I’m fairly certain that there’s a state department in Taiwan called “The Department of Giving People Things the Really Want.” Case in point:
In Taiwan they let you have napkins, as many as you need.
There are napkins everywhere. When people get up from a table, they might hand you their packet of napkins, just in case you need extra. Sometimes, if you’re eating at a table at a street food joint somewhere down the end of an alley, those napkins might come in the form of a roll of toilet paper nailed to a makeshift wall, but they will be there, no one is going to be stingy about it.
Taiwan does not want you to get lost. No, they will put a handy map, well everywhere, and that map will be easy to read (in Mandarin and English). Approach a tourist information desk and a nice person behind the desk will leap at you, map at the ready.
Okay so maybe I didn’t really need that “You are here” location map inside the 4 by 5 foot train bathroom, but it was still fun to look at.
“What’s the big deal?”, you’re asking me, “We have 7-11’s in my home town too” Trust me, though, Taiwanese 7-11’s leave our town’s 7-11’s in the dust. You can do just about everything at a 7-11 in Taiwan, including printing out your train tickets and getting free hot water for tea.
Who needs the number 4?
You’re hotel is not going to have a 4th floor. 4’s are for suckers.
Taiwan is a great country to be a woman
Throughout public spaces in Taiwan there seems to be a special concern for the well being and comfort of women. (People of the United States, how about we get rid of our misogynistic leaders and follow Taiwan’s lead?)
Taiwanese religion is warm, accessible and non-judgmental to tourists. While my knowledge is extremely limited, I believe most people practice a mixture of Buddhism, Daoism, and folk religion. We couldn’t stay out of the temples, with their fascinating art and architecture (and free bathrooms!). Perhaps I found the deities to be so relatable because they all seem to enjoy snacking. I got pretty obsessed with they types of snacks the gods were left as offerings. This god evidentially has a taste for squash and cream filled biscuits.
Also, I took great pleasure in learning the names of the gods. Respect to Weiling Gong, Duke of Awesome Spirituality.
Most endearing of all: Taiwan’s signs.
I solemnly swear that I did not play a single squishy trumpet in Taiwan.
Though tempted, I did not free any turtles with spherical heads either.
I minded all my appendages.
I adore this sign so much that if we had flown to Taiwan, got off the plane, saw this sign and returned to the United States, I’d have been satisfied with our trip.
What do you love most about Taiwan?