Bills’ Shoe: 一〇一 Edition

On P-day, we visited Taipei 101, the world’s xth tallest building (possibly 3, although I’m not sure). It’s very tall, a gargantuan construction which dwarfs the measly skyscrapers at its base on an almost humorous scale.

Upon finally reaching the building through a series of consecutive exploits involving an outdated map and poorly-labeled buses, we realized that the MRT station bearing the title “Taipei 101” was, indeed, situated at Taipei 101, furnishing a much simpler method of transportation to the skyscraper. Nevertheless, not to be deterred by our earlier over-complication of matters, we strode to the building’s base and took several pictures.

The obligatory 101 selfie.

We stand in front of the building.

Then, we entered and rode a series of escalators past floors of high-end clothing stores and into a huge sunlit atrium. From there, we each paid our fee of 500 NTD and boarded the world’s fastest elevator, which runs from the 5th to the 89th floor. It accelerated quickly but smoothly and almost soundlessly; the only sign of the dozens of passing floors was the repeated popping of my ears. We alighted on the 89th floor indoor observatory, where we gazed out upon the smoggy city expanse stretching to mountains in every direction.

It’s a tall building.

I stand in front of the window.

Mountains descend to the edges of 新北市.

Simplified art-deco ornamentation reminiscent of the Chrysler building.

At the center of the top floors hung suspended like a wasp’s nest the huge golden mass damper, resting atop a ring of massive oil-filled pistons and anchored by thick cables from above.

The mass damper.

A better view of the piston assemblage below.

Leave it to Taiwan to personify a several-hundred-ton product of engineering as a cartoon character with a high-pitched voice.

These shrill caricatures, attributed as possessing personalities and even blood types, were annoyingly omnipresent throughout the structure.

There was also an outdoor viewpoint on the 91st floor.

A physical representation of the aforementioned “damper baby.”

Although our investigator pool has been much larger as of late, we nevertheless devoted much of the week’s proselyting time to finding new people willing to listen to the word of God. On Wednesday, we met with an aged Catholic man whom Elder Gibson and I met previously. Now, as then, he soliloquized at length about the time when he underwent prostate surgery and, while his arms were bound on a gurney, inhaled the cotton swab between his teeth and started choking. With no ability to produce a voice, breathe, or move his hands, he said a prayer in his heart. He then proceeded to use his foot to loose the bonds of one hand and pulled the cotton from his throat with his hand. Cool story. We’ve been fasting and praying for our other investigators to keep progressing.

Saturday and Sunday were frigid. It has been drizzling almost unceasingly for weeks, and the humidity of the air makes the cold more pronounced than in arid regions. On the bright side, we ate pizza on Saturday. With the exception of Hawaiian, all of the flavors were Taiwanese, including everyone’s favorite: shrimp balls with mayonnaise, mushrooms, and assorted seafood.

Elders Clark, Montierth, and I are laboring to teach Elder Azua physics, which is pretty fun. We’ve taught some basic gravitation and special relativity, although we didn’t go very much in-depth into Newtonian mechanics at all.

Sincerely,
Elder Elliott

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