Where in the article did the writer suggest that he did all he wrote about in a few days? His approach was to give a snapshot of the city, not a day by day travel account. Listing mutliple venues makes sense when you are arguing for a city’s growth from backwater to cosmopolitan centre.
That said, I don’t think he lives here. No one who lives here can ignore the hideous state of most neighborhoods. Visitors can. Just like visitors to Bangkok or Beijing hardly notice the air quality when they’re only staying for a few days.
I’m always annoyed when writers don’t get that what makes this city very livable is the close access to nature: hiking and biking trails and hot springs. The shopping in the city is good but it’s nothing to fly over for. The food, yes, but not the shopping. And Taipei 101 is not the epitome of the city. That an absurb claim. It’s a tourist attraction. As a business centre it is failing.
This guy flew in, talked to people, had a good impression, and then left. I’m glad people are starting to talk more about this city and country but next time the Times should ask me to write.