Greatest City on Earth (tomorrow)™ Plenty of things to do in this fast moving, typhoon powered metropolis of nearly 3 million. Hardware junkie paradise, Chinese culture heaven. Food lovers dream.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Typhoons & Holidays

Another Typhoon is coming soon.

Taiwanese do not have holidays, they just work. Except maybe for Chinese New Year. If you want a holiday, quit your job and in the (tiny) interval just have a little break abroad. Of course, that is the outside appearance, its just hard to find the cracks in it.

Back to the topic. Typhoons are natural disasters, they wreak havoc. Each year a handfull of them bear on the island and kill people, cause landslides and basically a lot of nastiness; in supermarkets the food prices go down, in traditional markets they go up.

They are also a great time to spend with your family, as you can't go out, can't go to work (except for the real junkies). The government will tell you in advance whether you need to show up for work or not, and whether you need to go to school.

So you stack up in 7-11, buy crackers, drinking water, batteries for the flashlights, refuel your generator and maybe tape the windows.

Then, sit back, and watch TVBS / CTV and hope the the cable TV does not cut out. Round the clock reporting ensures you can watch anchorman and woman get seriously soaked on life TV.
Great fun for the whole family.

If the TV cuts out, you hope that the electricity does not cut out. If it does, well, go to sleep and hope that things do not get flooded. If that does... bugger.

In Taiwan, do not live on the ground floor if you can avoid it. Generally wise advise, after all an earthquake might lower the building by one floor, and its easy for the water to seep in.

Clean up is quick, this place is efficient. If you life in Northern Taiwan, in the south things tend to be a little slower, distances longer. Roads might dissapear. Usually, you are back at work the day following the typhoon, a little soggy but perfectly ok.

Relevant Links

Central Weather Bureau - Watch the storm go by on radar & satellite

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