Saturday, September 1, 2007

The very beginning

Although I've been in Taiwan for nearly a month now, I believe I will give everyone a brief recap of all the events that have transpired so far.

I arrived in Taipei on August 4th after a 28 hour trip. The plane ride was relatively painless thanks to some "sleeping aids" given to me that made most of it a blur. After arriving at the hotel at midnight Taipei time, I took a few more pills, slept calmly throughout the night, and jet lag was never a problem.

Training began the next morning. There were about 30 people in our group from just about every English speaking country. Each day consisted of learning a different aspect of the Hess curriculum, singing songs, and eating terrible lunchbox lunches. One thing I found odd about being here was the large number of South Africans. As I was told by one of them, apparently Saffirs (not sure if this is offensive, but I have heard them refer to each other as this so I welcome myself to use the term) tend to flock to Canada, England, and Taiwan. A bit odd, but it explains why I have never met anyone from this country before. All in all though, everyone in the group was really friendly and we hung out together much, which always caused a bit of a problem when 30 people are trying to decide what to do for the night.

There are only a few nights of fun that are particularly worth mentioning. One occured at an all-you-can-drink club called Wax. For NT 500 (about 15 us dollars), we gained entrance into a small, shady, basement that blasted bad hip hop music. The shots were weak, but me and Nick (from Arkansas) quickly started playing a game called "order a drink, immediately get in the back of the line, and see if you can finish your drink before you have to order another one." The rules are pretty self explanatory. Unfortunately, it gets much harder to decide who the winner is. In my opinion, we both won. In everyone else's opinion, we were both huge losers.

The following day involved sleeping until 2 pm, and then on to a pool party that a taiwanese friend invited me to. It was at a posh country club about 5 minutes from Taipei 101 (currently the worlds largest building). There was a DJ on a bridge that spanned the width of the pool. He was very talented in the fact that he was able to permanently ruin several favorite songs of mine. I've never heard Journey mixed with a house-techno beat... and I hope I never do again.

After about a week and a half, our training was complete. To celebrate, we had a wine and cheese gathering in the penthouse apartment of the company's president. We all got a little tipsy (some more than others), and then went back to the hotel to prepare for the real fun. About half of our group. along with two Japanese girls we met in the hotel, decided to go to a club called Luxy. It is supposed to be one of the best clubs in Asia, and it did not dissapoint. Full of expensive drinks, fashionable young Taiwanese people, and scantily clad girls paid to dance on stage... it was a great night to end Taipei on. And I mean a GREAT night to end Taipei on.


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