Friday, September 13, 2013

Saying Hello to Taiwan


On the 30th of September I will depart Sydney for a 3 and a half week trip to Taiwan. I can't wait! I'm flying with Vietnamese Airlines and I will stay overnight at Ho Chi Minh City (previously known as Saigon) before continuing on to Taipei. I plan to spend 8 days in Taipei before making my way down the island and visiting a friend of mine called Jenny. I might attend this festival, if I can fit something scheduled in, in between being as spontaneous as possible.

Taiwan appeals to me because it complements traditional Chinese culture with a functional democracy and a youthful sensibility. I plan to drink more bubble tea than you can poke a bamboo stick at, visit as many temples as possible and catch contemporary modern art where I can find it.

You might have heard that Australia elected Tony Abbott to be our next Prime Minister. This is pretty depressing from a progressive point of view, with The Independent newspaper reporting that Australia will be 'less green, more mean'. Abbott opposes marriage equality and thinks that there is too much emphasis on how much Aboriginal Australians were discriminated against in history books. He has also been compared to George W. Bush, which is sadly appropriate, given his tendency to make gaffes, social conservativism and general idiocy.

My psychiatrist suggested I take up drinking. (No joke! I'm sampling an Italian red wine as I speak.)

You may remember that I was very glad to be back 'home' in Sydney earlier in the year... well, I've decided to continue trying to move overseas, even if it's difficult and I find it difficult to make new friends at first and I have to make some sacrifices on the way. I just feel like I have 'done' Sydney, and now it's time for something new.

In the meanwhile, I will be continuing to travel to great places like Taiwan... next on my list are Argentina and Chile (remember how I've had my eye on Argentina for a while?), and after that I am thinking of Bali, Israel and somewhere in Africa (possibly Nigeria).

Now, how do you say "Hello" in Chinese again...?

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