I arrived in Taipei at a bit past nine in the evening yesterday. I had started out at 19:30 CEST the day before, flying through my least favourite airport in Europe (Heathrow), on to Hong Kong and finally here. I got a good five hours sleep after doing the usual evening-before prep work, woke up, showered and had breakfast with John Corbett in the hotel cafe. Then it was off to COSCUP by train.
The metro system here is modern and efficient. I bought a metro card and filled it with NT$100. At the last station we were approached by another conference goer: a Finn who now lives in Taipei and has a company that specializes in MeeGo. They also have offices in Tampere, where I'll be next month. What a small world!
My presentation on KDE's Plasma Active was very well received and the live demo seemed to impress. Many people came up after to ask questions and discuss. I exchange business cards with numerous of these people and with some arranged to talk at greater length after the sessions. There is a real appetite for a truly Free and Open device OS right now, due a variety of factors, and we're bringing exactly that to the table.
Even though we're only in alpha and just starting the polishing and stabilization phase of development for our first release of Plasma Active with Contour, something I made clear to those in attendance, the ExoPC demos definitely made ripples, and perhaps even a few waves.
After meeting with Jos and the OpenSuse guys here in town and discussing how we can arrange for a KDE event in Taipei next year with organizers of this year's event, I wrapped up the day with an extended BoF with KDE contributors and enthusiasts. A couple of translators along with some coders and enthusiastic users attended. We ate pizza and talked about KDE. They asked questions and I did my best to answer them accurately and to the point. I did a little KDE trivia quiz and handed out some Swiss delights (chocolates, cheese) to people who came up with the best answers. Then we huddled around my WeTab and explored Contour together.
I got back to the hotel sometime after nine, twenty four hours (and a bit) after I had first arrived in the country. I could feel the energy the day had taken out of me, but I also felt elated at the progress that was made and the wonderful people I had the opportunity to meet.
I decided to reward myself by wandering down to a night market in the area where I hunted about the various stalls for some food. I had a pancake wrap thing that was quite delicious but it wasn't for a few hundred more meters until I struck true gold: a small wheeled cart parked next to a wok half filled with oil. An old wisened woman stood behind the cart which was filled with trays holding various ingredients: tempura vegetables (some of which I'm not sure I know exactly what they were..), mushrooms, tofus and seafood. I picked out three of the most interesting looking vegetables, which she measured out and then dropped into the hot oil. They bubbled away for a minute or so and then she drained them and coated them in a wonderful spicy powder.
I picked up a Taiwan Beer, to see if it is as disappointing as Armijn keeps telling me it is ;) , and wandered on home in the wet heat of the night and digging into this huge bag of wonderful, deep fried, spicy vegetable wonderness. I'm back at the hotel, still have some left and just cracked open the beer to calm the riot in my mouth.
What an excellent end to a first day here. I get up about six hours to do it all over again tomorrow. I can't wait.