We live in a pretty new neighborhood. By pretty new I mean that most of the apartments weren't here a year ago. In fact, just in one section of street by our house there are seven apartments and one mall being built.
It’s amazing. I see all these articles about how the population of Taiwan is declining and I wonder who’s going to live in all these places. There is room for probably forty thousand new residents, and that’s just in my neighborhood. The apartments that are for sale here are in about the US $450,000 to US $500,000 range. That's a lot of Mazoola, but they're pretty luxurious. You can rent one for about US $650 per month. That's what we pay for a fairly large 4 bedroom apartment, that's less than a year old. That's in Taoyuan City though, prices in Taipei are much, much higher.
We see apartments being built all over Taoyuan and Bade Cities. Growth is huge. One of the reasons for that is that it is convenient for people who work in Taipei to live in Taoyuan and commute. It’s going to get even more convenient as the MRT extends to Taoyuan. You won’t need to ride the train and switch to the MRT or a bus to get to your location. You will be able jump on the MRT and find your way to anyplace in Taipei.
I think the real problem with all this growth will be the local roads. Don’t get me wrong the roads are modern and easy to drive. Well, the roads are easy to drive on but the traffic is not easy to get through. I think traffic will become much worse as the construction boom continues, because I notice all of the building but not any widening of the streets. Small two lane roads serving all these apartment complexes and the mall are bound to become congested.
I’m kind of looking forward to the completion of the construction because the buildings are beautiful and modern. I’m tired of the construction dirt and noise, and all the blue trucks. For the uninitiated, blue trucks are the scourges of traffic in Taiwan. They drive fast and it seems like they go out of their way to violate traffic laws and startle pedestrians and motorists. They make taxi drivers look like concerned and careful drivers.
Taoyuan City is an urban environment by American standards. When I was young I always thought that I wanted to live in the country. Away from the city and enjoying the natural scenery. But in the US for a time, I lived in Dunsmuir, which is a small town of 1,500 near Mount Shasta in California. I fished, I hiked, I did all the things the country dwellers did. But since being in Taiwan and living in this type of urban environment I have discovered that I’m really more comfortable in the city. I like having a lot of people around. I enjoy the fact that something is happening all the time. I liked Dunsmuir well enough, but give me that old hustle and bustle. I guess I’m just a city guy.
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