At a cafe suitably named Route 66, I met Pao through a weekly Taipei Couchsurfing meetup. We share an immense love for travel and exposing ourselves to different cultures. She works for a local news station in Taipei translating stories into Mandarin, and at the time, I told her I felt sorry she had to deal with so much coverage of the American election. I am humbled by her kind-heartedness, genuine interest in other people’s stories, humility, and cheerful spirit, and she was kind enough to contribute some insight to life in Taiwan.
Favorite Food: Ice cream
Favorite Place(s) Traveled: Australia
Drink of Choice (alcoholic or non): Juice
Favorite Movie or Book: Annie Hall
If you are not currently living in the city/country you were born, what was the reason for moving?
It’s always fun to go to an exotic place, see other cultures, meet people from different backgrounds and experience the things you can’t do at home.
Name 3 things you like and 3 things you don’t like about living in Taipei.
I like the convenience, and most people are really kind and friendly. There are always things to do in this big city.
I don’t like the pollution, the crowdedness, and the cost of living is really high for most people, especially the youngsters.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about Taiwan?
Most people don’t know about it at all, and people who have heard about it don’t know much about it either. It’s actually quite developed, but when people hear about Taiwan, they mistake it as Thailand, or a country full of factories, which is true but we have more than just factories.
What are some things to do in your Taipei/Taiwan that can’t be found on Google?
There are so many nice little places that are quite unknown to most people, only locals know about it. So are activities, food…etc.
What one food or drink do people have to try during their visit to Taipei?
So many tea shops provide various kind of drinks that there must be something you like! And for food, if you like bizarre food, there is a lot to try at night markets, all sorts of animal organs!
What’s one thing you want people to know about life in Taipei?
There are just so many things to do and going on here, hard to pick one, but one thing I want them to know is that it’s a place to explore.
What do you do for a living? What kind of work does your specific position entail? How many hours per week do you usually work?
I am a journalist/translator, usually work for 8 hours a day, and I have to keep up with what’s happening in this world and report it in Chinese.
How long is your commute to work? How often do you take the train/bus out to neighboring cities?
15 mins. I take bus and train quite often, although I have a scooter, but its not for long distance, so every weekend when I’m going anywhere, I take public transport.
What do you spend your downtime doing? What are your hobbies? What does a typical day look like for you?
Usually I hang out with friends at some restaurants or just chill out at home, I like music and movies, when I’m stressed I usually talk to friends. A typical day will include work, idling around, chitchatting with friends, just fun things in general.
What’s a recent event you went to that you really enjoyed?
I like to explore this city so whenever I visit a nice place that I have not been to before, it’s really exciting to me.
Describe the best birthday you ever had, the best gift you ever got, and why were they so special?
There was one when I spent with a boyfriend at the time, it was a romantic surprise. I like gifts which my friends tell me how happy they are to have me in their lives.
Living the life you’ve lived, what is a valuable lesson have you learned?
Cherish important people in your life, don’t take them for granted.
When your mind starts to wander, what do you dream about? What is one thing you want to do / accomplish?
Dream about going somewhere beautiful with the people I like and enjoy being with. I want to see this world as much as possible.
Tell me about your involvement in CS. How did you discover the community? What was one of your best experiences with CS?
I found out about it via some friends I met in Australia. They told me about sleeping on strangers’ sofas and it sounded fun to me. I had some hosts in Australia and they were all really awesome. They gave me the key right away, told me I could stay as long as I want, and they also showed me around, very nice experience.
Any last words?
Happy travels and happy life. I think people who like to travel are like-minded, always upbeat and positive towards life.