Saturday, November 8, 2008

Taiwan I - Architecture

Ye Olde Rusty T Motel, this is NOT where I stayed.

One of the first things I noticed about Taiwan was the architecture. Very "brutal" in nature, most every building is made of concrete, and the deluxe buildings have glazed tiles on the outside. Stainless steel water tanks capped everything from homes to factories. I think they help increase water pressure.

This is what I imagine the buildings look like in Soviet-bloc countries of Eastern Europe. Built strictly for function, most of buildings looked like this in both the small towns and in Taipei. One of my coworkers stayed in these motels when he first started coming over in the 1980s as there were no western-style hotels at that time. At one motel he was given a rat trap upon checking in. If he caught a rat, his room was free.

Most buildings are also covered in soot. The air is choked with exhaust - diesel and lots of two-stroke from the abundance of scooters.

Still, the countryside was green and lush. Even though most of Taiwan has been forested, there are still hillsides covered in trees.

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