Charlotte (our client liason) woke me up early this morning after I drifted off to sleep watching the 49ers vs. Cardinals game. She needed an Adobe Illustrator version of our company's logo which I sent to her minutes before my laptop ran out of juice. Ended up not being used for the banner anyway (or so I've been told).
For breakfast, I walked around the area of the hotel and got some stall food. Again, Asians annoy me for their lack of manners. It's funny how we are stereotyped as these passive individuals when in reality it is a personal fantasy of mine to do some run blocking in the subways. There were three incidents today that annoyed me. First one was early in the morning when I took the elevator down to the lobby, this old Asian guy just shoved his way into the elevator as I was trying to exit. Second incident happened in the street, as I turned on the street some old lady just rammed into my side and kept on walking. Third, I was waiting online at the Taipei 101 to pay the ticket for the observation deck, these two old ladies just walked past me and tried cutting my place online. Do these people have any idea the rage that is within me? I could so kick all their asses.
Anyway, after walking around and grabbing various food items for unbelievably low prices (screw over-priced hotel food), I went back to the hotel and got the location for the electronics district. They recommended that I take a cab, but being the cheapo that I am, I decided to walk it and upon arrival, lo and behold I was at this same district, Guang Hua market, three years ago on Loveboat. I made the rounds 3-4 times trying to find things to buy. I bought an IBM-marked (because it is so obviously not a real IBM made product) AC adapter cord which outputs less AMPs than my laptop requires, but it works. And it was under USD$30. Ended up buying a laser pointer for the presentations, USB transfer and charger cable for the PSP and a USB powered fan cooler and USB hub for the laptop.
The next stop was the area around Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world. I paid the NT$350 to get up onto the observation deck, looked around and then hung around that area until 7:30pm. Overall I think the architecture in Taipei is much better than the horrid cheese in Shenzhen, China or Shanghai, China (that 'needle' has GOT to go). You can do all your reading about the Taipei 101 through Google, but one thing I want to point out is that this is the first building where their mass dampening system is viewable by the public. Basically they hang a 660 metric ton steel ball in the upper floors of the building to counter the winds that pushes the building back and forth. Otherwise you would get seasick at the 88th floor. Really, I'm not kidding. Jamie and Joe didn't believe me when I described this mass dampening concept to them last summer at the MoMA's skyscraper exhibit, but since you are reading this online you can get on Google to check it out.
At 7:30pm, I had dinner with Charlotte and her two friends, Daren (yup another one, but one less 'r') and Nikita at a Japanese restaraunt inside NEO19. Following dinner we went to a lounge where they made fun of my non-alcoholic drink, an entire small bottle of Peach Iced Tea by Snapple. Things of note in our conversation, Daren went to UC Irvine for schooling, Charlotte went to Melbourne and Nikita jumped around from Michigan, Switzerland and Melbourne. In addition, Charlotte (I think jokingly) stated she makes less than the taxi drivers here in Taipei. Why? Because not enough people trade stocks but everyone uses the taxi's. Well then, looks like we better do a better job marketing to the fine folks in Taiwan.
Talking to my boss, Mark, on the phone, I realized that I'm a luddite when it comes to cell phone service. Apparently Cingular DOES have roaming agreements in Taiwan! I had to set my phone to manual network selection and behold, I had a choice of four networks to choose from. But wait! I selected one and got denied! Well guess what buddy? You have to call Cingular to activate International roaming! Ugh, so I broke down and called Cingular from my hotel room, got them to activate International roaming ($1.99 a minute in Taipei and Singapore) and also requested an unlock code (5 business days for it to arrive in my email).
Other items I forgot to bring: athletic socks and cologne. Check Flickr for photos.