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Final Asia Post: What I learned

“If I knew everything I would not have to work anymore.”

That is one of my favorite quotes to use when the question of “knowing all” comes up. Hey, being a Raton Colorao, one is expected to know a lot! I think the phrase applies to many things in life – and I can certainly put “travel” in place of “work” and have it still be relevant.

El Raton high above Taipei

El Raton high above Taipei

Since this is my final post in what has become my travel series on my trip to Asia, I thought it would be good to convey what I have learned from my first trip to Asia (without overly waxing poetic) – a summation if you will. As I write this (albeit 5 months later!!!!!!), I really want to see if the trip and my experience met my expectations from one of my earliest posts. Hopefully, you will learn something too…

SPOILER ALERT: There is a video at the end of this post I filmed at the beginning of my trip that turned out to be very prophetic…I forgot I even had it until I looked at my FlipCam recently.

So in rapid fire (well, not so rapid fire) fashion, here are my takeaways – complete with pretty pictures and videos for those of you more visually inclined. Remember to click on the pictures for extra detail – especially the food pics!

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Didn’t I go to Singapore Too?

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I started the blog off with tales of my Asia trip and then the blog was to morph into a lifestyle blog. Well, the “lifestyle” has been put on hold because of, well, my “lifestyle” – but all coming soon.

Well, referring to my trip in December & January, so far, “Asia Trip” has equaled “Taiwan” – at least until now.

I went to Singapore for a few days as well – I know, I know, its hard to tell, as there is nary a mention of that trip here on my blog. Why is that? Well, as Randy Jackson would say, “It was just alright for me Dog.”

A view from the Haji Lane area towards downtown Singapore

Singapore is a mix of Chinese, English, Malay (Indian) cultures. So, if you like food, you are in luck. And don’t get me wrong – I like it, and Singapore IS the cleanest and safest city on Earth. For example, I swear this happened:   [click to continue…]

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Taipei Withdrawal

Forgive me for the lack of blog posts the last 2 weeks. Since I returned from Asia, I have been in a deep blue funk – a dark place. Depression might be too strong of a word – but definitely a cold, dark, lonely, and distracted place. Actually, depression set in the first morning back in the USA, where breakfast out cost me $23 plus tip – I’m not sure I spent that much in 2 weeks worth of breakfasts in Taipei (and there is no tipping there by the way, but do not get me started…)

But the funk I have been in – it could be the post-vacation blues, the normal back-to-work blahs, but I think its more a withdrawal or heaviness that cannot be explained…well, except by the great Rodney Dangerfield:

I get a lot of pressure and this pressure is like a heaviness. It’s always on top of me, this heaviness. Other people wake up in the morning, “Ahh new day, up n’ atom!” I wake up, the heaviness is right there waiting for me…sometimes I even talk to it, I say “Hi heaviness.” And the heaviness looks back at me, “Today you’re gonna get it good boy…you’ll be drinkin’ early today.”

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A True Convenience in Taiwan

I have discovered gold in Taiwan…a cultural phenomenon if you will…a panacea to end all panacea…I have found a place – under one roof- like nowhere else in the world…

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If You Do Not Like Food, Do NOT Come To Taipei

Disclaimer: This is a long one, but with lots of pretty pictures (click on them for larger versions) for those of us with short attention spans…oooh, look at the kitty…what was I saying??…

Addiction… Webster’s defines it as:

1 : the quality or state of being addicted <addiction to reading>

2 : compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful

Addiction can come in many forms – sex, gambling, drugs, alcohol, money, people, etc. And while I am sure many of us have been addicted to one or all of the above, my current addiction stems around Taipei…and the FOOD! [click to continue…]

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My New Favorite Airline – EVA Airways

As airlines go, I have always said the foreign (i.e. non-USA) airlines have always kicked the USA airlines collective asses. From friendliness, service, and comfort, it has not even been close.

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A Red Mouse goes to Asia…and Channels his Inner Bourdain

The Raton Colorao in full travel mode

Yes, I am off to Asia for close to three weeks! I will be spending most of the time in Taiwan and a few days after the new year in Singapore. I have always wanted to go to Asia, and have been planning a trip to Hong Kong next year for my 40th, but someone close to me recently said, “Why wait? You never know when you will get another chance.” So, time to put a few new stamps in my shamefully empty passport!!

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My Holiday Travel Journey Begins

Travel…I would probably do it for a living if I could. Then again, most of my professional career as a consultant has had airplanes and hotels involved. No, there is something deeper to travel – when you start to crave it – start to need it, start to wonder what to do with yourself when you are not doing it…

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