I can't tell you how many times I've spoken with overeas friends or family member and they say, "wow-I just love Taiwanese food, so spicy, and you have such pretty beaches there…" It's at that point when I know they mean Thailand and not Taiwan. No, Taiwanese food is not spicy actually kind of bland but healthy. The beaches here are unexceptional due to lack of development mandated by the government's paranoia over the mainland Chinese attacking, hence many of the beaches host military posts.
There is a legacy of confusing names & titles for this place. When I was studying about China and Taiwan in school it seemed a daunting task to bring clarity to these different names, a task akin to seperating the the many strands of spaghetti that form one bowl of the noodles. Here we go: Formosa, Taiwan, Free China, Republic of China (R.O.C.), Chinese-Taipei. Th flip side of this coin is the many names for China as well: Red China, People's Republc of China(PRC), Communist China, Mainland China, etc. This can easily lead to some perplexed head scratching and wondering, "How many China's are there?"
To be continued
I moved to Taipei friom Tucson, Arizona a classic western US city layed out on the grid system, I was totally unprepared for Taipei's geography. It always baffled me how after walking through the campus of the neighboring Veteran's General Hospital to get to Tian Mu Rd. bus stops that I could get on the bus which made a short left and a long right, or the other bus that made a longer right and then a long left. Either of them would take me to almost the exact same spot miles away down in ShihLin by Ming Chuan College (formerly an all-girl college now a coed university). Ah, Ming Chuan college, the fond memories of all those cute girls in all those different grades/seasonal uniforms.
One night I was on top of my friend's appartment building which was then the tallest building in Shihlin, when I observed how the 2 previously mentioned roads (Chung Shan & Wenlin) traveling from Tianmu into Taipei were squeezed by Yuanshan at the Grand Hotel. The Grand is where I spent my first night in Taiwan and where this long and interesting adventure began.
Photo by Mary Hodder
Back home and getting reaclimated to my life where I left it in a ball on the floor. Sorted through 1000+ e-mails mostly garbage in several languages… It’s still nice to return home. Met a nice guy named Ray on the return flight to Taiwan-he also attended the Shot Show I went to in Las Vegas. Managed to get fairly reasonable sleep in the form of several naps to help deal with the better than 14 hour flight time. Watched Elizabethtown, Capote and I Walk the Line as well. Thanks for the good service China Airlines.
In preparation for my upcoming US trip his Fri., really wanted to spend a little father/son time with Kevin.
We agreed on a trip to Lukang after stopping at office and playing some computer games. It was great having some quality time in the car, crankin’ the tunes, and enjoying the drive and unseasonably mild weather. Great time with some good pics.