Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Taiwan Day 3
Ron and I hung out at the house a bit, emailed, called, and skypped our families. We then headed out the door around 8:00-ish and went to a book fair that just happened to be going on at the Taipei Exhibition Hall. Gina's house is within walking distance of the exhibition center so that was rather convenient. We got there only to realize that we were a bit early so we walked around, went to a bakery and got ourselves a little treat - yes I know, we're pigs.
The book fair was amazing. They had an entire hall dedicated to children's books and stationary, 1 hall dedicated to comics (which is HUGE in Taiwan), and one hall dedicated to everything else. Ron and I went with the purpose of trying to find good basic chinese teaching material for all our children. When I arrived in Taiwan, I felt an incredible desire to teach my children chinese. I've decided that it's really, truly important; so we really wanted to see what we could do to help them and what materials are available to help them. We browsed and browsed for a couple hours and saw some really cool gadgets, but ended up simply buying a few sets of children's books. Most of the books we bought are historical or cultural children stories that all kids in Taiwan know. I also bought a grade school set of Chinese cultural/mythological/fantasy books for myself to improve my own chinese reading abilities.
We then met my cousins for lunch at a super fancy mall where we ate super yummy food. After lunch we decided to browse the mall's bookstore for children and that's where we found a TON of chinese childrens movies that also had english. It was jackpot! Ron and I decided that since we learned a lot of english by watching tv, maybe we can do the same for the kids. The best find was Dora. They had Dora speaking chinese teaching english. Since our children are already familiar with Dora here in the US, we thought that might be good. It's so far been my favorite to show my kids because they are actually getting it! We also bought other movies and childrens tv shows, etc.
Now, to watch a movie purchased in Taiwan you need a different region DVD player. You cannot purchase an all region DVD player in the US anymore due to copyright infringements of pirated movies sold for cheap out of country, etc. So, I later had to purchase 3 DVD players for our families a few days before I left.
Anyway, after we finished up with our shopping, Gina took us up to the Taipei 101 building. It's pretty much the equivalent of the space needle, only taller. There was a nice 45 min wait to get up to the top and of course they had little displays and shops where you can browse, etc. There were some really cool technology displays from different companies featuring the latest tablets, etc. That's when we found special USB sticks that allows you access to Taiwan T.V.! These little storage devices is a gateway to a cloud computing storage that has books and tv shows, cartoons, etc. that you can read and watch in Chinese for $60 USD. Ron and I bought these for all 3 families too to further help us teach the children chinese.
Anyway, after about 45 minutes we rode on the super fast Guiness Record elevator that took us all the way up to the top in 37 seconds! It was quite the ride and made my ears pop like crazy. At the top there's quite the view and also lots of artistic displays. I was so impressed with the marble/stone/jade carvings. They were so amazing.
By the time we left Taipei 101 it was about 6pm and we headed home. Ron had to leave for the airport that night at 8pm so we had to get back in time for one last dinner together and give him time to shower, pack, and say goodbye.
After Ron left that night, I took my grandma back to the Sun Yet Sen Memorial Hall so that she can see the lanterns and the laser fountain show. I purposely went twice so that 1 night was dedicated to taking pictures and the next would be purely for fun. My grandma and I tried to track down some paper lanterns again and only found 1. But I was grateful for the 1 that I found and decided that was good enough. That night we headed home around 10:30pm so that I could shower and rest up a bit more.