By Nicole Lininger
As the Director of InventHelp’s INPEX, I get the opportunity to travel across the United States and around the world to attend trade shows and meet with inventors. It’s always a pleasure to not only take in the sites of faraway places but also to see new products and inventions from other countries. Products that are hits here in America, are not always hits on other continents and vice versa. So for me, I always enjoy taking a peek at what’s hot on foreign soil.
With that said, a few weeks ago, I traveled to Beijing, China, to meet with the China Association of Inventors. Following my time in China, I flew to Taipei, Taiwan to be a member of the international jury at the 2016 Taipei International Invention Show & Technomart.
While in Beijing, my wonderful hosts graciously took me to the Great Wall of China! The site is truly breathtaking; however, walking the Great Wall, will literally take your breath away. I walked about 50 steps on the first steep incline, and quickly realized it was too late to turn back. Luckily, I caught my breath and continued making my way along the 5,500 mile journey. Ok, let’s be clear, I didn’t make it the full 5,500 miles. But I did walk 6,000 steps! That should count for something, right?
I had an opportunity to welcome inventors and dignitaries at the 2nd annual China Education Innovation Expo at Tsinghua University and made a quick visit to the Chinese Patent office. I wrapped up my time in China by visiting Beijing’s Forbidden City, which served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years. It was truly a site to see and one I will always remember.
Good-Bye Beijing…Hello Taipei
Once we landed in Taiwan, I checked into my hotel, which was right next to Taipei 101. Taipei 101 was formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center. The building was officially named as the world's tallest building in 2004, and held the title until the completion of Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2009. After I wondered at the building for a while, it was time to get to work at the Taipei International Invention Show. It was a great honor to represent InventHelp, INPEX and the United States at this three-day event. With the help of a translator, I made my way around the trade show floor meeting with inventors and listened intently as they enthusiastically pitched their products (mostly in languages I couldn’t understand).
After a day of judging, I was asked to attend the awards ceremony and present gold medals to some of the lucky winners. It’s always such a great moment to see the pride on an inventor’s face when they are presented with an award after years of hard work to develop their invention or new product.
I can’t say enough about the kind people of Taiwan. I was treated with such wonderful hospitality from the minute I arrived until I boarded the plane to go back to the US. The show organizers took the time to arrange a private tour of some of the must-see spots in Taiwan. We started out at the beautiful, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, which honors the late President of Taiwan, Chiang Kai-Shek, and coincidentally was just featured on the ABC sitcom, Off the Boat.
Next, we got to explore the Lungshan Temple of Manka, in the Wanhua District of Taipei. The temple was built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian during Qing rule. I quietly observed the courtyard full of worshippers as well as the beautiful examples all around me of Taiwanese classical architecture.
We wrapped up our day with a stop in Sanxia, Taiwan, at MinQuan Old Street. What once was a busy area of trade around the turn of the 20th century, is now a beautifully restored brick town filled with art galleries and stores. You can’t take a trip to Taiwan without trying some of the food they are famous for, like fruit shaved ice, bubble tea and dumplings at Ding Thai Fong.
My 10-day trip went by in a flash, but the sites I was able to take in and the wonderful relationships I was able to build will be with me for a long time to come. Thanks again Beijing and Taiwan for welcoming InventHelp, INPEX and I with open arms. Here’s to next time!