Thursday, January 13, 2011

Taiwan - Last day in Taizhong (pt. 2)

Sorry about that last post's tangent. This one will be more succinct, if only because it's almost three AM here and I was up much later last night. My pineal gland must be taking a vacation, but normal circadian rhythms are over-rated anyways.

My favorite part about our last day in Taizhong had to be the museum's section dedicated to medicine. As with the other exhibits, I was surprised by how extremely thorough and they were. Pretty much every kind of treatment mankind has devised was on display. There was clinical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, and even some folk remedies from Africa. Apparently, there are some African tribes that basically practice acupuncture, except they do it with nails on a wooden doll that is meant to act as a decoy for diseases. The things look like sad porcupines. Another interesting aspect of the exhibit was how traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) was given almost as much space as the clinical medicine is, in fact most of the exhibits on human aging and disease included the perspectives of both clinical and TCM. It was a good reflection of how traditional Chinese medicine is regarded by the majority of the Chinese, although most go to a clinical doctor for much of their troubles. Granted, the line between clinical medicine and TCM really blurred for me while I was in Taizhong - especially at the Chinese medicine college with Dr. Cheng. While they were most definitely working with TCM, the were also testing it with macrophages and using genetic engineering to make better remedies - not to mention the work my group did with extracting active compounds from plants.

(It may sounds strange to those who here Naturopathy and guess the meaning to be "over-privileged hippie quackery" but as an aspiring ND, I was ecstatic to experience firsthand the blending of clinical and traditional medicine.)

After the museum our group explored the surrounding area, which included what I first thought was children's play equipment and later learned were public exercise machines. We also checked out a 16-story department store. Including everything you could find at Ikea for roughly the same amount, I wasn't a fan. I did like the massive arcade on the top floor, but the hounding by sales people (who make American door to door salesmen look completely apathetic) really ruined it for me. For one, I didn't understand a thing they said, and they seemed to think that it didn't matter. In truth, it didn't, because I was just window shopping. Explaining this was almost impossible. We were able to escape into the restaurant on one of the upper floors, only to be greeted by an equally menacing terror.
Actually, it was just really bad steak.
A general rule of thumb:  Whenever a restaurant serves food endogenous of a certain country, unless said restaurant is in said country, the food is almost always bad. Chinese restaurants in the states are NOTHING like restaurants in Taiwan or China. The food is faster, better, and cheaper here, unless you go to a steakhouse. Then the inverse is true. While this is pretty much common sense, we still make adventures to places with Western food once in a while. 

No comments:

Post a Comment