From Houselessness to Homefulness to Taiwan!!!!

root - Posted on 05 August 2002

Formerly houseless Youth Commissioner and Youth in the media intern travels to Taiwan

by Mari/PNN Youth in the Media Intern

I was so excited to go to Taiwain. I had no idea what to expect. As I was going through all the security checks I happened to be the "chosen one." I had to take off my shoes. The security went through my bag and put it through the scanner twice. They found the problem was with my nail file and the security people took it away. I saw the Army National Guard with their rifles. I got nervous and scared. I do not feel safe. They are laughing, which makes me even more nervous and scared. I also get flashbacks from when I was in the military. I push those memories out of my mind. With images of the National Guard with their rifles and the shock of my nail file being taken away I walk towards the plane gate to board the plane to Taipei, Taiwan.

I wait a little while to board the plane and while I am waiting I talk to Frank Darby who works in the Board of Supervisors office at City Hall. He works in the records mangement part of the office. SO I ask him about this old piece of legislation from like 1906 that is molding. I crack jokes about how I want to find out about every piece of legislation that the Board of Supervisors passed on my birthday. Finally, we get to board EVA Airlines. Anthony, a fellow Youth Commissioner, talkes about the flight attendant's big orange bowtie. Anthony and I get pulled aside by the airline staff. I am again the "chosen one." My bag is checked and I go through a metal detector.

I walk aboard the plane and find my seat. I get the seat by the window. I get ready for my 12 hour flight to Tawian. I write letters to my friends. I write in my journal. I try to get prepared for my trip to Tawian. I fall asleep and when I wake up the plane is over Taipei, Taiwan. The plane starts to land, and my ears start hurting. We finally land at the airport. I gather my stuff and head off the plane. The Youth Commission is greeted by Robert from the National Youth Commission of Taiwan. I shake his hand and at the same time he hands me his name card. He is very friendly and nice. We all walk towards the baggage claim to get our luggage. I pull out my camera and start to annoy the other youth commissioners. I videotape Jeffery who definitnly does not like to be videotaped espically after a 12 hour flight. Everyone gets their luggage and we follow Robert to customs. We all got diplomatic clearance and because of that going through customs was a breeze.

Robert tells us to wait for him while he gets our transportation. He comes back and gets us. We all walk outside and meet our driver Steve. We hop in the car and drive to our hotel. There are lots of plants, trees, and greenery in the city. I am amazed by all the scooters. There are so many scooters. There actually might be more scooters than cars. The car drives by the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), which is their form of public transportation. We see our hotel from far away. It is like a big Chinese palace that overshadows Taipei. We finally reach the Grand Hotel. It has a gate, and it is covered in greenery. I step out of the car, and walk in. My mouth is wide open. The Lobby is covered in red plush carpet. There is a grand staircase in the middle of the lobby. I can't believe I will be sleeping in the Grand Hotel for the next five days.The best hotel I ever slept in was the Holiday Inn. My mind wanders and thinks about what is to come in the next five days....(to be continued)


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