Well, I'm here.
I got to Tainan yesterday, on the 5th. I came in to Taiwan through Taoyuan Airport. This is the main international airport on the island, and it's up near Taipei. I could have come in through Kaohsiung, which is in the south right near where I am living, but there were fewer options for flights, and I got a good deal on my flight into Taoyuan.
Secretly, though, I was happy about coming into Taoyuan. It gave me the chance to take the Taiwan High Speed Rail (TSHR).
The TSHR is very new. They only just finished it in 2006 or so, I believe. I remember because it was my first or second year living in Nagasaki, and I and a couple teacher friends took a short trip to Taiwan. We were actually there on the opening day of the TSHR, though we didn't ride it because we weren't going that way.
The TSHR is fast. It's based on Japanese Shinkansen technology I believe, though I think there are also elements from the French high-speed rail, and maybe some other countries too. It sounds like the opening to a joke, right?
"So a Taiwanese guy, a Japanese guy, and a French guy try to start a railway together..."
The trains were running on the left side, even though people drive on the right in Taiwan, so I assume this must be Japanese influence.
I took the video above from the train window, and I thought it was cool how every time we went through a tunnel, the image went dark, and then the seats across the aisle from me became visible until we left the tunnel again.
I know, I know. Train videos. Is there anything more nerdy? But hey, fellow Americans, you might as well enjoy this video because I know you won't be enjoying this view in real life. (Reminder: Acela's average speed is a whopping 70 mph. "High Speed". Right.)