This is the final week of our stay in Taiwan. We went back to my grandparents' place in Pingdong (水底寮) for a few days, then went to the science park in Shinchu (新竹科學園區), then to my aunt's house in Taichung, and left for Canada on the 29th.
When we were in Pingdong, some of my cousins, uncles/aunts and my grandparents drove into the mountains stopped by the stream. All my younger cousins were so happy to see the stream. They took all their floating devices/toys and went in at once. My brother and I were too old for swimming in the stream so we toned down our craziness in the water. But the stream did bring back great memories. We used to camp along it every new year. Now because the kids have all grown up and left to the big cities to work, it is harder to have a family reunion/camping trip. Those were the good days...
My little cousins have all grown up (duh, 10 years) and have become more mature and considerate. They took good care of me while I was there, and helped out with chores from my uncles/aunts. We had great fun hanging out together.
On the 27th, we said goodbye to our grandparents and came back to Kaohsiung. The next day we went to the Shinchu science park. This park was built as part of government's effort to centrally organize the technology advancement in Taiwan. It's quite big and has many manufacturers in it. There are also R&D labs. It is the Silicon Valley of Taiwan. There are six major industries in the park - integrated circuits, telecommunications, opto-electronics, biotechnology, computers and peripherals, and precision machinery. The biggest one is the integrated circuits. Taiwan is a major manufacturer of circuit boards. Most of the brands here are unheard of to consumers outside of Taiwan because they are OEMs. This means they are suppliers for parts in some other brand's product. For example, there are iPhone parts made in Taiwan. I saw a similar product by HTC that has touch screen. In the future Taiwan wishes to sell products under its own brand and be recognized by consumers overseas. I hope that Taiwan can put more emphasis on software as well, and not just regarding software as just a way to control the hardware.
After my tour at the science park museums I went to Taichung to my aunt's house and stayed there overnight. We rarely get to see this aunt because she's way too busy. It always surprises me how thoughtful she is. Before we went, she had the AC turned on for a few hours to really cool the room. Then, she put everything we were gonna need in the guests room - towels, toothbrushes, etc... It felt like a hotel but with a touch of home! We had a great chat with her and my cousin. I hope they come to visit. We could only stay for a night. In the morning we took the train back to Kaohsiung.
We met up with some more friends and spent some time packing up our stuff, and left for Canada. Even till the last day we had engagements to eat with people. What a full schedule! Leaving Taiwan I felt somewhat sad but at the same time I knew it's time to get back and do some work. It's been quite a break. I'm tired from the trip and need to recuperate in Canada so I can get going again. There were some things I didn't get to, but looking at my schedule, I'm happy with what I got. I'll be looking forward to my next visit!