Monday, September 7, 2015

Taipei MRT - Taipei Main Station - Yong Kang Street - Xingtian Temple - Red House - Ximending [Taiwan Day 736: Taipei MRT Monopoly Game - Sept. 6, 2015]



Have you tried playing Monopoly? Properties, utilities and money. You can have all of these while playing the Monopoly board game. But what if you can play a Taiwanese version of the Monopoly game? A group of Taiwanese students from National Taipei University of Education (NTUE) organized this kind of activity in meet-up.com and I accepted the invitation without any hesitation.
FOReignMOSA was the meet-up group created by the students of NTUE. It aims to help foreigners in Taiwan to get acquainted with the people, culture and history of Formosa. They are students in a tourism/hospitality management related course and I got interested in their field. Well, everybody knows that I'm a pseudo PhD Taiwanese Tourism student. lol



Taiwanese and foreigners like me joined the fun activity but I was not able to interact with all of them since the participants were divided into 3 teams. A big dice was thrown in the air and depending on the number that will appear on the top side of the dice will determine which team you will join. I was grouped with Paige, Goa and Ryan and we called our group the “Paige Team”.



Foreignmosa members explained the rules of the game to the participants. A booklet was also given to the participants which contains all the tasks we need to accomplish in each MRT station. The train lines of the Taipei MRT served as the real-life playing board of this Monopoly game. At the back of the booklet was the Taipei MRT map. A task in a yellow dotted station means 5 points while a white one is equivalent to 1 point. Tasks can range from taking pictures to eating some famous street food in Taipei. To monitor the game, Foreignmosa members Summer and Yu Lung joined the “Paige Team” in our quest for a great adventure.









The "Paige Team"






Our MRT adventure started at the Taipei MRT Station. We rolled the big dice and our first task was to try a street food near Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station. Summer and Yu Lung took our photo for proper documentation. Since the MRT line has 5 lines, we can only stay in one train line unless we luckily picked a Transfer Station. A Transfer Station is an MRT station where two train line crosses each other. A good example is the Taipei Main Station where the Tamsui and Bannan Line meets. There are 16 Transfer Stations in the Taipei Metro and we just need to be lucky in rolling the giant dice.














It was the longest MRT ride I made in one day in Taipei and to save money a one-day Taipei MRT pass was given to all of the participants. We got hungry along the way and we were very happy if we picked an eating challenge like what happened in Yongkang Street. We tried those delicious Tianjin scallion-pancakes. I tried them before but I didn't know that there are flavors to choose from. We also tried drinking a famous soybean milk tea and I remembered the taste of the street food 'taho' in the Philippines.











Another great task was to visit the Xingtian Temple which is accessible by the Xingtian Temple Station. As we crossed the street towards the temple we saw familiar faces. The other teams were already done visiting the temple! But it was a friendly competition after all. Everybody smiled and waved their hands when we saw them as if they haven't seen their brothers and sisters for a very long time. haha! We went inside the temple and there were worshippers inside. The warm color of the temple will welcome anyone who visits the religious site. I took a lot of pictures and observed the Taiwanese as their prayers reached the heavens.
Ximending






waiting for the other team to arrive at Taipei Main Station


The Red House was one of our last stops in the game. We even have a groupie with the Japanese-style old building. We ended the game at Taipei Main Station and I remembered that the “Paige Team” got 39 points. Unfortunately, we didn't won the game but it was not all about winning. It was about meeting new people and gaining new friends.

When will this activity happen again? I don't know but I have a copy of the booklet. Next year, if there a lot of Filipino interns that will come to Taiwan for an internship in Academia Sinica I will tell them about this game. We will roll the dice and play the Taipei MRT Monopoly Game.
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