(Click to enlarge) This photo makes me cry. It's Kim's Grandma looking out from the observation deck at Taipei 101, currently the world's tallest building, and it probably will be for a while given the way things are going with the Freedom Tower. Sure there's not much of a skyline to look at, but still it's a really nice observation tower with a very sleek design and when we were there there happened to be a jazz orchestra playing standards for some event, which really heightened the experience. Grandma was really happy about the fact that they offered the audio tour in her native language of Taiwanese as well as in Chinese, Japanese, and English. When she was growing up Taiwan was a mostly rural, agrarian backwater under Japanese occupation. Now, here she is in the downtown of a Taipei that has literally more than ten times the population it did when she was a girl, looking down from the world's tallest building at a modern, democratic, free Taiwan. She looks quite pleased.
(Click to enlarge) Here we are in front of a photo that shows you what the building looks like from the outside. It's strange design is meant to somehow evoke bamboo shoots tied with ribbons. I don't see it either. The other white guy is Kim's Cousin's boyfriend who is German. He's moved to the Taiwan and is learning Chinese. He works at the building part-time giving tours to groups of Germans.
(Click to enlarge) Here I am with Kim's cousin in the shopping mall part of the tower inside Barista coffee, a charming little coffee shop with an eye-catching logo that reminds me of something or other, but I just can't place it. Actually, the funny thing is that while the English characters say "Barista Coffee" the Chinese name is simply "Seattle Coffee".