Monday, January 30, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Emmie requested this photo (by the way, check out her blog http://emmieintaiwan.blogspot.com for amazing photos), so here it is. I'm singing on the left and John Q is singing with me. In the background is the Kareoke video. He, he, it was fun, but I'm kind of glad it's over now!
Monday, January 23, 2006
My apologies to all those who have been visiting my blog for a while. I'm sure you must be bored with night pictures. I guess it's just due to the fact that I'm only free at night after work and that I think things look so much more interesting after the sun goes down. Anyway, about this photo. Taichung has some really attractive parts and one of them is near a large department store where someone has lined all the trees and the entire one side of the road with Christmas lights. It looks fantastic.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Help! I have to sing a Taiwanese song in front of about 1000 people on Sunday at my Company's annual banquet extravaganza! The fact that it's meant to be a comedy act isn't much comfort though because the only Taiwanese I know is 'Tee-abo' which means 'I don't understand'. Taiwanese is kind of like a dialect of Mandarin Chinese. So basically the characters are the same, but most of the words are pronounced differently. The little Mandarin I do know doesn't help me one bit. At the moment it's just learning 3 minutes of random sounds. I'm doomed!
Taiwanese people love expensive things, and watches are a current hot item. Here's a bad photo of a new watch shop that just opened close to my workplace. There must be at least 1000 watches inside, all of the Rolex/Patek Phillipe/IWC/Handmade-and-ridiculously-expensive type. The capital to stock this shop must have been enormous. I hope they have a good alarm system!
"Well Bob, I spotted this cigar shaped object moving at an incredible pace through the sky. My husband says he felt a strange tingling sensation on the back of his left earlobe when he saw it. My sister says it's the same thing that came for her last year, and she don't want to say any more."
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
This was taken at 'Yakiniku', a hugely popular barbecue restuarant chain that is spreading all over Taichung. You pay a fixed price and then you can order whatever you want and as much of it as you want for 2 hours. It's good food, and you get to cook it the way YOU want to.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
For those of you who actually live in Taichung, or are ever likely to visit this city, here's a suggestion for you. North of Taichung, travelling on Chung Teh Rd on the way to Fong Yuen, you will pass under a bridge decorated with steel cutouts of cyclists. This is actually a very nice dedicated cycling path that runs for at least 15 km. There are shops that hire bikes too, so if you don't have one, you can rent one for a resonable price. It's a great way to see some typical rural Taiwanese scenery at a leisurely pace.
Building a large apartment complex is pretty expensive, so to finance the cost, the construction company usually sells a large number of the apartment units even before the first truck of concrete arrives. To interest people in their amazing new building, the companies build elaborate and very nicely designed temporary showrooms, sometimes resembling the actual feel of the building to come, but usually just containing models and computer drawings of the planned apartments. This way they raise enough money to actaully build the place.
Taiwanese weddings are different in many regards to South African weddings. In Taiwan, the couple usually takes a whole bunch of very nice professionally done photographs BEFORE the wedding. These photos might involve the couple travelling to all kinds of exotic destinations. This was a more low key wedding photo session, just taken in a park in Taichung.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Happy New Year to everyone! Here's a picture of the outside of Taichung's baseball stadium, the place where 150000 people squeezed inside for a free concert featuring some of the biggest names in Taiwanese music. I didn't get in though, so I spent the New Year on a random road with some friends :( Anyway, quite a different experience and some nice fireworks. I've decided that things look better at night in general!
I got a bacterial infection in my leg, and then in my blood, so I had to stay in hostpital for 5 days (This is just a weird thing that happened to me, not a common Taiwan occurrance, by the way). I think I was the first foreign patient the hospital had ever had, because I got a LOT of attention. Here's what I mean...
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Here's a typical Taiwanese funeral in progress. A tent or temporary room is normally set up on the road outside the place of the deceased's residence. The different colours on the tops of the strange outfits signify the relation to the deceased, I have been told. If you've never seen one, these funerals can look really freaky, as they are often accompanied by weird music and rituals.
This is a typical 'lunchbox' in Taiwan. Actually this is a bit more expensive than a usual 'lunchbox', but you get the idea. You normally get a piece of meat on a bed of rice accompanied by a good dose of vegetables. Pretty satisfying and nutritious, if a little tastless (there's seldom any sauce with the meat and rice.)