Since December 2013 I live in Taichung in Central Taiwan.
During a stay in Korea where I tried to find a job as postdoctoral researcher I visited my friend in Taiwan in September 2013. I didn't know much about Taiwan at that time and assumed it must be like China (the mainland). During that visit I noticed that it is very different: more developed, more "civilized", with everything available that is necessary to maintain a good lifestyle (e.g. doctors, well equiped supermarkets, public transport, a certain degree of freedom). I also felt welcome after meeting a Professor at a University in Taichung who didn't hesitate to host me as a postdoc in his institute. A few months later I moved entirely from Korea to Taiwan.
Before I started my new job I had a lot of time to explore the country. I visited Taipei, the capital in the North and some surrounding places like Danshui or Jiufen, cozy villages at the coast. I had two magnificent trips to Hualien and the National Park Taroko at the East coast. There I experienced Taiwan's most beautiful part: The mountains! Also in the mountains are the "Sun-Moon-Lake" near Nantou and "Ali-shan", on of the highest mountains in Taiwan. Further South are the cities Tainan with many historical sites and Taiwan's second biggest city Kaohsiung, a rather industrial place with a few spots worth visiting though. From there I had a one-day trip to a magnificent Buddhist temple site called "Fou Guang Shan".
The above-mentioned friend is now my wife. Therefore, my connection to Taiwan is very strong and, somehow, even sealed by a contract! On this page I'd like to share my impressions about this "home" of mine. As usual, I try to keep a certain distance that allows me to "observe" and reflect. I don't "love" Taiwan unconditionally and I don't hate it totally. Compared to Germany and Korea, my former two "homes", Taiwan is far less "socially developed", it has much bigger environmental problems, the education level is low and the political situation is very different. In many respects it would be unfair to compare Taiwan to Germany or Korea, but since Taiwanese regard their Island as a "modern" country it should be possible to face the truth: There is a huge gap!