finley wrote:I just got back from Manila (only had to spend 24 hours there, thankfully). It's an unmitigated shithole. Taipei might have plenty of ugly architecture, but despite appearances, it's 100% civilised. Knife-wielding maniacs are a once-in-a-decade occurrence, not a regular feature of city life. Those guards with shotguns are both a symptom and a cause - a lot of the criminals get their guns by the simple expedient of knifing a security guard.
I'd be the first to argue that Taiwan needs to get its act together regarding the built environment, but that doesn't make it a third-world country. The same is true of virtually every other city I've been to.
I agree. I've been in Kuala Lumpur now for 6 months my early praise for it being a better looking city that Taipei is now gone. The downtown area is a ludicrous maze where you go from one cave area to another. There are no straight lines in this city; you literally cannot usually see more than 100m ahead of you. Dark corners, blind corners, stuff in your way everywhere: a muggers dream scape. Driving is civilized but the road system was designed by a Jackson Pollack fan. Public transport is non-existent and traffic is a nightmare. You have to time every trip to avoid jams but also to be able to get parking at your destination.
Security is shit. Everyone you talk to, and now that includes me, will have been victim of a mugging, a house breakin, a car jacking, or just some random assault. The country is held together by Nepalese guards who are paid like monkeys.
Getting anything decent quality is expensive but then the work, also expensive, is shit. Just had a washing machine repaired and it cost US$200 but it still doesn't work. Similar problem to what I once had in Taipei which cost US$10 and never broke down again.
This is developing country shit. Don't like it one bit.