Finally back at the guest house after hours of sightseeing, shopping and dining in Taipei. Our colleagues here in Taiwan have been treating us extremely well throughout our extended stay, making the wait all but boring. Since our arrival in Taipei two days ago our guides with Andrew in charge have shown us all there is to see in the city, such as the pink cow below. My N85 mobile phone has proven to been quite handy for documenting our trip; check out my Flickr feed to see more photos from out Taiwanese adventures.
A weird thing happened during today’s expedition while checking out a site where they had restored a part of town to resemble how it looked like about 50 years ago (that’s where I found the cow on acid by the way). Outside there was this guy making silhouettes of peoples heads in paper by using a pair of scissors. Suddenly he saw me in the crowd of people and yelled in Chinese that he would do my portrait for free, probably because I looked odd or challenging to resemble with a piece of paper. After encouraging me to dance the village people song YMCA and learn how to say ”welcome to Taiwan”, making me a complete fool in front of the crowd of people, I was eventually given the silhouette as a memory. And I don’t mind the dance, it was good fun to be honest. 🙂 Daniel took plenty of pictures (and some videos too I bet) of the event and I’ll post a photo here whenever I get my dirty hands on them.
I just wanted to show some photographs from the WMUTE conference shamelessly stolen from a colleague of mine. Enjoy!
No news yet from the airline company KLM concerning our flight home but according to their web page there are some flights scheduled between Hong Kong and Amsterdam starting tomorrow. As me, Bato and Daniel are on KLM’s waiting list we keep our hopes up and try to make the best of the situation. As I mentioned in my former blog post we have now moved the CeLeKT command center to a guest house at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, located about an hour away from Kaohsiung by train. Here we have had the opportunity to meet up with professor Ray Huang’s students to exchange current research interests for possible future collaboration. Provided we cannot go home earlier we will follow up our discussions with a seminar on Friday morning.
Today most of us decided to get some well deserved rest during the early hours to get back on track after many stressful days. I for one woke up an hour or so before lunchtime, during which Prof. Gwo-Jen Hwang was so kind to take us to dinner at a traditional Japanese restaurant. I have never had any good raw fish before but this was delicious!
After that lovely meal we have been hanging out at the guest house to get some work done. I can’t say I was very productive; I was very tired after lunch as I am suffering from a soar throat so I slept for some hours. Anyhow, looking forward to a new day tomorrow, one day closer to travel home.
Okay so we’re stuck in Taiwan for now because of that stupid volcano on Iceland. We were supposed to travel home yesterday but when we went to the airport the lady in the counter refused to let us travel to Hong Kong. Dragonair had received a fax from KLM with our names on it saying that we had to stay in Kaohsiung for now as there were no accommodation available in Hong Kong. At the time we were quite stressed and worried, but considering the situation in Hong Kong right now, where people are sleeping all over the airport, we obviously are far better off here in Kaohsiung.
After we had calmed down a bit, realising that there was nothing we could do about the situation at the time, we decided to go out and eat. We ended up at a cool local restaurant with good food and nice people. In some sense they were almost too nice, offering alcoholic shots with unknown contents. From there there only was one way to go really: to the pub. First we went to a Budweiser bar, which was nice, but we took a wise decision after a while and moved on to the renowned blue bar next to the Lees hotel (where Didac and Bato partied hard a couple of days before). The second floor in the blue bar had a live band who really kicked ass, performing songs like Carrie by Europe and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. I must admit that my throat has been sore from singing along loud with the band, and that I have been consuming several painkillers throughout the day to mend my headache. 😛
Today we have been in contact with KLM and our travel agency in Sweden, after which the trip home has been rescheduled to the first of May. Which kind of sucks as I think it will take some time for my baby girl back home to remember me after being away for so long. :'( A bit comforting is that we are on KLM’s waiting list, so hopefully we can catch an earlier flight provided that someone puts a giant cork into the volcano to make it stop spewing out stuff. In order to limit our expenses we will travel to colleagues at a nearby university, staying at the university guest house for a couple of days. A big thank you for helping us out in this mess. Now it is time for some hours of sleep, nn!
Alright so I am a bit behind in my blogging as things have been quite hectic here at the WMUTE 2010 conference. Resuming the thread from my last blog post; at one o’clock in the night Didac storms into me and Oskar’s room and enlightens us that it is time for a beer in the bar next to our hotel. We thought that was a rather bad idea, so Didac and Bato went for themselves. After breakfast the following day there was no sign of the two beer lovers and we tried to call them from the reception. The first sign of life from those two that we got was via Facebook, as Didac had written an unforgettable status message somewhere around four in the night. Some time before lunch they finally arrived at the conference venue looking quite weary. It turned out that they had been having a very good time at the bar, involving beer, whiskey and a drunk manager at the bar.
The first ”real” day at the conference was a mixture of good and bad, where the highlight for me was to hear a bit of Adam’s work at the COLLIDE group and meeting Hiroaki Ogata’s master students from Tokushima, Japan, for a discussion about possible future collaboration. Later that evening we went downtown to check out a river called the ”Love river” and had some Japanese food and a beer or two with Adam. Check the photo below for a wicked dragon statue located just by the love river.
As Didac and Bato were not in a party mood and as four out of five CeLeKToids were presenting the day after we didn’t stay out that late. Back at the hotel we went to bed before midnight if I recall correctly, eager for yet another exciting day in Kaohsiung. I will add more to this blog asap but right now I need to go to bed; I got my presentation tomorrow and I don’t want to mess it up due to lack of sleep. Meanwhile I suggest you check out mine or Oskar’s photostream on Flickr for some awesome photos.