Happy Birthday, Formosa

I never pay attention to things like this, but Taiwan turns 100 this year. Last evening I randomly accompanied my cousin to a company basketball practice and walking out, looked up and saw Taipei 101, formerly the world’s tallest building (that honor, I believe, now belongs to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai). I often forget that Taiwan is as young as it is, much younger than the United States. The humidity and smog – when it was bad – blackened the grout and discolored the porous tiles and bricks of certain buildings, giving them a gloomy, aged look comparable to people forlorn because they had aged prematurely. But contractors are getting wiser and more tasteful – now steel and glass are the materials of choice – or have long been, since construction on Taipei 101 began in 1999. I used to think the building was ugly, saying that it resembled a stack of take-out boxes, but now I cannot imagine Taipei’s skyline without it. Such things grow on you.

But that’s enough of an architectural digression – see for yourself.

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