A Book Explorer's Odyssey:Why Taiwan Matters

【明報專訊】If you travel to Taipei for the first time, you are likely to be awestruck by the city's magnificent avenues the moment you get off the train from Taoyuan Airport. Broad, ruler-straight and imposing, they extend forward until disappearing in the distance, where another part of the city beckons with all its bustle and hustle. They possess a kind of grandeur, as if they are perpetually awaiting a presidential motorcade, a military parade, or an event that calls for nationwide celebration. They are also everywhere. At the top of the Taipei 101 tower, you see these straight lines criss-cross the city meticulously, bringing the rooftops of its stumpy buildings into neat clusters like those in a Lego world.