Saturday, February 18, 2012

He Did It His Way

by Pa Rock
World Explorer

Valerie and I struck off on our own this morning because Murphy wanted to get his beauty rest.  (I got mine last night while he and Valerie were out running the streets.)  She wanted to visit the National University of Taiwan. so we bought another all-day pass for the subway and bus system (180 Taiwanese dollars - or about $5.00 American) and headed off to college.

As we reached the main gate of the university I turned my back for just a second, and by the time I had refocused Valerie was busy chatting up an older Chinese gentleman who was wearing a Canadian ball cap.  (The poor girl has never met a stranger - at least not for long!)  By the time I got over to them they were taking each other's pictures in front of the main gate.

The gentleman was Andrew Liu who had graduated from the university fifty years before and was there today for a reunion.  He has spent his life living in Montreal, Canada, and practicing law.  Andrew led us through much of the campus before we finally reached a souvenir shop where we all bought university tee shirts.  (We were all able to save twelve percent on our purchases thanks to Andrew's status as a proud graduate from a half-century earlier.  Then we went to a student coffee shop where he treated us to a morning java.

Andrew was a most entertaining and interesting fellow.  He is fluent in his native Chinese, as well  as French (from living in Montreal for five decades), English, Japanese, and speaks some Korean.  His father was a prominent doctor in Taiwan and he had a dozen brothers and sisters.  He said that his family was like the Von Trapps in The Sound of Music because they all grew up singing.    As he was leading us off campus later, he mentioned that he sang like Paul Anka and Frank Sinatra.  Valerie asked him to sing something, and he broke into a complete rendition of Sinatra's I Did It My Way!

At one point I asked Andrew about the future of Taiwan, and he said that he fears it will eventually be taken over by China.  His reasoning is that the United States owes China so much money that it will not be in a position to offer any resistance if the government of China decides to seize Taiwan.

Based on information that Andrew gave us, Valerie and I were able to buy tickets on Taiwan's High Speed Rail which we did this afternoon.  We rode to Taoyuan, a stop that offers airport check-in and a free shuttle to the airport.  After learning our way to Taoyuan, we decided that is how we will get to the airport on Monday.  It is very quick and efficient.

While we were walking back to our hotel late this afternoon, I discovered the local McDonald's.  That is where I will dine later tonight.  I love to travel, but my stomach has become too temperamental for much in the way of exotic cuisine.

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