Taipei And Back Again Or The MRT NTNU Chute

One of the few interesting shots I took yesterday. I think there were about 7 good shots in about 220 pictures. This photo is the main entrance to the National Taiwan Normal University on HePing Rd.


All photos in the MRT NTNU Chute were taken with a Nikon D200 and a Nikkor 18-35mm lens on the 16th of December 2006. All of them were taken in Taipei, at Taipei Main Station and Guting Station. The name of the series comes from MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and NTNU (National Taiwan Normal University). Settings: ISO 500, Shooting Mode P, Optimize colors normal.


We made our way in the rain to Taipei. Being on the rain on a scooter or just walking around in the rain totally sucks. You get all wet, sometimes you bet a bit sweaty and it sucks. So we made it with a few minutes to spare to the Hsinchu Train Station in the rain. For some reason, the cabby took his time and made us a few minutes late, a few minutes that we could barely spare.

One of the hundred shots I took at the MRT station in Taiwan. Nothing too crazy, just a plain shot of people taken the metro.

All in all, we made it on the train. We arrived at 10:58 AM and got on the train at 11:02 AM. We were sitting in different cars though, that sucked. I tried exchanging mine for somebody else who was going to Taipei in my wife’s car. That didn’t work, since all seats are normally booked during all legs of the train ride. The train makes a few stops and each leg can be booked. Except for cancellations. I put on my earphones, listened to Love Is All and continued reading Alastair Reynolds’ Redemption Arc. It has been about a year since I read this novel in French, so there are things that I do not remember that happened.

Why am I rereading this novel?

The main reason is for research purposes for my short science-fiction story Galactic Rim, which I will continue writing in the next few weeks. I am actually looking forward to it. Another thing that I enjoy about it, is that I always try to illustrate what is happening in my writing with relevant pictures from flickr.

An interesting blur motion photo of the MRT.

Anyways, so we got to Taipei, took an MRT train to run some errands. We ended up walking in the rain for about 45 minutes. I had a mask on so that I wouldn’t breathe in any fumes. We were in the shadow of the Taipei 101 building. It was quite cool, however it was in the rain, so that sucked badly.

And since it was raining, I didn’t take out my camera. Double sucking time.

We then made our way to the library of the National Taiwan Normal University. My wife needed to do some research. She intends to publish in the coming months in the field of education and will start a doctorate in the same field next year. Great going wife!

I took the time to read some art magazines and check up on Memetics at the library. They didn’t have anything that I could find quickly, since we only had an hour. The library has a lot of things about education, since the univsersity has always been a teacher’s college.

Taken outside, right next to the National Taiwan Normal University, interesting blur effect of traffic.

Speaking of cabbies, we had another run in with an idiot cabby. I had heard from someone that cabs in Taipei were great because most of them spoke English. Of all the cabs I have ever taken, something like 2 to 4 spoke English. Most them didn’t. So if you are going to somewhere well known, that’s cool. But if you are going to somewhere less well known, good luck. We were a few blocks from the university after getting out of the MRT station Guting. I showed the cabby were I was going on a bilingual map. He started driving. After a few minutes and us passing another metro stop, we made him stop. He clearly didn’t know where he was going. We changed cabs without paying and got into another one who knew exactly were to go. And what would you know, the university is about 3 blocks from the MRT station. The other cabby followed us. Why? To give me back my umbrella. Maybe to get paid, but I just grabbed it and we went into the library. I don’t know if part of it was lost in translation or part or it was his total incompetence, but we definitely got a bad vibe out of all of this.

How can you as a cab driver not know where to go when somebody shows you a specific place on a map?

Look at how the front of the train looks distorted. The blue line gets a bit wiggly.

Before we had left Taipei Main Station, we had exchanged our tickets that were leaving tomorrow morning for ones that were leaving tonight. Our friends Carrie and John were sick that day, so we postponed our day together for a later date. It was great because we exchanged them for sitting seats in the same car next to one another.

After we left the library, the wife said she needed to come back to continue her research. It also stopped raining, but it had gotten colder, about 7°C. I took the opportunity to shoot some pictures. In total, I took about 220 photos, still only a 1/10 of the capacity of my memory card.

Some of them turned out great. I changed the settings back to usual, because the saturation of the colors was a bit too much in the Sogo Chute Series 1.

* * * * *

I have been watching a few episodes of Jericho, the CBS show about a small town who witnesses nuclear attacks on the USA. I am currently watching episode 7 and it is getting interesting, though I do find the soap opera bits a bit too much. I don’t care who likes who, and why the Dale is all alone and why Skyler likes him. What I do want to know is how and why the US was attack with nuclear bombs. We learned in this episode that New York is still standing, but Washington DC is gone, as well as 8 or 10 other cities in the US.

* * * * *

Featured Photographers

me!, me on flickr.







7 responses to “Taipei And Back Again Or The MRT NTNU Chute”

  1. Mark Avatar

    I had heard from someone that cabs in Taipei were great because most of them spoke English. Of all the cabs I have ever taken, something like 2 to 4 spoke English.

    Hmm… actually, I kind of like cabbies because they tend not to try to use English with me. I’ve heard there’s one company that specializes in English speaking drivers, but cab drivers are usually the last people I’d expect to have English skills. If you can get somebody to write down the address or if you can write it in zhuyin (bopomofo) yourself, that’s the way to go until you can say the name of the place yourself.

  2. Mark Avatar

    Oh, yeah. I’m a huge sci-fi fan! Keep up the writing!

  3. range Avatar

    Hey Mark. Well, if pointing to a place on a map, bilingual in pinyin, Mandarin and English isn’t good enough, I don’t know what is. However, I always manage to get by, since I always familiarize myself with the area of Taipei we are going to. We were happily surprised to learn that the MRT already extends to Banqciao.

    We had one episode where a cabby drove us to Tao-yan. This was after I showed him a card of the hotel we were heading to, from Taipei Main Station.

  4. range Avatar

    Sci-fi writing, yeah I’m working on it. I got a few chapters already ready, but I am just getting myself ready this week to continue it. At the same time, I am also looking into doing a Masters degree here in Taiwan.

  5. Christmas Craziness « memoirs on a rainy day Avatar

    […] My second shot after the rain stopped in Taipei on December 16th 2006. This building is right next to the National Taiwan Normal University library, it’s a bit blurry but I still like it. Taken with a Nikon D200 and a Nikkor 18-35mm lens. This shot is part of the MRT NTNU Chute.  […]

  6. Tuque Day At Work! « memoirs on a rainy day Avatar

    […] A train on the Taipei MRT leaving on the Bannan line. Taken with a Nikon D200 and a 18-35mm lens on the 16th of December 2006. Part of the MRT NTNU Chute. […]

  7. Hooked On The Wire « memoirs on a rainy day Avatar

    […] A building next to the NTNU (National Taiwan Normal University) library in Taipei. Taken with a Nikon D200 and a Nikkor 18-35mm lens on the 16th of December 2006. Part of the MRT-NTNU Chute. […]

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