I spent tonight packing my two suitcases and had many bags of gifts from the city to pack away, in addition to the gifts I purchased for my daughters and my girlfriend. We received gifts from the Bureau of Transportation (twice), the Police Department, National Cheng Kung University, Hayashi Department Store, and the Mayor’s office. Today, the Bureau of Transportation gave us personalized gifts, including a printed photo album of all the activities we did, a DVD that I have yet to review, a personalized mug, and a personalized baseball cap. I have been overwhelmed with the hospitality of the city during our visit and pleasantly surprised by all of the gifts we have received. I look forward to sharing them with my family when I return home and all of these gifts will help preserve some great memories from my visit.
In addition to the hospitality offered by the different city departments, the graciousness of our local IBM hosts, Lisa Chen and Anny Tseng, has made our visit very comfortable. In addition, Red (Daddy) Chen, who works for the local vendor hired by IBM, has taken care of all of the logistics, including picking restaurants for us and ordering (too much) food when we went to different Chinese restaurants. When I go back home, I’m not looking forward to doing my own food shopping, cooking meals, cleaning a table, and doing my own laundry. I do look forward to eating less food so I can lose some of the weight I have gained. If only I could take back some of the fantastic mangoes with me. I will miss that the most!
It is amazing how during a short 3 week period you bond with a group of fellow IBMers that you’ve never met before as you spend day and night working, eating, and drinking together. In addition, I have made new friends from halfway around the world, and I know that if I am fortunate to ever make it back to Taiwan, I have people that I can visit in this very friendly country.