The Grand Hotel or How Pollution Is Affecting Us

The Grand Hotel.

I was actually surprised to see it nestled in between hills right behind the conference center. Last time we were in Taipei, I had managed to get some pictures on the metro line of The Grand Hotel.


Parts of the MRT of Taipei, the subway system, are high above ground. Those pics were taken during the night and you can actually recognize the shapes of the lights as The Grand Hotel. My wife would like to stay there. She keeps talking about “faded grandeur”.

You might ask why haven’t I posted my own pictures in a while?

The answer is that I spent most of the month of September and October without a computer at home. Now, everything is fixed, but our work is tiring and in the evenings, when we aren’t tutoring, we relax and get ready for bed. My wife hasn’t even formatted her new photos yet. She took some amazing ones of trains and metros recently.

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Some people say that I am quite relaxed. Well, to tell the truth, we are a lot more relaxed than we ever were in Canada. Most of my past concerns were about finances and work. Here, these concerns are pretty well worked out. But let me just say that it isn’t all nice and cozy over here. There are some problems. But we get through them.

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Some people hate Mondays. I don’t mind them. My day is the easiest of the week. After teaching Kindergarten for two hours, I get a break and then it’s lunch time before teaching double 402. I realized over the weekend that both the PS3 and Wii are being released this week in Asia and the Americas. I am planning on getting both of the consoles. But I think that I will wait a bit. I still have my XBOX360. And now, I have a 22″ LCD screen with DVI inputs to game with. Not that I am much of a gamer. It has been months since I have really played a game. Last time must have been for Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

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People say that it shows that I love my work. I guess so. It’s so different from what I used to do before and I am definitely thinking about getting teaching credentials here, since we plan on staying in Taiwan for the foreseeable future.

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I used to have asthma. I was born in Heidelberg, Germany. The city was quite polluted at the time, in 1976. My asthma is a light case. I don’t really have any serious problems. I get asthma when I have allergies, which I haven’t had in years, work out and do a lot of cardio, which didn’t affect me earlier this year when I was working out 5 times a week running 5 km a day, and when I am sick.

I had purchased my last asthma inhaler years ago and have never needed to renew my prescription. This was before Taipei. Last time I was in Taipei, I noticed that the air pollution got to me. Enough for it to give me some asthma. This time, I had totally forgotten about that. When we finished eating on Friday night, I could already feel the asthma and the problems with breathing. When we got back to the hotel, my wife tried to go to a pharmacy, but they were closed. We got up on Saturday and went to the drugstore and I got my inhaler. Helped me out a lot.



It’s not as bad in Hsinchu, but Taipei can be a bit overwhelming for the lungs if you aren’t used to it and if you walk around a bit.

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While I managed to get my asthma under control, it was still very uncomfortable. I drank a lot of hot tea and coughed a lot. We noticed that in our room, we could hear the muzak from the corridor. I didn’t really pay attention because I was more concerned about breathing and getting my asthma under control. But I was woken up in the middle of the night by the music and we couldn’t figure out why we could hear it so well. A few minutes later, when I turned the aircon off, I noticed this button that said music on/off. It looked like it was on. I pressed it and the music finally stopped.

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After The Grand Hotel, we made our to the Taipei Museum Of Fine Arts. It’s right next to The Grand Hotel, so it was a logical stop. It was interesting, there were some good pieces of art there. I especially enjoyed a series of paintings called Urban Night Life. The most interesting parts were on the 1st floor. But of the Museum Of Contemporary Art of Taipei and the Fine Arts Museum , I liked the Contemporary Art Museum better.

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Featured Photographers in this post

radioado, Shenghung Lin







2 responses to “The Grand Hotel or How Pollution Is Affecting Us”

  1. Jessica Avatar

    Range that was a great read. I got to know you a little better. Polluion is scary. I grew up in Saint John, NB home of Canada’s largest but now cleanest Oil refinery, Irving. In the 80’s it was not uncommon to wake up with a coating of grey, beige or black stuff on your car. People protested and fines were given during that decade. In the 90’s The refinery cleaned up. It met and exceeds all federal guidelines for emissions. Alberta owned refineries don’t like this NB refinery.

    Anyways I was back there earlier in the year and realized how much cleaner it actually is. My dad has been working for them for 40+ years as a mason. I guess they have improved and continue to better working health and sfatey conditions. I think that that is pretty cool that when something gets bad if you hang in there is has a tendancy to improve.

    Glad to hear all is good and that you can breath easier. I browsed through quite a few posts. Nice pics! I was suurprised to read a clothing post. Interesting thoughts on shirts 😉 I’m off to check out Zoomr. I like the format of this post also. Kind of an accumlated asides post. 🙂


  2. range Avatar

    Thanks Jess!

    Yeah, the asthma has been getting to me this week. It hit hard on Friday. When I get asthma, I start coughing. It can lead to an ugly cough. Nothing to do but drink hot tea and get something to make the throat feel better.

    All of this is probably because I only wear a scarf around my mouth and nose and not a full on mask. I’ll have to change that tomorrow so that I can breathe easier.

    About the posts, well I find that my mind wanders and I like inserting different anecdotes into my posts to make them more interesting. Most of my pics on Zooomr are private, I just use it as a backup and storage service.

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