I have found myself in a camera-less state a number of times these past few days, while I am seeing extraordinary things, from a suspension-bridge view to teenage boys wearing adult diapers outside their clothes, I have repeatedly mumbled under my breath "Where's my camera??"
Today we went to Yu-Shan National Park, which actually encompasses a whole mountain range, and we visited a beautiful waterfall and walked around that area for awhile. Then we went on a hike! Maybe not what I had been expecting to do when I left thae house (I even remember debating whether I should wear my flip-flops... so glad I didn't!) but it was fun, if not a little tiring! We did walk almost 4km in all, and it was very beautiful there! We crossed two suspension bridges. The scenery was simply incredible... everything is so green and lush, there were many trees that resemble palm trees but their leaves (fronds?) are like a large fern. We even almost saw a monkey! Well, maybe, we heard something and the tree moved, but I'm sure it was a monkey... what else?
Speaking of monkeys... well actually it really doesn't have much to do with monkeys but there was this one act.....On Friday, we went to Yuli High School, where they were celebrating the school's anniversary. We were VIP's, which we could have done without... but anyways, we sat on this large platform while the various classes paraded around the track and stopped in front of us to do some sort of dance/act... Well I have to say that most of them cracked me up! It was very interesting, and more than a little quirky. It became apparent that the students had both designed their own costumes and choreographed their own acts. The first one, which I referred to earlier must have been made up by the girls, since they wore sort of like grass skirts over their pants, in contrast to the boys, who were wearing adult diapers! It is definitely on the list of the strangest things I have ever seen... Anyways, they did a cheerleading routine, and then sat down on the grass. This parade continued for almost 2 hours (I think) and we saw, among other things, Aboriginal Costumes, a lot of garbage bag fashion (which I rather approved of.... sorry if you didn't get that reference, ask me sometime!), fishnet stockings, halloween costumes, and a group dressed sort of like the Flintstones who chased one of their classmates (who was playing the monkey) hogtied him to a log, and carried him onto the field. I can't imagine any of this happening in a high school at home, where, during my time, there was both a complete lack of school spirit, and a huge fear of looking bad in front of anyone else.
Anyways, after that, things got really confusing! The main reason for this being that Dr. Su had to leave and so we were kinda on our own (though we did have some help from a retired teacher who spoke good English and was quite funny, he told us he speaks "chinglish" which is a step up from that i speak that's for sure "wo yao _____ insert English word here!)
They were taking a bunch of pictures, which I guess they wanted us to be in... not every year they have a couple of foreigners in attendance, I guess! But after the photos, the speeches began, and before we knew it, a microphone was being passed in our direction! They wanted us to say something in English... but we didn't really have a clue what all the preceeding speeches had been about so it was yeah... anyways, I managed something about how we were happy to be here and congratulations or something like that (i don't really remember now) and Hope agreed with my sentiments. Following that were more pictures, an aboriginal children's choir performance and i'm sure a number of other random things including some wine/punch...
Anyways, I must be off now, but fortunately, someone else DID have a camera! So I got a few pictures from Dr. Su which I'm sure you all will enjoy greatly!
Waterfall/mountain pictures coming in a few days!