Taiwan

Taiwan

Taiwan 1976 – 1980

…Taiwan was still under martial law; restrictions where minimal but there was absolutely no problem with security. Chiang Kai-shek had passed away only a few months earlier and I was required to pay my respects by visiting his temporary resting place, where he was put on view in a mausoleum…

…We had a dinner party which Mr. X organised. The guest of honour was the Minister for the Reunification of Taiwan with Mainland China. A lifetime job but very important as he represented the official political line that one day the Mainland would be ruled again by the Kuomintang. Another prominent guest was General Chiang Wei-Juo. This gentleman was a son of Chiang Kai-Shek and brother of Chiang Ching Kuo who later became the Premier of the Republic of China. General Chiang Wei-Juo had been trained at the German Military school in Munich before the war and that is where he met Mr. X, hence the connection…

….The flights back from Kaohsiung were often filled up with country people who either went to visit friends or family in the big city of Taipei or tried to make a few extra pennies by selling their products in town. That meant we had huge baskets of vegetables, fruit and even live chickens on board, making the whole trip quite smelly and at times noisy. I am not sure if the chickens laid eggs or were just scared of the unnatural flying experience…

…. A mighty impact told me the motorcycle had crashed into my front. I got out and found the motorcycle was shortened a bit, my car had a deep dent in the front bumper and mudguard and one guy was lying next to motorbike on the road, moaning. Seems he had his legs broken when he hit the handlebar of the motorbike on impact. The really bad surprise came when I found a second guy behind my car on the road, not moving, no sound. On hitting my car he must have flown straight over my car to land rather badly, most likely not helped by the fact that he did not wear a helmet…

…Hurray! Finally I got a piece of paper clearing me one hundred percent of any wrongdoing. I kept this document in my bag every time I travelled to Taiwan later as the Immigration Department at the airport was always keen to appear efficient and might try to arrest me again if they had not closed their files correctly…

…Sometime around 11pm we noticed a small discussion at the Ambassadors table. One of his staff was telling the Ambassador something and it must have been urgent. He left the party after apologizing to his table and wife and left. We thought ‘the poor guy has to work for a change, tough luck’. Since that happened to us all the time we were suitably impressed that it also applied to an Ambassador…

… The poor Ambassador got this message during the Christmas Party, had his briefing in the office and proceeded to wake up the Premier of Taiwan, Chiang Ching-Kuo at 2am to give him this most unwelcome news…

…There was an opening coming up in the KN office in Singapore. The incumbent manager was supposed to be elevated to a Regional Head Office position in Hong Kong so I could take over the company in Singapore….