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The Trip so far....halfway day

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 Well, so far we are halfway through the trip and are still going strong. We started off the day by taking the high speed rail to Taipei from Kaosiung and it was quite a ride traveling at 172 mph. When we arrived at the main station, we took the local MRT and ended up in the hotel common room talking about the rest of the day. After lunch at the food courts, we took the MRT to the Sunyatsen memorial hall and watched the guards (guarding the monument) step down from their shifts at five o'clock to return in the morning. We ended the day by looking down from the 89th floor of the Taipei 101 and returned to the hotel.

 

I think that halfway is a big turning point on any trip because it's a good way of telling how well you're able to keep up. It also tells how comfortable you are with your surroundings. One thing that was brought to our attention was that our group as a whole was not giving a good impression to the public where we travelled. I think that we showed a sense of selfishness and were acting self centered compared to other groups of kids traveling. It was pointed out that we were loud and inconsiderate of others just trying to get somewhere in peace. On a good note, our group is still going strong and there is positive attitude throughout. 

Comments

Great observations Doug. When

Great observations Doug. When we were living in Singapore and Southeast Asia post 9/11, Americans had to be acutely aware of how we were perceived - did we fit the American stereotype? Would someone who didn't speak English identify us as American or another English speaking expat - Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians? Experiencing another's culture is to impart your own. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip firsthand.
Xoxo -Mom

From Bleu (Tyler's mom)

Thanks Doug for walking through your day via post for us and for some insights on where the group is in the halfway point. It is good to hear that the group is reflecting on your presence in a different country and your impact; it is an important part of learning about the world, your place in the world and how you want to be as world citizens. I agree- I'm sure the group will step up and take what has come to your awareness and implement that for the second half of your trip...this is how we grow! Safe travels as you set in to the second half of your time in Taiwan! Thank you again for posting. Wishing everyone good adventures ahead.

Ambassadors

Thanks, Doug, for your honest feedback about the group's behavior in public spaces. With this level of awareness I'm sure the group will step up! Happy that the group dynamic is so positive. Have a great second half of your adventure!!

We're in Kathmandu

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We're here... I don't even know what time it is... but we're all on two legs. Coming from the Hyatt in Seoul, where efficiency, modern amenities, and breakfast buffets featuring eight courses for each breakfast item (eggs eight ways, toast eight ways, waffles eight ways, dim sum eight ways and so on....) are the norm... Kathmandu is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. We were processed through the Seoul airport in a grand total of about 10 minutes for the entire group... we arrived in Kathmandu after a seven-hour flight, took a 25-second bus ride around the corner of a building, exited, and then entered the line for immigration and our visas. We were in line for over 2 1/2 hours. Although hot, thirsty, and exhausted, our group maintained their perky spirit - we joked about doing a flash mob and maybe will consider doing this on our return venture.

We exited the airport to clean, if dusty, air and hundreds of people waiting outside in the parking lot. Many were day laborers looking to help us with our bags. All bags were loaded onto a bus and we piled in and went on a crazy ride through the streets, avoiding thousands of people on mopeds, bicycles, tricycles carrying construction equipment, with kids playing, chickens, goats, other tour buses, students in uniform, beggars, people coming home from work talking on cellphones, monkeys, and dogs.

Mellow night here... dinner, more cards... sleep