While in Taipei my friend and I found ourselves constantly comparing Taipei to Seoul. We knew that we shouldn’t but everything was so new we had to make some connections between the two in order to find some common ground. I am certain our comparisons and conclusions are based on the fact that we live in Korea and were tourists in Taiwan. Living in a country is always different from visiting a country.
From our touristy experience we both agreed that Taipei:
1. Has some very nice people.
2. They live in a somewhat slower pace than that of Seoul.
3. There is a lot of people, yet lots of space.
**These last two points may be based on a holiday weekend and may not be true on an every day basis.**
4. There English skills are not as good as in Korea. I feel that in Korea we could find all kinds of people who could speak at least a little bit of English. However, in Taipei it seemed to only be a handful of people who worked certain jobs (like baristas and hotel workers).
5. Koreans can be pretty judgmental at times. They always stare and if you do something wrong they let you know it. In Taipei people seemed less interested in what we were doing wrong and more interested in their own lives. People in Taipei had their own styles and interests. I believe this helps with a less judgmental perspective.
Though, I believe that all of those above comparisons are true and that Korea has its downfalls, I was still SO ready to get back to Korea. It is interesting how much a foreign place can feel at home. I was super excited to land in Incheon and hear a foreign language and be able to read again (in Korean and English). This trip showed me just how much I have made Korea more home away from home.
Here is a video of our first day adventures.