I first visited Taipei on a whim and was so pleasantly surprised by how wonderful a city it is. I knew very little of Taipei before visiting and almost regret being so ignorant about it before, but I guess my ignorance set me up for a bigger surprise.
I was in Taichung as usual for the work week, but decided to visit a couple friends who were residing in Taipei for school at the time. They would become my tour guides during my short weekend stay. My first stop: Taipei 101. It was so insanely tall; I had no idea that it was previously the tallest building in the world. I couldn't even see the top during my first visit because it was covered by the clouds.
My friends took me around the city, stopping by important landmarks like the Chiang Kai Shek memorial and, of course, Din Tai Fung. I spent the night on my friend Ngan's couch and got to experience what it feels like to live as a native Taiwanese person.
There are few things I enjoy more than meeting up with friends on the other side of the world. Out of the seven billion people on this planet, out of the five hundred million square kilometers, two individuals, each with their own unique lives, can meet up and enjoy each other's company in the same time and space. It's something rare and precious that may not ever happen again.
I no longer have any friends living in Taipei, but I'll have these memories.