Scribbles in the Sand

All About My Life in Taiwan


Trip to Taichung

Tuesday evening has Fiona find out from a friend about some interesting new jobs opening up in Taiwan.  Starting next year, IKEA is opening a flagship store in the centre of Taiwan in the city of Taichung 台中.  This round of interviews is for managerial positions and the interview process had been covered in the newspaper because of the thousands of applicants, interview entirely in English, and the requirement to build some flat pack furniture in later rounds.  Since the interview was in English, I thought there was no harm in me going along too, and with only an evening to write a Mandarin CV, and read up on IKEA, time was short.  We didn’t get to sleep until 2am, and woke at 5am, ready for our flights that we had purchased from a self-service machine in 7 Eleven the previous night. Continue reading


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The Premature Opening of the Four Seasons Hotel

Fiona and I went to the opening celebration of the brand new Sheraton hotel this evening. It was a somewhat surreal event given that the hotel is still essentially a building site, but nether the less, within the giant arches of this concrete labyrinth were some twenty large circular tables filled with food and surrounded by foremen, architects, business owners, workmen, and managers of the hotel. We arrived quite late into the meal around 8pm, and by this time many of the guests were sufficiently intoxicated, more so than a Geordie at closing time. As is the tradition, we were guided around each table of 10 unknown people and shared a toast with all 20 tables. I’ll try and get some pictures of the night, but this photo by Laurie is essentially what the hotel looks like currently.

The food was catered by one of the best places in Penghu, and as ever, the giant platters of food could barely fit on the table before a new dish arrived and a partially touched platter would depart.