Now that I've been back nearly a week (hard to believe!) I can write the final installment in my journey. In the meantime you may have noticed a few changes around here lol... i must say, the orange was a passing fancy, it never could have lasted.... i guess i'm just not ready to make a long term commitment to one color at this stage in my life... hahaha
The sweet butterfly picture I stole from Jo's blog (as with the last picture)... what can I say, the girl's got style! Finally, I added a little sidebar thing in case anyone was really that curious about my current interests etc, all of the titles are links to sites about the things i'm reading, watching etc.
Oh and finally.... when I changed my template, I joyously discovered that all my old comments were restored!!!
I woke up this morning at approximately 4:22 to an earthquake! Which was, to date, the largest one I've felt. It actually lasted quite a while. We found out that the epicentre was in the ocean but almost directly parallel with Yuli... well that was fun.
Anyways, back to the trip, the last half wasn't quite as exciting as the first half, though still fun. I did have one bad day though, which included a sunburn, getting mud all over my khakis, falling down the stairs and meeting like three different sets of people, not necessarily in that order. In all it was very tiring, and I wasn't in the best of moods by the end of it. But things got better, as they always do. Taijong was fine, I don't think I'd want to live there though, but then we've already established that I'm not really a city person. Lugang was interesting, there were a lot of fun culture/history things to see and learn, but it was incredibly crowded. There are many really old structures in the town that are still standing and hundreds of temples in this small town. One of the more famous sites was this really narrow alley that used to be a road. Only one person can pass through it at a time. There was also a road that was a bit like walking through Yuli's night market, but with more people and better attractions, and every now and then an interest plaque to stop and read. I got to try this candy called "Dragon's beard" which was actually quite delicious. It is this stringy very light candy that is dipped in icing sugar and then some peanuts or sesame is put on top and rolled into a ball so it is in the centre. A whole barbequed squid on a stick was a really popular food as well (saw it everywhere, but wasn't especially inclined to try it). If it hadn't been so crowded (making it quite difficult to stop anywhere), I probably would have bought a lot of souvenirs/gifts.
The family we stayed with in Tainan was extremely rich, and had a huge house, with like 4 or 5 floors. Every bedroom I saw had an attached bathroom. The husband is a psychiatrist who has published a book (I got a signed copy). It's about speaking English to your baby in the first 6 months of life. Fascinating. The wife is a doctor of Chinese medicine, including acupuncture *shudder* Actually I was kind of interested bt her job, but I don't think acupuncture is on my list of things to experience while in Taiwan.
We rounded the island the next day and saw some more beautiful scenery as well as the Taiwan Strait. We avoided Kenting because of the traffic jams, and made it to the East coast in a few hours. Driving up to Taidong was just amazing! Again, we were travelling along the pacific coast. Taidong is a nice city, I hopefully will go back again sometime. The highlight was visiting the great museum they have there, even though the museum part was closed lol. But it's like an aboriginal museum, and at 5:00 they had something called the water dance, which was a series of fountains shooting up in different formations while music played. It was pretty entertaining. I got some video footage with my camera, though I haven't figured out how to share that yet. There was also a maze that was really great. It used walls of water to block of passages! It's pictured below:
So yeah, that's my trip in a little more than a nutshell... now it's back to work. Next week we start teaching about half our classes, and will pick up the rest the week after.
Oh yeah, Chinese trivia facts of the day: the names of each of the cities: Taipei, Taijong, Tainan, and Taidong actually refer to direction: Taipei (or bei) being north, jong is middle, nan is south, and dong is east. Fascinating. I don't know if there's a Taixi (xi = west) but the word for "thing" or "stuff" is dongxi meaning east-west (or anything in between)