Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Snake Soup and Snake Strippers- Taipei Travel Advice

Good morning! It's hard to believe the conference is already winding down but I'm excited for a change of scenery.  There's not too much to report this morning except that I have been relaxing at the conference and enjoying exchanging travel tips with Dr. Chia of National Taiwan Normal University.  He's also considering building a SCALE-UP type room at his university and I was amazed how much cheaper the technology is to buy here in Taiwan.  He was saying how he planned to convert a classroom for 60 with 6 smartboards, a Wii type receiver, projectors and screens for less than 200,000 NT (less than $6,000) but he planned on keeping the lab benches and he would be able to get computers from other places at the University.
As far as travel tips, he recommended Ximending, which a local teenage hangout with shops, movies and of course lots of restaurants!  He's getting ready to go to the hot springs with his family and he thinks I should bring my family there as well (I told him I'm sure they are more than willing!)  Dr. Kan was telling me how the night market I'm planning to visit in Taipei was historically known for having prostitutes.  He says he doesn't know if they do this anymore but they used to dance with snakes, since they symbolized sexuality.  Apparently, they might hang the snakes out in public as well... supposedly snake soup tastes pretty good but I think I'll be steering clear of that one (Assuming I know what they serve me... which is not typically true here).
Unfortunately with the new year, everyone is heading home to the small towns where they originated.  So it doesn't sound like I'll be able to meet up with the high school physics teacher because they are leaving Taipei for a giant family reunion.  Supposedly the city gets pretty quiet this time of year so we'll see what happens.  But it sounds like Taipei can get pretty crazy so I'm excited.
Then a high school teacher who is working on his doctorate who heard my talk yesterday spoke to me for over an hour.  He was very excited about SCALE-UP and has already checked out the resources on-line and he looks forward to e-mailing me.  But it was fun to compare experiences both in grad school and the classroom.  It sounds like Taiwanese high school students are equally as silly as American ones! :P.