What's there to do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second largest city?
There are warm sunny days (unlike the constant rain in Taipei). You can take a romantic boat ride along the Love River. You can see a couple of the world's most beautiful subway stations. You can shop til you drop at East Asia's largest shopping centre.
But be careful, there's noisy construction work everywhere. One side of the road might be completely new and clean, while the other side is dirty and battered. You might see a gang of 怪叔叔 (lit. 'weird uncles') chilling on some old couches at the park checking you out.
Welcome to my mum's hometown. Over the past decade, the government have been working hard to transform this city. They've cleaned up the streets, built a subway, built fancy new buildings. I look forward to seeing what they can make out of this city. Just how many of the streets can they clean up? Will it become that cultural and avant-garde mecca which the government so desires?
But still, we can't forget the joy of the simple things such as tea-making on an old Chinese chess board, or wind blowing through your hair as you speed down a highway on a scooter.