedly dug to attempt to infiltrate South Korea, when the tunnel was found it they coated coal on the sides of the tunnel so it would look like they were mining coal. We also got to go to this observation deck and go see the 500 lbs flag North Korea put up so their flag would be bigger than the South Korea flag in the DMZ.

One awesome thing was that most of those days we had someone who was local take us around. One day she took us to this street called Garosu-gil, and it had the CUTEST stuff I've ever seen. I'll take a picture of this sheep I got when I get back to the US.

Traffic in Seoul is RIDICULOUS. I mean, it's the worst out of any asian city I have ever visited (this includes various parts of China). People run red lights, the drivers are insane, and there are so many cars so traffic is always congested. It took us 1.5 hours to go less than 10km on a rainy day. RIDICULOUS.

Food (meat) was awesome in Seoul.

I was pretty glad my parents were here with me over the long weekend, we went to the National Palace Museum and saw the meat shaped stone (which seriously looked like a fatty piece of meat), and the jade cabbage (bak choy) - which were pretty impressive. I guess it is the two more famous pieces at the museum :P Also shopped and bought A LOT of books from eslite. I like chinese books.

I surprisingly managed to return something at eslite that usually doesn't like you do return/exchanges with my broken mandarin (my language handicap which was probably why I could exchange it...)

I gave the same talk I gave in Seoul in Tapei today, I just made to make it twice as long... It didn't go so bad, talking for almost an hour is pretty tiring tho. I hope my talk was well received and that people learned a bunch of stuff from it. I managed to only have one person in my audience use his laptop, which IMHO is pretty good.

My dad also found this restaurant in Taipei that served only Tuna, like 10 different dishes on different parts of the fish... It was really good. We also went to AoBa which served Taiwanese food, it was yummy, but I think expensive for Taiwan.

Ok, I think I rambled long enough... All in all, I got to tour two asian cities I've never been to, which was pretty awesome. Although next time I think I need a partner in crime, as traveling alone is pretty lonely (especially in airports).

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